Saturday, April 5, 2008

Hanging Out With Amy

Monday, Brian still didn’t feel well, so Sarah and Amy went to the Keystone Nordic Center by themselves to do some cross-country skiing. Sarah hasn’t been skate skiing in many years. When they arrived, Sarah was pleasantly surprised to find out that the Nordic center was free with her Colorado Pass.

The Nordic center has a number of interconnected trails, so Sarah and Amy skied for a couple of hours. The views from one of the trails of Buffalo Mountain were amazing. Sarah managed to be minimally clumsy on the skis and even skied a large downhill without falling. Navigating downhills on cross-country skis is way more difficult than on downhill skis because there is no easy way to stop.

Tuesday morning, we all went to the Frisco Historic Park. The Frisco Historic Park is a free museum that consists of a cluster of historic buildings in the middle of Main Street in Frisco. We weren’t expecting a whole lot, but had wanted to check it out before we left the area. It turned out to be an interesting and extensive, if somewhat random, collection of items from the town’s history. Most of the buildings were moved from their original locations to the park.

This building is the Niemoth Cabin, which was originally used as a summer home in the 1930s.

This is Wood’s Cabin, which was used as a residence, post office, bank, saloon, storage location, and as a madam’s house. It dates from the 1860s.

The Prestrud/Staley House was made of pioneer logs and clapboard siding. It was typical of a middle-class house at the turn of the century.

Many of the homes used newspaper as wallpaper and for extra insulation. These examples are from the Bailey House, where newspapers on the walls dated back to 1884.

This old piano was part of the Bailey House also, where it was used for entertainment.

After spending a couple of hours at the historic park, Brian went home while Sarah and Amy continued on the local history tour. They snowshoed up to the Sally Barber Mine. The headworks and an old steam engine are still there and visible, though partially buried in snow.

Here’s Amy taking a break and reading about the areas mining history.

Wednesday, Sarah and Amy started the day by looking at a house. The week before, Sarah and Brian had looked at houses in Park County, the county just south of Summit County, just for kicks. It’s really amazing how much house you can get for not much money when you are in the middle of nowhere. The catch is that there also aren’t many job options unless you want to commute over Hoosier Pass to Summit County every day or, even worse, all the way in to Denver (about two hours).

Anyway, on the day we went house browsing, there was one house that we wanted to see but couldn’t, so Sarah and Amy went back to see it. The house was in Valley of the Sun, which is a complete misnomer because it is actually at about 11,000’ on the side of a mountain. Sarah just loved the wood touches inside the house and could just imagine curling up in this couch with a book and enjoying the views.

After that brief detour, Sarah and Amy continued south to Buena Vista to the hot springs in Cottonwood Canyon. The hot springs definitely lived up to their billing as “rustic”, but they were clean, hot, and surprisingly didn’t smell like rotten eggs. The hot spring pools were literally in a canyon next to a little lodge that was actually more small-time motel. One side of the canyon was still snow-covered while the other side was completely bare.

The pools were quite nice being mostly built of stone, unlike many hot springs resorts were the pools are essentially glorified swimming pools. We basked in the hottest pool (105 degrees) for a while then moved over to the next pool which was 102 degrees. Luckily, there was shade or we would have fried in the bright sunshine.

Here’s Amy after our soak:

At this point, it was early afternoon so we drove back to Breckenridge so we could pack for our hut trip the next day.

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