Sunday, May 4, 2008

Weekend Warriors


What a wonderful weekend we had. We were both ready to relax and enjoy our time off - I started a job at Camp Santa Maria, a ymca camp about 20 minutes away. I'm really enjoying my time there but it More about that later!

Saturday we darted into a yardsale at a local church and found some Rossignol skis that are about as old as I am, along with some boots, for $5! The boots fit great and the skis are, well, skis. Nothing special, but they'll get the job done. We headed back to Breckenridge in the rv and stopped in the great tiny town of Alma on our way. Here's some interesting history on Alma -

This mountain town sits at the feet of five 14,000-foot peaks. Located along Route 9, north of Fairplay and south of Hoosier Pass, the current town lies downstream from the original Alma, or Buckskin Joe, as it was known during the mining heyday. At one time, area mines produced over $1,500,000 annually, before the ore petered out and a smallpox epidemic all but wiped out town residents.Relics and spirits remind Alma visitors of the town's mining history. The Sweet Home Mine still produces world-class specimens of rhodochrosite, a mineral known for its beautiful pink rose color.Like oft-told tales of lost ore veins, Alma ghost stories abound, including that of Silver Heels, a mining camp dancer who stayed behind to nurse ill residents during the smallpox-induced exodus. Near the epidemic's end, she contracted the disease, which left her beautiful face scarred. She was never seen again, but to this day, residents and visitors alike claim to have seen a veiled figure walking among the graves of smallpox victims.Today Alma welcomes mountain-hiking enthusiasts, ghost hunters and tourists from Leadville and Breckenridge. Must-sees include Kite Lake, at a crisp 12,400 feet, the ghost town of Buckskin Joe and Alma's spooky cemetery.

Alma is also the 2nd highest incorporated town in the United States, at an elevation of 10,578 feet. The town held on to the number one spot until 2006 when Winter Park, CO became the highest incorporated town due to its annexation of a ski area. We stopped in at a great saloon and grabbed some food and drinks and made it just in time for some Derby festivities.

We proceeded on to Breckenridge, had a few hours of sunlight left and found a hill to hike up. We strapped on our boots and skis and proceeded to hike until we reached a decent elevation. It was so peaceful and serene up there..perfect for my first ski lesson! Jason taught me a few basics and all was going well, until I started going a little too fast for my liking and fell..the wrong way! Instead of falling to the left or right of my skis, I fell in the center of them, and pulled a tendon in my knee. It was growing dark out so we called it a day and snuck in to a really nice outdoor hot tub at the Beaver Run resort. My knee pains immediately went away as I floated around in the 100 degree water while the air temperature was about 30 degrees and stared up at the clear mountain skies. Camped in the rv that night and boy was it chilly! Jason claims I yanked the covers away from him all night long, which I have no recollection of..but wouldn't doubt it. ; )
The next morning we had a delicious breakfast and then proceeded to trot around Breckenridge and explore the boutiques and even went in to the Breckenridge museum and learned a lot of interesting background on the town. I never realized how much of a mining town it was before a ski town. On our way back to Bailey, we stopped in South Park City and explored. Here's a link you may want to check out on the city, another old mining town
Enjoy the photos! xoxoxox

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