Tag Archives: Keystone

3rd Annual Ski Trip: Breckenridge/Vail/Keystone

In February 2019, we had our 3rd annual ski trip — this year we decided to take on Breckenridge, Vail, and Keystone. All 3 resorts received around 300 inches of snowfall this season so the snow was immense and fluffy.

With the extra snow came cold weather. Most days it was in the teens so riding the chairlifts up was a bit frigid.

We decided to stay in Breckenridge because we could quickly ski Breck — Keystone and Vail are a short drive away. Our rental had a great view of the slopes and a nice hot tub to rest the sore muscles at the end of the day.

Here’s Tom Helderle getting ready to shred the mountain:

Summary

Skiing Vail was on our coldest day but we still shredded the back bowls. Breckenridge’s ski day was a bit warmer so we took advantage of some fast runs. Keystone has the steepest blue runs of all 3 resorts, we really enjoyed the barrelling down the mountain.

Here is a video of this year’s fun:



The Lamb feeding Capital of the World: Really?

Fort Collins: A Rural City

This is the first time I’ve spent any length of time in Fort Collins so it has been fun getting to know the town. Surprisingly, with just over 150,000 folks, it is the 4th largest city in Colorado (behind Denver, Colorado Springs and Aurora).

It certainly has many of the things you would expect in a city — great restaurants, lots of sports stores (REI, Sports Authority, and more local bike shops than you can shake a stick at). But it doesn’t feel like a city. You can drive or cycle around town and you will see old barns and farms just down the road from malls and upscale shops.

Cattle farm

Cattle farm about 2 minutes from downtown

Old farm in the midst of the city

Old farm in the midst of the city

Located only about an hour north of Denver and 45 minutes south of Cheyenne Wyoming, Fort Collins was named Money magazine’s Best Place to Live in 2006, No. 2 in 2008, and No. 6 in 2010. I can see why.

Early Days of Fort Collins

It all started in 1864 as a military outpost, settled by the Army. The fort was decommissioned 3 years later but settlers colonized here to grow crops — agriculture was definitely the early draw to this area.What was the biggest crop? Beet tops! What? Yep, beet tops were used them to feed sheep and Fort Collins became known as the “Lamb feeding capital of the world“. Who knew?1

Colorado State University (CSU) was founded in 1870 and is now the reason for Fort Collins’ growth. It was originally an agricultural school as evidenced today with a big “A” laid with rocks in the mountains that overlook the football stadium.

CSU

Colorado State University

CSU

Colorado State University

Old Town

Great care has been taken to combat the urban feel of Fort Collins as evidenced in the most popular part of the city referred to as “Old Town”. You won’t see lots of high rises. Instead, it has a sort of town-center type of feel.

Old Town at dusk

Old Town at dusk

Old Town

Old Town

Old Town

Old Town – Union Pacific Railway Building

Old Town

Old Town Square

A Healthy City

Fort Collins, like most Colorado cities, rewards a healthy lifestyle with tons of biking, hiking and running trails. Most streets have a dedicated bike lane. You will see people biking, running and walking even when the temperature is in the teens — now that’s dedication! These are all pictures I took while cycling:

Hiking and biking trails

Hiking and biking trails

Old farm encountered while biking

Old farm encountered while biking

Old weathered house

Old weathered house

Thriving farms

Thriving farms

Old farms

Old farms storing grain

Lots of Lakes and Ponds

In addition to hiking and biking trails, there are also lots of ponds and lakes where you can boat, fish, and admire nature. The largest lake is Horsetooth Reservoir — you can bike to the top if you have the stamina — a mere 1,500 foot climb.

Horsetooth Reservoir

Panorama of Horsetooth Reservoir

Horsetooth Reservoir

Horsetooth Reservoir

Horsetooth Reservoir

Horsetooth Reservoir

Tons of geese on the lake

Tons of geese on the lake

Frozen Lake

Frozen Lake

Tree along the shore of a frozen lake

Tree along the shore of a frozen lake

Brew Pubs Galore

If you like brew pubs, Fort Collins hits the spot.  New Belgium (Fat Tire) is headquartered here and has daily tours and tasting rooms. Odell’s (think Easy Street Wheat beer) is also here and offers tours and tasting rooms where you can sit by a fire and listen to a local band. Other breweries include Black Bottle Brewery, Equinox Brewing, Fort Collins Brewery, Funkwerks, Horse and Dragon, and Pateros Creek Brewery — just to name a few!

From the tasting room at Odell's Brewery

From the tasting room at Odell’s Brewery

Close to Great Skiing

Fort Collins is also close to world-class skiing in Vail, Breckenridge, Keystone, Copper Mountain and Winter Park. Cameron (my oldest son) and I spent a ski day in Breckenridge, which is about 2.5 hours west of Fort Collins. We drove up for the day and had a spectacular time. Breckenridge has opened Peak 6 since we last lived here, with an elevation of 12,300 feet, it offers some really great advanced ski options. Cameron and I skied Peaks 6,7, and 8 while there and had really great snow. Too much fun!

Beautiful day at the slopes

Beautiful day at the slopes

Cameron skiing

Cameron skiing

At the top of Peak 6 (12,300 feet)

At the top of Peak 6 (12,300 feet)

At the top of Peak 7

At the top of Peak 7

Breckenridge Mansions

Breckenridge Mansions

I will leave you with a couple more pictures taken while biking, you can really start to appreciate the beauty of Fort Collins. We will be spending the next couple of months in Florida, soaking up some sunshine and enjoying the flat biking trails!

Ducks swimming next to the biking trails

Ducks swimming next to the biking trails

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Working windmill

Biking and hiking trails

Biking and hiking trails

1From Wikipedia

Memorial Weekend in Keystone and Breckenridge Colorado

Keystone and Breckenridge Colorado

We started our 3 month vacation by visiting our boys in Fort Collins, Colorado.  After a day in Fort Collins, we headed out for Keystone for the Memorial weekend.

Keystone

As you can see, the snow is just about gone in Keystone.  Now the mountain bikers are starting to enjoy the mountain.  You can take your bike to the top of the mountain using the gondola and bike down.

Snow is almost gone - Keystone CO

Snow is almost gone – Keystone CO

I was surprised that Keystone was so dead — not a lot of people there.  But the weather was nice (about 65 degrees) and we enjoyed walking around Keystone Village.

Lynn and Cameron

Lynn and Cameron

Saw this little guy on our walks

Saw this little guy on our walks

Ryan and Katie in the Dog House

Ryan and Katie in the Dog House

Cameron and I rode bikes around Keystone, they have great trails.  We came flying down a hill and over a bridge and Cameron popped both bike tires.  Too funny!

Cameron pops 2 tires

Cameron pops 2 tires

We also caught a couple of movies while in Keystone.  We saw The Great Gatsby and the new Star Trek movies.  Both were excellent.

On Sunday we hiked a trail overlooking Lake Dillon.  Our dog Katie loved the hike.

Overlooking Lake Dillon

Overlooking Lake Dillon

Overlooking Lake Dillon

Overlooking Lake Dillon

Tepee at the top

Tepee at the top

Overlooking Lake Dillon

Overlooking Lake Dillon

Breckenridge Colorado

After hiking, we drove over to Breckenridge to hang out. There were a lot more people in Breckenridge than in Keystone.

Katie took a dip in the stream

Katie took a dip in the stream

Breckenridge

Breckenridge

It was great hanging out with the boys for the weekend, we are now off to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Park.