(Part 1 found here)
I woke up the next morning and enjoyed an extensive complimentary breakfast buffet at the Best Western Ptarmigan Lodge while marveling at the gorgeous view from their breakfast room of Dillon Reservoir and mountains in the distance.
Due to feeling quite beat up from challenging skiing/falling off a lift the day before, my plan was to head to Arapahoe Basin and aim for a half-day morning ticket, which was less expensive and would allow me to have some time to visit other sites in the area. The parking lot was jam-packed, which is to be expected on a weekend day. The shuttle ride from the lot is not long, and neither was the ticket window line. Much like the snow the day before, I should have used extra wax to be able to glide across the sticky stuff. Live and learn!
I was just having an OK time, but likely because many runs/chairs were closed AND I was really feeling beat up after numerous falls the day before. I mean, it was MAY, not February, so I decided to go with the flow and ski what I could. I was impressed by a lovely mountaintop lodge, and enjoyed a cup of tea while drinking in the views.
I would try A-basin again, but midweek and in season. It was easily accessible from my hotel, and it’s near Keystone, so you have options if you choose to stay in that part of Summit county.
After making my way back to the truck, I tried my best to modestly change in the back seat of the F-150, which was not too difficult. I had a bag packed with a change of clothes and toiletries and had decided over breakfast to head over the mountains to Idaho Springs for a soak at Indian Hot Springs. I read mixed reviews of the place and I left there not in the best mood. The facilities, when I visited, were in a state of disrepair. It seemed like the larger pool was being utilized mostly by families. I opted for the gendered soaking area “caves” – very, very hot pools carved into the ground with added railings. There was a nice, newer shower prior to entering the cave area. What was nice about it was that it was very serene and it was optional to use the pools nude. Unfortunately, some rude guests decided to eat a very stinky lunch in the post-soak relaxation area – prohibited by the facility, but no one follows rules anymore, it seems. Then there were no functional hair dryers so after dressing, I had to borrow one from the front desk, and tried to find a functioning electrical outlet. I finally found one in an office area and it was literally falling out of the wall. YIKES. If I expected it to be kind of crummy, but with good hot soaking, I’d still try it again if in the area, but I wouldn’t go out of my way for it. If you read my post about Carson Hot Springs in Carson City, NV, that facility was not fancy but really clean and well-maintained.
I took brief drives around Idaho Springs (somewhat run down) and later in the day, Georgetown. Decided to pop into Blackhawk. Ugh, don’t waste your time. It’s not conveniently off the highway as I thought, and its just a bunch of small, lifeless casinos, empty storefronts, and weed dispensaries. Yuck.
I was able to make it to Saturday evening Mass at the beautiful Our Lady of Peace in Silverthorne, CO. The church looks like a luxurious mountain cabin and they offer masses in English, Spanish and Polish. Hey, sounds like a parish in Chicago! I learned there was a sizeable Polish population in the area. In fact, the Best Western motel manager I spoke with was Polish and had previously lived in the Chicago area, not far from me. Small world!
Back to Dillon and I made sure to be first in line for dinner service at Arapahoe Cafe after seeing their menu the day before and dreaming about their homemade mac & cheese with pulled pork. I had a draft beer and this massive plate of food and boy, was it worthy of my daydreaming.
I overheard a European couple at the table next to me and the woman was complaining that there were few vegan options – it is a BBQ joint! That said, the server made some recommendations for her (in my unsolicited opinion, there were options, she was just being picky) while her male partner gleefully partook of a massive BBQ rib platter.
I could not finish my meal but while driving around Georgetown, noticed a public picnic area, so my plan was to save some leftover mac&cheese and some of my Domino’s leftovers for a late lunch before my flight on Sunday.
Sunday morning, I was still quite sore, so another day of skiing was not in the cards for me. Instead, I found a brochure for Corpus Sanus Spa in the motel lobby, so I gave them a call, and luckily they had massage appointments available. I took a sauna then had a wonderful massage with a male therapist whose name I don’t remember, probably because I conked out during the blissful treatment. It was a great experience and I’d recommend it.
I also popped into a nearby dispensary before leaving town. No, I’m not into pot, but I thought perhaps I’d find a CBD-based product that would help with residual soreness after many spills on the slopes in a mere two days, plus an ongoing issue with bruxism (teeth grinding) at night. I was impressed with the system. You have to show ID before entering the sales floor, and it’s cash only. The sales associate was very knowledgeable about the products and steered me toward a product with a low ratio of THC to a higher amount of CBD. I took it the night I got home. It was just OK, I probably have had better success with over the counter drugs, like Aleve taken with a Cosmopolitan but, hey, when in Colorado…
Time to head back on the I-70 slog to Denver. I made my planned stop at Georgetown to enjoy a late lunch and save money by not buying food at the airport. It was a neat place for a picnic, and I enjoyed the brief rest despite not seeing any bighorn sheep on the cliffsides.
I could have used another day to see more in the area, but maybe another time. Thanks for a birthday ski weekend, Colorado!