Relaxing at 9.600 Feet

Where: Breckenridge, CO

Who: The Whole Clan plus Mimi and PawPaw

When: July 7-12, 2014

I never thought I’d get chilly in July, but Summit County, Colorado, opened up new possibilities for me.

Thanks to the “bonus points” we got when we bought into Hilton’s timeshare network last year, we were able to spend five nights at Valdoro Mountain Lodge in Breckenridge. The town sits at around 9.600 feet above sea level, and it’s surrounded by numerous mountain peaks in the 14,000-foot range. It may be the most dramatically situated town I’ve ever seen.

View from the 2nd-floor balcony of Breckenridge's Visitor Center

View from the 2nd-floor balcony of Breckenridge’s Visitor Center

The temperatures were in the 70s and 80s during the day with very low humidity, and they dropped into the 40s two nights we were there. This was quite a different experience from summers in Montgomery, where July lows are usually in the 70s and humidity wraps around you like a blanket the instant you step outside.

Breckenridge was founded in the 1850s as a mining town, and that industry was its mainstay well into the 20th century. When the mining dried up, the town hung on (just barely) until snow skiing became popular around the 1950s. Breckenridge reinvented itself as a recreational center and has been going strong ever since.

We learned a lot of this history by exploring the free museum in the town’s visitor center. One highlight was a video explaining the challenges the railroads faced in getting their trains up the steep mountain pass to Breckenridge. Another was a kid area containing period clothes for trying on. Naturally our boys wanted to jump right into them.

Son #4 as a pioneer.

Son #4 as a pioneer.

Look for posts about our time in Breckenridge in the next few days. There’s lots to tell!

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