“Rocky's West Side Stories”


Stories of the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park.


Do you ever wish you had lived in the pioneer days? You would have the inspiration to cross the Ute trails over the mountains to camp on the side of Colorado’s largest lake. You would discover the courage, and adaptability to live in a cave on the side of the mountain while digging a ditch to divert water out of the Grand River. You could work at the Hotel DeHardscrabble. You show the stamina to walk from Denver to work on the Harbison Dairy ranch. You could have seen the Arapaho horse pack trip wander through what would become Rocky Mountain National Park as they named the peaks and the area’s features. You would have heard them use the name Kawuneeche. You might have heard Enos Mills talk of preserving the land for all to explore and enjoy.


Living now you will explore all these experiences and more. You will be inspired to encourage your children and grand children to preserve the Wilderness, Wildlife and Wonder of Rocky Mountain National Park’s west side far into the future.


In “Rocky's West Side Stories” Dave takes you on a speedy tour of the recurring themes of survival and success the past 11,000 years in our high isolated mountain valley. Always transient, the ebb and flow of passing cultures has influenced life today in this unique alpine corner of our nation.


Come and enjoy stories of human nature encountering Mother Nature in what is now the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park.


This program is enjoyed most by ages 9 and up.



The Harbisons - An ordinary family who led an extraordinary life.


In “Sisters of Courage” Dave follows one family through the turmoil of the last half of the 19th century. The Civil War, Westward Expansion, the Panic of 1893 are all well known historical events that take on new meaning with this story of their impact on a single family.


Buffeted by the winds of national events, the family starts their life over yet again as Annie and Kittie Harbison homesteaded in our peaceful mountain valley.


Walk with them from Denver as they chose to operate a dairy ranch to supply fresh milk to the expanding Grand Lake population.


Come and enjoy their story leading up to the development (and underdevelopment) of Rocky Mountain National Park. Learn how the Harbison ranch buildings were removed to allow their ranch to become the west entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park.


This program is enjoyed most by ages 9 and up.



Did you know there were more than 30 lodges in Rocky Mountain National Park?


Can you envision large resorts where elk and moose graze in pristine meadows today?


Lost Lodges of Rocky explores the transitions in lodging for visitors to Rocky Mountain National Park, in an entertaining one hour program.  Come and share the thought-provoking search for balance between wilderness and hospitality unique to America’s first automobile based National Park.


This program is enjoyed most by ages 9 and up.

"Who Was the Sculptor in Buckskin?"


Alexander Phimister Proctor!


His LIFE was his art.

His LIVING was his love for his wife, family, and hunting in the west.


After spending much of his youth hunting and sketching in the Colorado mountain wilderness of the 1870s, Phimister's talents took him throughout the U.S. and on to Paris and Rome. Reflecting back across a life remarkably overflowing with places, personalities and experiences Proctor said,

"I would not change my life for any other, but my love has always been divided. I am eternally obsessed with two deep desires -one, to spend as much time as possible in the wilderness, and the other, to accomplish something worthwhile in art."


Storyteller Dave Lively will introduce you to a man who was so much more

than a sculptor and artist. He was a devoted husband, loving father and grandfather, incurable wanderer, and confidant of many prominent figures of his day. Proctor was deeply revered as both America's premier animal sculptor and an unfailingly warm and enthusiastic human being. One of his sons summed up his life with his father nicely by saying, " I would rather belong to this family than to have been born a prince".




This program is most enjoyed by ages 9 and up.

"STEP-ON GUIDE SERVICE" Click here to learn about tours.


Enhance your visit to Grand Lake with stories from the past.


Allow Dave the opportunity to “Step On” your bus or van as you explore the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park. He will bring new insight to your guests as they learn of the people who have enjoyed the area during the last 11,000 years. Hear stories of Native Americans naming many of the mountains and rivers we now enjoy, miners searching for that elusive “gold in them thar hills”, and pioneers who started ranching only to find more riches could be found with the tourists.


This program is most enjoyed by ages 9 and up.

 Arapaho horse racetrack

Spider House

Hotel DeHardscrabble

Media Kit

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