Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sleigh Ride in Breckenridge


 "Over the river and through the wood, to grandfather's house we go;
 the horse knows the way to carry the sleigh through the white and drifted snow..." 

I grew up hearing my Mother sing this song, based on a poem by Lydia Maria Child, to my siblings and I, every winter during the holidays.  Because of that sweet memory I've always wanted to experience a sleigh ride. When my husband and I took an overnight trip to Breckenridge, in the nearby Rocky Mountains recently, we did just that! The town of Breckenridge is at an 9,600 foot elevation, so spring comes slowly to that area and there was still plenty of the 350+ inches of snow it received this past winter on the ground.  Luckily for us, we took our sleigh ride towards the end of a beautiful sunny winter day!


Luckily, I found a Groupon deal for a discount on the sleigh ride and dinner package through Breckenridge Sleigh Rides, which made the event super affordable.  Do you ever use Groupon? They offer some wonderful discounted deals on many different local businesses and attractions.  Our sleigh was pulled by two beautiful Belgium Draft horses, named Bob and Sally. The wrangler told us that these were once work horses on an Amish farm.  When the horses reach around ten years old the farmer sell them to buy younger horses. Supposedly pulling a sleigh is easy work for them, as they are very strong and each can pull well over 2,000 pounds.


Even though the temperature was in the mid 30's, we dressed warm, because when  the sun goes down, the air gets chilly!  All the sleigh riders were also provided with wool or fleece blankets to put over their laps.Off we go, to the gentle tinkling of silver sleigh bells--just magical!

 "Over the river and through the wood --oh, how the wind does blow! 
It stings the toes and bites the nose as over the ground we go."


During our sleigh ride we had wonderful panoramic views of the Tenmile Range!


I've often seen gorgeous views of this Rocky Mountain range on Barb's blog "Live and Learn."  Barb lives in Breckenridge year round and takes the most amazing photos of the sights there, accompanied by her lovely written observations and prose.  It was a treat for me to recognize many of these mountains from her blog!


Bald Mountain peak seen in the distance stands at 13,690 feet! Our wrangler called it "Old Baldy"



As we rode along we could see some magnificent homes in the distance.


The wrangler told us these homes were in the one to two million, and up, price range. Just look at their large and fabulous windows facing the mountain range!


A distant view of the Tenmile Range.  All the mountains that make up this range are over 13,000 feet elevation, with the highest being Mt. Quandary at 14,265 feet.


As we rode on, the sun slowly dipped below the horizon, and a soft golden light appeared in the sky.


Even Bald Mountain glowed!


After about 40 minutes the sleigh headed back to the golf clubhouse....




...where we said goodbye to our sweet horse duo.  Inside, we sat by a fire and had hot chocolate to warm up, while we watched other sleighs return. We then enjoyed a dinner buffet and were serenaded by a talented country western singer while we dined. It was all a very memorable experience -- one I'd definitely do again!  Although, like most of you, I'm now looking forward to the warmer spring and summer weather,  it was definitely nice to be able to embrace a winter day like this and enjoy it! There is so much beauty in the Rocky Mountains, year round!

"Nature gives to every season a beauty all its own." 
~ Charles Dickens

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44 comments:

Carol Z said...

Your pictures are wonderful! I'm not a fan of cold weather at all and a dog sled ride in the Canadian Rockies ended my interest in participating in cold weather activities. But I enjoyed my vicarious trip a lot.

Pamela Gordon said...

What beautiful scenery for your sleigh ride! Wow. The mountains and those homes are fantastic. When we do sleigh rides here they are through the woods and fields so not so exciting. We used to go on them in the evening when it was dark but in later years have gone late afternoon to enjoy the sun and scenery. Such fun!

ellen b. said...

So magical, Pat. Love these images.

podso said...

It does look magical, Pat. What a memory you've made! The fireplace looks very warming after such a ride!

Betsy Adams said...

Oh My Heart... I would LOVE LOVE LOVE that... That is so neat that you got to do that. You all have gotten to do so many wonderful things since moving to Colorado.

We use Groupon ALOT ---for our travel lodging. Great deals for sure...

Hugs,
Betsy

eileeninmd said...

Pat, the sleigh ride sounds a fun time. The scenery is gorgeous.. I have used Groupon once, I should check more often for deals.. Lovely photos, thanks for sharing. Have a happy week!

Daniela said...

I am sure you will always remember this wonderful trip, these fabulous views and backgrounds that you've captured in your gorgeous photos and that you shared with us!
How lucky I am to have you as a friend, my dear Pat, what a joy you give to me with your blog !!!
Enjoy the rest of your Sunday and have a beautiful week ahead xox
Dany

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

Your whole excursion sounds wonderful Pat and the scenery you saw!
It's nice that the horses are still useful after a full life on a farm, I didn't realize they could each pull that much.

orchid Miyako said...

Dearest Pat;
Wow, GORGEOUS trip and I wish I could have chance to enjoy the sleigh ride♡♡♡ I never seen a horse with my own eyes p;) Thank you very muh for sharing suh great scenery as well♪♪♪

Sending you Lots of Love and Hugs from Japan, xoxo Miyako*

Michelle said...

What a gorgeous sleigh ride! One thing I have missed during our trips to Denver!

Lorrie said...

What a fun experience. Beautiful scenery to enjoy while the horses carry you on the snow. Something you likely won't do often, but so enjoyable at least once. Groupon is great for special things like this.

AdriBarr said...

I just can't get over the splendor that is you new home. Thanks for a fabulous ride!

Vee said...

Oh sweet! Such views and you are right to seize a winter day and enjoy it. You will, no doubt, remember this fun day forever. It could go down as a favorite one.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

That really looked gorgeous Pat. What a wonderful way to spend time enjoying the beautiful Colorado scenery and a great "date night."

Sarah said...

What fun! Someday I'd like to take a sleigh ride like this. Thanks for taking us along, Pat.

Kris said...

Wow Pat, what stunning photos!!! Looked like a lot of fun!!
xo Kris

The Gathering Place said...

What a fun place to enjoy the beauty of nature and the fun of a memorable sleigh ride! Your photos of the mountains with the sun on them are so beautiful! I think I might need to visit there!

Lynn@Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Looks like you had a beautiful ride Pat:@)

Tracy said...

What a fun little adventure! I've never been on a sleigh ride--have always wanted too... Sometimes rather romantic about a sleigh ride...*sigh*... Fun to go along on this one with you, Pat. :o) Happy Days ((HUGS))

Lori E said...

Well in my post for Mosaic Monday I am referring to my hunt for the right house.... I think you just found it for me. Wow. What a gorgeous place to live.
It must be such a magical ride with those pretty horses and their jingling bells.
The weather looked just perfect and the sun going down is beautiful.

Cheryl @ TFD said...

This looks like a fabulous day spent with your sweet hubby and taking a sleigh ride in the beautiful mountains! What a fun time this must have been! Thanks for sharing with us. Loved seeing those gorgeous homes, too.

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

What a romantic outing! It looks like you had a blast. Your pictures are beautiful, and that fire looks so inviting!

Have a wonderful week!

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

Sounds and Looks like the perfect day. What beautiful scenery and the horses are gorgeous.

SmilingSally said...

Hi Pat,

You and your husband are making great memories--why, you even had a horse named, "Sally" pull your wagon!

Have a Happy Blue Monday!

Roses, Lace and Brocante said...

It's always special to visit memories from our childhood Pat.
This was a wonderful day for you, the natural countryside is amazing.
You could imagine living in another era when horses were the main means of transport.
Stunning alpine scenery!
Wishing you a happy week.

carol l mckenna said...

Love the horse photos and sleigh ride ~ what fun! gorgeous photos for OWT ~ xoxo

artmusedog and carol

Reader Wil said...

Thank you for the lovely romantic sleigh ride! It must be wonderful to live in one of those grand mansions. At least they look like mansions. You were so lucky to have snow! We had no snow at all this winter. Spring has arrived already. Have à great week.

Barbara said...

What a beautiful sleigh ride it was, and thanks for sharing the names of the horses, Bob and Sally! They look so sweet in your pictures. I love this post!

Pat Frank said...

Pat,
What a lovely trip and sleigh ride you took! It reminds me of Christmas - or maybe it's the song! LOL! Your pictures are just gorgeous! I especially love the photo of the sun lighting up the clouds, making it appear as if the clouds were on fire. Also love those magnificent homes. What a beautiful view they must have every single day! They sure have lots of snow as the fence posts appear as "dots" amongst the snow banks. Thanks for bring us along for your beautiful sleigh ride!!

Pat
Las Vegas

Ida said...

What an amazing Sleigh Ride. The scenery is just awesome. Thank you for sharing the beauty of your ride with us.

Linda W. said...

That looks like a lot of fun! Beautiful horses.

ladyfi said...

What pretty shots.

annie said...

Wonderful!
I especially love that glowing sky.

Deborah Montgomery said...

I've always wanted to be in a horse-drawn sleigh, too, ever since reading the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. The views are beautiful. sounds like a perfect day! Thank you for visiting my blog! Deborah, your newest follower

Light and Voices said...

Old "Baldy" sure sets a majestic subject for any sunset. What a blessing. Glad you had this wonderful sleigh ride and Groupon helped make this dream become a reality. Childhood memories captured in the photos. How nice.
JM Illinois
U.S.A.

Barb said...

Pat, Thanks so much for the mention! Your photos of Mount Baldy as the sun is setting are fabulous. I also love the pink glow you captured on the snow. I haven't taken a sleigh ride in a long time - when we first moved here, we would often treat our guests to the experience. It's supposed to snow again over the next few days - I'm leaving for Denver! Time to throw in the towel on winter!

Unknown said...

These are stunning! Thank you for sharing them on #FridayPostcards. I can't wait to see what you post next! - walking on travels

Unknown said...

These are stunning! Thank you for sharing them on #FridayPostcards. I can't wait to see what you post next! - walking on travels

The Tablescaper said...

This sounds positively magical.

So wonderful to have you at "Oh the PLACES I've been!"

- Alma, The Tablescaper

edenhills said...

What a wonderful adventure!

Willow said...

Love those mountains! I've been to Colorado in the summer but have only seen photos and read stories of the winters. Thanks for sharing!

Mary @ The World Is A Book said...

What a gorgeous sleigh ride! I love the views and I'd brave the cold for that ride too. We were in Breckenridge a few years ago and didn't even know there were sleigh rides there. Yes, we love Groupon too.

Lady of the Manor said...

I've always wanted to go on a sleigh ride. This looks so fun!! What a glorious place to take one! Gorgeous photos!!

Just a little something from Judy said...

Oh My Goodness! Your pictures make me homesick for the gorgeous state of CO. What fun you must have had on that sleigh ride. How romantic! The photography you share always is outstanding! Thanks for sharing such special events in your lives.