Last weekend we were in Leadville, Colorado for their annual Crystal Carnival and Skijoring Weekend. The weather was glorious; the sky was a brilliant blue and the sunshine turned the town into a wonderland of sparkling white snow.
I have always wanted to witness the Skijoring Championships in Leadville and the event did not disappoint. Skijoring involves either a dog or horse pulling a person on skis. In Leadville, it’s all about cowboys and cowgirls.
The jingling of spurs mixed with the whoops of the crowd elated by the daring feats being performed by the skiers who are either very brave or very crazy or maybe both.
The skijoring championships in Leadville involve a skier navigating through a course while collecting hanging rings and making a series of three jumps. They do all of this while being pulled behind a galloping horse.
Saturday and Sunday afternoon it’s all about skijoring, but other things occur during the weekend as well. We indulged in a $5 barbeque lunch at the Elk’s Club on Saturday, and found ourselves there again that evening for the Crystal Carnival dance.
The band was Jones & Raine from Denver and they had the crowd two-stepping to country music all night. We danced too – adapting our salsa steps into a sort of salsa meets country swing dance.
Growing up in a rural town in Northwest Washington, country music was part of my town’s culture and the Jones & Raine set that night was the soundtrack of my teenage years. Ryan was highly amused to discover that I knew every word of nearly every song. Come on! Who doesn’t know every word to Dwight Yoakam’s “Fast as You”?
We stayed with Peri and Ed at their Mountain Hideaway guest house on 8th Street. The location could not have been better because we were within walking distance of everywhere we wanted to go. Peri and Ed have lived in Leadville for 29 years and they are a wealth of entertaining information on the area and the colorful characters who call the town home.
On Sunday morning we ate a delicious breakfast at Cookies with Altitude and enjoyed listening to the chatter as local folks streamed in and out of the warm bakery. I adore discovering places such as this; places where a visitor feels like they are part of the community.
This quick trip was a real small town experience in one of Colorado’s most authentic towns. The Wild West still lives in Leadville, Colorado and I love it.
Thank you to Peri & Ed for hosting us on this trip. We can’t wait to visit with you again! You can rent rooms at the Mountain Hideaway or rent the entire house. It includes kitchen, living area and a game room. It would be perfect for a family reunion or a getaway with friends.