"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
~ Charles Dickens
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