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The Outsiders: Lonni Swanson on Estes Park, Colo.

Staff Writer
Austin 360
Lonni Swanson, left, skis in Colorado with sister Claudia Menard.

Estes Park, "Gateway to the Rocky Mountain National Park," is a Colorado mountain town with a split personality: tourist-packed and bustling in the summer, the essence of tranquility in the winter. When blanketed in snow, Estes Park's hiking trails are ideal for cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. My motto: Strap on the snowshoes! A perfect day on snowshoes: Take the Wild Basin trailhead as far as you can and reward yourself with cocoa at the warming hut. Or trek the trails from Glacier Gorge, and this time your reward is a buffalo burger and beer at the Estes Park Brewery.

We're looking for Central Texans who love the outdoors. Tell us — in 100 words or fewer — what your favorite outdoor place is and what you do there. If you have a photograph, include that as well. Send your name, age and contact information to Kathy Blackwell, Austin American-Statesman, 305 S. Congress Ave., Austin, TX 78704, or email it to