A Snow Globe Fairy Tale: Thanksgiving Day in Breckenridge

My friends and I are walking around the streets of Breckenridge at 12:00 am with 3 suitcases, relying the path to our getaway cabin to be lit by the thanksgiving snow and old Christmas lights. We’re feeling festive and kind of lost.

Because it’s late, we are subject to the help of random nightwalkers for directions. We have no idea where we are and the town looks almost dead tonight! But just as we are about to lose hope and start the blame game to figure out which one of us is responsible for this lack of thorough planning, a local passes by and asks if we need help. Two steps later, another local! And another! They show us where to go and make sure we are continuing on the right path. Breckenridge’s sweet hospitality makes even the independent city-dweller feel at home. It is NOT the snobby Aspen or the tourist-filled Vail; nobody is walking around with boots made of an extinct red fox. The Breck locals are year-round residents who seem exhibit a lovable attitude and sport funky windbreakers.  They are so humble and endearing that one might mistake their kindness for some sort of drug influence; we actually left Breckenridge with shirts that read, “I think this whole town is high!”

After having goodnight’s sleep, we are ready the next morning to devour some carbs and save some energy for our first adventure. We stop at Crepes a la Carte, a sidewalk cart that offers the best apricot jam crepe. Their menu is simple: choose the toppings, the batter, and be on your way. The friendly crepe master behind the glass hands us some smiley face tissues and we chose to stand and eat our warm Crepes before we leave for the tour.

We arrive at the front of a chocolate-colored lodge with a golden Chow Chow ready to greet us. A group of us are escorted into the lodge and the people running the adventure tour (I cannot recall the name of the company) give us a brief outline of the program: snowsuit measurements, hot chocolate social with other snow-mobilers, safety and operation tutorial, and finally the tour. My friends and I change into our snow gear and waddle around the lodge like penguins; we have more than 10 layers of clothing on and it feels like we still need some more to withstand the cold. More clothing equals more waddling, so we settle for our current puffiness just in time to start the tour.

Snowmobiling through snow-covered forests at the heart of the Colorado Rockies is a snow-globe fairytale with a thriller twist; the calmness induced by the beautiful scenes is taunted by the excitement of carving through snow at full speed.  Our guide allows us to practice on an open-field and build confidence on the machine so we are ready and not scared to go up steep hills and take sharp turns.

After acquiring the necessary skills, we ascend to vistas atop the Continental Divide.  Our guide shows us where to park, and we get off our snowmobile to admire the stunning views around. There is absolutely no better way to spend thanksgiving then on Colorado’s highest 14,000-foot peak. We take the time to soak in the whiteness of the snow and fresh air. Today, I am thankful for Breckenridge and my penguin friends.

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