We got a chance to visit friends in Colorado Springs before riding the train to the top of Pike's Peak. It was 55 or 60 degrees in The Garden of the Gods at the base of the mountain and 30 below (including wind chill) at the summit.
Brian and I in front of the Cathedral Spires at Garden of the Gods.
The cog wheel train to the top of Pike's Peak.
The wind was blowing at 50 mph and it was turning pebbles and snowflakes into stinging projectiles, but we still managed to take in some of the magnificent views. Cainan couldn't even walk in the tremendous wind so we had to pull him along. Brian and I took turns roaming around outside and taking pictures while the other one stayed in the Summit House with the frozen children. We sampled some of the world famous high altitude doughnuts and hot chocolate and then headed down again.
All of us at the summit of Pike's Peak.
The next day we arrived at our condo in Winter Park. We rented our skis and equipment and headed out to a local sledding hill. We rode tubes up and down the mountain for an hour. It was a lot of really speedy fun. By the time we got back the rest of the family (Mom and Dad, Jill and the girls, Eric, Kari and Kira) had made it in and we were ready for supper.
Cainan and Claire at ski school.
Cainan (and his cousin Claire) were busy preparing for their first venture on to the real lift. Cainan wasn't quite tall enough to jump on and he ended up sliding off and hanging on by his arms to the seat while his feet dangled over nothing. Brian and I were both screaming and the lift operator stopped the lift and ran out and lifted Cainan back on. After that we decided to follow the kids up the lift and see if they could get down the slope safely....all 10 of them with only one teacher....none of which could stay on their feet for more than 5 seconds at a time.
No, it's not an alien. It's Ryker in full ski gear.
We ended up going with the teacher and helping her for 45 minutes or so as she tried to get all of the kids down the mountain....5 of which were crying and rolling around on the ground half the time. Brian actually took over Cainan's instruction himself while Mom helped Claire and I helped whoever needed me. Thankfully some reinforcement teachers arrived and we were able to turn the kids over to them eventually. Cainan ended up getting one-on-one instruction from a really great guy for the last 30 minutes and he really did learn a lot.
Ryker and I under the High Lonesome lift at the summit.
All of us on the "bunny slope" on day two.
Cainan, our little ski bum, chillin' in the snow bank.
Video of Ryker skiing in and out of the trees. (I was the skiing videographer that was trying to keep up with him without running into any trees myself.)
A really BAD picture of the whole family with my sunburnt face front and center.
Unfortunately on the 3rd we had to pack up and head for home. Ryker was so disappointed that we couldn't ski "just one more day", but we had to get back so that Brian could get to work on Monday. Our experiences confirmed that we should take skiing vacations more often.