Based in Houston, Texas, GEV is a blog by The GreenEyed Venuist. Her posts explore travel and photography through her green eyes.

Breckenridge, Colorado and My First Winter Wonderland

I have never been so cold in my whole black life.

That is, until I went to Breckenridge, Colorado for the weekend. I mean...I anticipated cold, but this was a cold unlike any I'd ever experienced. This was pierce to the core of your soul cold. I wasn't ready.

The story starts like this: I left work on Thursday to catch a flight to Denver. My original arrival time was like 9:45pm, which gave me enough time to catch a shuttle and get up the mountain at a reasonable hour. But the weather in Denver was horrendous, there was snow and ice every where and all the flights were delayed. I finally arrived after 11pm, which means the last shuttle had already departed for the evening. Ugh....I was stuck but I didn't give up. It was 11:30pm now, it was snowing like crazing, I had a 8am pick up for snowmobiling scheduled with the prospect of losing the $130 fee if I didn't show. Not only do shuttle stop running after 11pm.....there's also no shuttle going up to the ski resorts that will get you there before 8am. FML.

So, I tried Uber and nah. Sidenote: I've decided that Uber is never around when you need them. Last time I was stranded at Intercontinental at 4am I looked for an Uber...no where to be found. Seriously...what good are they if they're only available during the obvious hours of the day?

So...slightly defeated, I headed to the taxi line...which was long as hell b/c everyone was delayed and stranded at the airport. I decided to ask the kind man who wore a coat that read "Ground Transportation" what I should do next. Actually, I'm grateful for that kind man. If it wasn't for him, I might have had to spend the night in the Denver Airport.  

The kind man directed me to the private cars. Well....I had already researched private cars to Breckenridge so I knew that I was in store for a exorbitant fee (they quoted me about $400 which included an upcharge b/c of the bad weather - you should have seen my face). Fortunately, I wasn't alone. After about 30 mins of standing in the freezing cold and getting pummeled by show, I had gathered a group of 4 to split the fee and make the hike. 

So...these 3 complete strangers and I jumped in the SUV and started the journey. And....the journey was slow. There was so much snow and ice on the road...we didn't break 40mph for about the first hour in transit. 

Now that I'm telling the story, this sounds an awful lot like the beginning of a horror movie.

Our first stop was a home in Keystone. We made it there in about 2 and a half hours, (a drive that should have only taken about an hour) after a detour down a dark, windy, unplowed and very treacherous road...with a view into total darkness that was more than likely a really steep drop off down the side of the mountain. When we finally stopped...about a block away from the house b/c the driver refused to drive down any further lest he get stuck in the snow...I got out to let the passenger out of the SUV, stepped on the ground and my feet slid right from under me. Smh. Somehow I had forgotten that snow is just really cold water. I was quickly reminded when I climbed back into the SUV and sat down on my sopping wet, and let's not forget cold, pants.

We got back on the road, made a quick switch of passengers and I finally arrived to the townhouse we rented for the weekend at 4am. Total travel time, about 8 hours, for a trip that was only supposed to take less than 5. Not the worst, but certainly not optimal. 

3 hours later I wake up to this:

I literally tried to put on every article of clothing I packed.

I realized that wasn't feasible for the morning's activities, walking around like the Michelin man and all....so I just dressed as warmly as possible and we went on our way. 

We get to the snowmobile company headquarters, paid, got into snowsuits and boots they provided, and went on to the training session...important so we didn't get ourselves killed out in the snow. 

Then it was time for a practice run. I've never driven one of these things before but once you get the hang of it, its simple!

So. Much. Snow. 

White Mountain had a few photographers along the trail to capture what we looked like as we were riding. It was scary...but fun. Here's what they're pics looked like. 

Alright....so...funny story. One of the guys on the trip with us dern nearly flipped his snowmobile completely over. He was going way too fast, ran off the course and got stuck in fresh powdery snow up to his chest....it wasn't funny at the time, he could have turned into a chocolate human popsicle (b/c he's black and I assume his flavor would be chocolate...maybe German chocolate...idk). We had to wait about 45 mins while the guide and another guy tried to dig him and the mobile out...so basically we froze too. Afterwards, and because we wasted up a lot of our time waiting for the rescue (lol), we went up to a cabin to warm up and have some hot chocolate....then we did what we could to salvage the remainder of our tour. While we waited...I managed to take some pretty righteous pics of all the snow....I still can't believe how much there was. It was like literally everything was covered in white.

So after snowmobiling all morning, we had lunch in town and hung out/napped all afternoon. One of our friends had an unfortunate encounter with altitude sickness (coupled with a few other over indulgences) which landed us in the ER for a large portion of the night.

Here are some shot from the area surrounding the townhouse...and Shayla on the balcony building a snow man...with measuring cups from the kitchen lol....she used my discarded black jelly beans for the eyes and icicles for his arms lol.

The next morning we dropped one off at the slopes and the rest of went for brunch at a cute little local favorite called Columbine Cafe. I know the name isn't the most appealing (given the horrific story associated with Columbine) but I enjoyed this place. Took me long enough to decide where to go...shoot.

While we waited for a table, I decided to go out and walk around a little bit. Breckenridge is a quaint little town with so much character. I highly suggest a visit there. 

I will say this, as far as skiing and snow sports are concerned, Breckenridge is very expensive. So don't go out there if all you have to spend is your rent money. You will go home broke. The transportation alone is pricey. Lift ticket was $118, snow snowmobiling $130, I think dogsledding was like $75. Trying to do all those things in one weekend will have you on a ramen diet real quick. #dontbelievemejustwatch. Here are some scenes from the town. I love the snow-capped mountains in the background...surrounding the whole city like a big white hug. 

We stopped at the market.....and this is the view walking out the front door. It's really breathtaking. 

I've been to Colorado and the Rockies in the summer time. It's really beautiful then...but I'm so happy I got a chance to see it like this...cloaked in its white winter coat. It was truly amazing. This is also another example of stepping outside your comfort zone and trying something new. Snowmobiling was incredible and so much fun...fortunately, we all lived to tell the tale lol.

Until next time folks!

**There's no where to go but everywhere...so get going ~GEV

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