Wildlife

Breckenridge, Part III: Peak 8

On our first visit to the Breckenridge Ski Resort on Saturday, we had wanted to ride the “Colorado Super Chair Scenic Chairlift,” which goes up to the Alpine Camp on Peak 8. But the last chair goes up at 3:30 pm, and we didn’t get to it in time. So that was on our list for Sunday. We didn’t have any particular plan for what we would do when we got to the top, until we bought the tickets and they gave us a QR link to a trail map. We took one look at the map and resolved to summit Peak 8.

We got there early in the day, so we had the chairlifts mostly to ourselves.

The Alpine Camp consists of a restaurant called the Vista Haus, the Epic Discovery Fun Park with ziplines and other activities, and a wealth of trailheads for exploring the local peaks and forests.

The first part of the summit trail is actually a service road. It’s steep, but broad and smooth.

The views are wonderful all the way up.

The service road ends at a little ranger lookout station. From there the trail is narrow and much steeper.

We had agreed that we would head back down at 2pm whether we had reached the summit or not, to ensure that we didn’t miss the last chairlift at 3:30. At one point I realized that I might not make the summit in time. Elizabeth wasn’t struggling at all and I didn’t want to slow her down, so I told her to go ahead and claim the peak for the honor of the Silkotch name. She was like, “Okay, see ya.”

That structure she’s climbing past is an out-of-service ski lift, the Imperial Express. According to the signs it’s the highest ski lift in North America.

I kept chugging along…

…and actually did make it to the summit!

Elizabeth found a geocache box that had been converted to a visitor log. We both signed it.

The views were hazy from all the wildfires, but still phenomenal.

The lake in the distance is the Dillon Reservoir, the one we had stopped to admire on the drive up.

We chilled at the top for a while and then started down at about ten minutes to two.

We stopped at the ski lift station to snap a pic…

…and spotted a couple of ptarmigans! Another wildlife first for us.

We continued down and made it back to the Super Chair in plenty of time.

We felt like we had walked enough for one day, and decided to beat the traffic rush back to Denver.

Breckenridge has won our hearts. We’ll be back for sure.

Categories: Animals, environment, Family, Geocaching, Life, Travel, Wildlife | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Weekly Sketch: Fawn

Got a lot going on these days. It’s hard to find the time to sit down and draw, or the focus to get creative with it. Here is a cartoon fawn.

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Weekly Sketch: Prairie Deer

This week’s sketch is inspired by a scene I came across recently in a meadow. Something about the quality of the light and the way the deer blended so harmoniously into the grass made it all look like a watercolor. I’ve stepped outside my usual style a bit trying to capture the sense of peace and beauty.

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Preliminary Exploration

In amongst all the drudgery of moving states, the kids and I have enjoyed exploring our new home. Here are some of my favorite pics from the past month.

On Mt Falcon:

At Genesee Park:

At the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge:

Investigating the local eateries:

Other than the constant haze from wildfires, Denver is a very pleasant city to settle into. Hopefully we still like it after the first winter snow arrives. Which, according to local weather forecasts, will be tomorrow.

Categories: A Plethora of Parks, Animals, environment, Family, food, Life, Weather, Wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Weekly Sketch: Prairie Dog

I don’t think I’d ever seen a prairie dog in the wild before we moved to Colorado. They’re all over this area, you can see their little towns in undeveloped suburban fields and see them scampering next to roads. The kids and I took a drive through the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge and parked on the side of the road to watch the lively little guys go about their prairie dog town business.

Categories: A Plethora of Parks, Animals, Artwork, environment, Life, Weekly Sketch, Wildlife | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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