Gypsy's Travels

Friday, January 1, 2010

Reconnaissance for Sledding

DDs - Kr and ABW and I decided to run up to Breckenridge to check out a sledding area for tomorrow's Great Adventure. In doing that, we had our own Great Adventure. It wasn't intended, but those adventures are usually the most exciting.
Gunner volunteered to watch all 5 children while we "quickly checked out the area."
We left about 4:15 PM. That was the first mistake. It gets dark here about 5 PM.
The drive up was uneventful along Highway 285, then we turned onto Hwy 9 toward Breckeridge. The road quickly became smaller, snowpacked and icy in places. Add in several hairpin turns and two backseat drivers and....well, you get the idea.

Photo by ABW
We arrived in Breckenridge at dark-thirty. It was a magical atmosphere with twinkling lights, bumper-to-bumper taffic, and wall-to-wall people. We carefully drove toward our destination which Nellie, the GPS Navigation System, had directed us. We dodged people slipping on the ice, cars anxious to be out of town but sitting in traffic instead, and snowpacked roads to arrive in a parking lot at a local school. It was hard to see what exactly was available in the dark, but we unanimously decided  there must be sledding closer at hand, in an area that did not stress us out to get there.
After checking the map and ascertaining the way we had come was still the most expedient way to leave, we joined the line of cars and managed to work our way back onto Hwy 9. I was not looking forward to the drive. The girls were equally apprehensive, but we found a common thread of humor to see us through the experience. I looked at the speed limit signs as we inched down the mountain. Recommended speeds were 35-45 mph; I was doing 10-20. It looked like a long trip home. Fortunately, everyone else seemed to be driving the same way, so there was no one riding my bumper and rushing me. Well, almost no one. As we rounded one curve and came upon one fairly straight stretch, the pick-up that had been hugging my bumper, gunned his motor and sped ahead into the darkness. I could not believe my eyes!
I wrestled with my vision of the road ahead which held various terrors for us - "black ice," gusts of wind, narrow road, sheer cliffs, and the occasional cloud of gusting snowflakes that severly limited visibility. Through it all, our sense of humor prevailed! ABW attempted to notify Gunner that getting home would take a little longer than expected, but there was no cell service. It was only 5:30 p.m., but it seemed more like 10. We laughed through it all, even as we discovered we all needed a potty stop and the fuel light in my car was glowing bright yellow announcing its need for replenishing. We watched the car's temperature guage slowly drop from a balmy 24 degrees to -2 degrees in less than 5 miles. While we crept along, the girls pulled out a video camera to document our predicament.
We finally reached Highway 285 for the final part of the trip home and found it pleasantly uneventful. We will be sledding close to THOJAL on New Year's Day.


  1. I am responsible for several buildings in Breckenridge. A site near one of the ski lifts with 6 and 8 story condo's over commercial space; the ski lift/snack bar near by and a commercial remodel all near the lake in town and Breckenridge creek. This was done in the early 1980's.


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