We know that when you think of Colorado and Mary Jane, your mind jumps right to the only other Mary Jane you know- Spider Man’s love interest. But our MJ isn’t a red-head with a superhero boyfriend- it’s actually the name of the territory and expansion that changed Winter Park Resort forever. The Winter Park Mary Jane story is a saga that is rich in history, and told almost as folklore now! Here are some bits and pieces we dug up for new comers to understand the MJ mystique and for Mary Jane Veterans to enjoy.
What’s in a Name?
If it isn’t named after the MJ we all know and love, how did the name come to be? Well back in the 1800s there was a lovely lady named Mary Jane, and she came to the MJ Territory long before the Colorado ski industry did. The local madam of the evening owned what is now the Mary Jane Base. Then, it was called the Mary Jane Placer, and well the name stuck around! So we can laugh and joke about the convenience of the hashtags, but really it all comes down to a patriarchy smashing jezebel who became a *gasp* landowner.
Riding down Drunken Frenchman for the first time, you may have thought the trail was named due to your mogul riding skills and all the times you probably owed the general public an “Excuse my French.” However, the name actually comes from good ol’ Frenchy. French worked for the logging company in charge of clearing the way for the MJ trail system. He was memorialized on Mary Jane because he was known for slinging back 2 six-packs of beer and a bottle of wine as he worked on his daily haul of 1-2 acres of trees. Santé, Frenchy.
Iron Horse – Not 21st Century version of the Trojan Horse
Instead, the Iron Horse, like much of the Mary Jane trails and lifts, gets its name from the railroad theme. This particular railroad jargon comes fromthe term Native Americans use to describe steam engines.
Galloping Goose – Not named after a goose with a split horse personality
Instead, named after the 1930s automobiles that were outfitted to ride rails in Southwester Colorado.
Five YEARS later
Many moons ago, the Mary Jane expansion came with an environmental impact study. The year was 1969, and Winter Park was required to evaluate the expansion before construction could commence. The study was so thorough, that ground breaking on the Mary Jane side didn’t start for 5 years after the US Forest Service accepted Winter Park’s bid for the land.
Dump the Bumps
If you don’t know Mary Jane’s famous bumps, then you’re missing out—unless you only ride corduroy and/or think that the moguls get stored for the summer —then you are probably Team Groom the Jane. In the 1995-96 season, the Mountian Ops team did just that. The people, however, were not having it. Locals started to create the now infamous bumper stickers “‘Don’t Groom the Jane.’ – God.” So whether you are Team Bumps or Team Groomer in this Mary Jane love triangle, just remember no matter what, the Fan Fiction is going to perform much better, be a far better movie, and make way more money.
She’s Over the Hill and Still SO Chill
This weekend we are happy to celebrate Mary Jane turn 41! We have activities for the whole family! Including:
Smith Optics Mogul Duel on the Bottom of Rainbow Cut
Swag Giveaways (including some SWEET MJ coolness)
Hunker Down performance noon-4pm
So be there or be square!