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  • Writer's pictureJessica Stough

Our First Winter Colorado Trip – Part One

"The snow is sparkling like a million little suns." – Lama Willa

I had a goal set for myself to get the Colorado blog post up within the month of March. Of course, life got in the way. With return to office four days per week, birthday celebrations, family get-togethers, and an extremely early Easter, I'm happy with being a few days late of that goal. Plus, part one of the trip is short and sweet and an overall quick read – part two will, of course, be sweet too but maybe longer.

This Colorado trip had a lot of firsts for us: the first time we drove straight through both ways; the first time we took all day off on Friday to start the trip; and the first time we went during the winter instead of the summer. With that, we were on the road by 5 AM and got to our destination by dinner time. We had just enough energy that night to eat dinner and chat with the best uncle (and honorary tour guide!) Colorado has to offer before we were off to bed to rest up after a long day of driving. 


Saturday morning, we woke up and headed to Leadville for the Leadville Ski Joring & Crystal Carnival Weekend events. I had heard of ski joring with a dog – cross country skiing while being pulled by a dog (or dogs – learn more at Advnture), but had never seen or heard of anything quite to the level that I saw at the Leadville event. The skiers were pulled by horses and were able to ski down multiple blocks in a matter of seconds. It was honestly way more incredible than I could have ever imagined! 

We had actually gotten to Leadville quite a bit before the event started so we had some time to look around town. Since it was fairly chilly, my first stop was for coffee. We found an adorable place right on the main street, Before & After, a coffee and cocktail bar.

While drinking our coffees, we checked out a few other notable places: 

  • Melanzana, a limited-quantities store where everything is made in Leadville – reservations required for everything except select overstock items

  • Two Dog Market – an adorable book shop that also had fun trinkets and stickers (my dream!)

  • Community Threads – one of the coolest consignment shops around, selling both consignment items and brand new items – including running gear!

We didn’t stop at the Leadville Race Series Store because we had last time we visited Leadville. I figured Zac would not want to walk around a race store with me again after we already had last time we visited, but I would highly recommend their store for any runners or bikers in the area. 

After the Leadville Ski Joring and shopping, we grabbed lunch at a local restaurant, Tennessee Pass Restaurant, before heading back to our home away from home for a short hike. 


By the following day, we were ready to head out for our first attempt ever at cross country skiing. Overnight, we had gotten a few inches of snow so it was a perfect day to have a go at cross country skiing with untouched trails. Colorado is always very humbling – and cross country skiing was no exception. We both had an absolute blast, but it was definitely harder than I expected it would be. I will openly admit that I fell a decent number of times after getting my skis crossed over each other or losing my balance.

With the skiing wearing us out, we were starving by the time we had been out for a couple of hours. We made our way to a nearby bar for a late lunch, McCall's Park Bar.  Their service was great, their food options were classic bar foods but delicious, and their drink menu was pretty extensive for such a small town bar. 

After lunch, we did a quick walk around Alma to explore their main street. Although Alma is small, with a population of less than 400 people, they certainly have some notable places to visit: 


The following morning, I awoke with a migraine. My medication was doing its magic (but barely) so we wanted to do something low-key. With that, we decided to take it easy and have a shopping day in Breckenridge. 

We parked near the main road, then began a trek on foot down the main street of Breckenridge to check out all of the shops. We popped into shops that seemed interesting, but there were so many fun shops to choose from that it was impossible to go into all of them that interested us. 

Of every place we stopped at in Breckenridge, we probably loved Limber Grove the most. They have local artists sell their work there, and one of those artists was even working the cash register when we visited. With that, we were able to talk to him about his works, and even buy some of his personal designs right then. They were a very unique shop, and also greatly supported local artists – a win-win in our books! 

After we worked up a hunger from walking around downtown, we decided to head to lunch. We chose a place for lunch we had never had before, Downstairs at Eric's. They had plenty of pizzas and other foods to choose from, and were able to service us extremely quickly despite being busy. Although we had never been before this trip, I would absolutely go back again because both their service and food were great!


I heavily debated on where to split this blog post into two, going back and forth between breaking right before our move out toward Utah or before our wolf excursion. Ultimately, I decided I wanted to save the wolf excursion for the second post as well – I love the thought of starting off the second part of the trip with my favorite part of the trip.

Stay tuned for more to come soon on the wolves, Utah, and other fun stuff for our March trip. Until then, I'll be heading into the office for work!

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