Breckenridge doesn’t have hot springs. It doesn’t need to. What it lacks in mineral-infused waters Breck makes up for with downhill skiing, cycling, hiking, a fun farmers’ market, great main street shopping, and scenery that makes flatlanders swoon. Though I’d been to Breckenridge several times before, it was always in the form of day trips. Wanting to partake of several of the aforementioned activities, we required a longer stay, so we tacked the mountain town onto the end of our Hot Springs Loop, Part I itinerary.
Research into the area’s only RV camping with hookups, Tiger Run Resort (boo, hiss), revealed Bobbie is too length-challenged to meet their snooty dimension criteria (hiss, boo). Ergo, I was forced to seek out a hotel that could accommodate both a car and a camper in its parking lot, a big ask in a town that, like Georgetown, is literally nestled between mountains and doesn’t have vast acreage to give over to idle vehicles. I found it just outside of town at the top of a winding mountain road. Ascending it, the husband remarked that it was a lot like being in the opening scene of The Shining . . . minus the lake . . . and the creepy music . . . and the rolling credits.
So, not like The Shining at all.
Though considerably more wallet-busting than Tiger Run would have been (don’t get me wrong, Tiger Run wasn’t cheap either, just cheap by comparison—this is Breckenridge, Colorado, after all), The Lodge at Breckenridge included a nice room with sweeping views of the Tenmile Range.
So, except for the skiing, we did the things one does while in Breckenridge. The husband cycled up Loveland Pass, and though he’s already completed his Dust-Farm-Pail List goal of cycling up the five tallest bits of asphalt in the continental US, in summiting Loveland, he’s chipping away at the next five.
We shopped the shops, and while Breck isn’t as quirky as Leadville, it has it’s share of goofiness.
Always planning ahead, I asked a stranger to take a picture for the Christmas card.
And we ate at Empire Burger. When in Breck, we always eat at Empire Burger.
The only way the town let us down (aside from Tiger Run—hiss, boo) was with an unjust parking ticket. We arrived in town early, much too early to check into our hotel. What to do? Go to the Farmers Market, of course. But where to stow a truck with a wheeled home hanging off the back? In the town’s paid parking lot on the north end of town. What we didn’t realize was that there were specific spots along the edges of the lot that were for cars with trailers attached. Instead, we took up two parking spaces in the middle of the lot. The totally empty lot. Here’s where the husband and I disagree: I could have sworn we paid for two parking spots. He says we didn’t. Either way, had we parked along the periphery and just paid for one spot, we wouldn’t have gotten a ticket.
Incensed, the husband contested the fine via a digital form he was directed to on the ticket, but when you’re pleading for mercy from the very people who issued the ticket? Good luck.
The husband fumed about the fine for days, but I refused to let it steal my joy. Besides, we had more important things to focus on. We’d come to this town with a lofty goal—literally and figuratively—in mind, our raison d’être for coming to Breckenridge in the first place. It was time to bag another 14er, and when you’re in Breckenridge, that 14er is Quandary Peak . . .
The journey, in universum: