HeidiTown.com turned ten this fall and that’s a real milestone for a blog. It’s been a fun ride with many adventures along the way. This year happened to have more than its fair share of plot twists with two big eye surgeries in a span of nine months. That unfortunate turn of events put a real cramp in my travel style. I did, however, manage to make it to a handful of great festivals and wonderful destinations around Colorado and beyond.
I attended several stand-out events this year around Colorado. One of the most memorable was Winterfest in Pagosa Springs where each year, hot air balloons take to the air during an ascension event. Last February, I was in one of those hot air balloons and the scenery of the Pagosa Springs area from the air was stunning. Continue reading
You’ve heard about it in songs and perhaps you’ve seen it in a movie or commercials, but did you know that you can do it right here in Colorado? Several places around Colorado offer horse and sleigh rides, and earlier this winter we got to experience an outing at Snow Mountain Ranch, a beautiful YMCA of the Rockies property in Grand County, Colorado.
We arrived at Sombrero Stables a little before our scheduled excursion. All the draft horse teams were lined up, waiting to be hitched to their sleighs for multiple afternoon outings, so we walked down the line giving head scratches and taking photos.
I fell in love with draft horses while writing a series of articles about Norwegian Fjords for a Colorado newspaper. Draft horses are called “gentle giants” for a reason; their demeanor is calm and they are unlike any other horse I’ve been around. I love their chill personalities. Continue reading
Three years ago I got together for drinks with two good friends, Christine Forster, owner of My Big Day Events and Mechelle Martz-Mayfield, owner of NOCO Short Bus Tours. That’s when we developed My Big Date, the first-ever Valentine’s Day tour packages in Loveland, Colorado.
This year, we’re at it again and the My Big Date tours are better than ever. We even have a hotel partner offering discounted rates to our attendees. This is especially important because it’s difficult to get a hotel room in Loveland on Valentine’s Day weekend – most hotels book up.
Our tours are so good that our VIP Brunch & Brew tour on 2/14/16 is already sold out, but there are still available tours on 2/13/16. Continue reading
Last year I finally got the opportunity to attend the International Snow Sculpture Championships in Breckenridge, Colorado. I’d known about the event for years and wondered if it would live up to the hype.
We were booked at the Village at Breckenridge and our room overlooked the parking lot in which the snow sculpting teams were working on their creations.
We were lucky enough to stay for long enough to watch the sculptures as they were carved into their various final compositions.
As we watched the sculptures take shape over several days I was blown away by the size and intricacy of each piece. The photographs I had seen of this event, while amazing, just simply hadn’t done it justice. Seeing this event in person is truly astounding.
This year’s event International Snow Sculpting Championships run Jan. 18 through February 7, 2016. The ideal time to visit, in my opinion, is Jan. 26-30 while the sculptures are being created, especially Jan. 29 when the teams work late into the night to finish their pieces. Watching the sculptures come to life, so to speak, is quite astonishing. Continue reading
Dog sledding in Colorado? Yes, you can. I’ve done it twice now and our experience this past week at Snow Mountain Ranch was like no other.
I was a huge fan of the Iditarod when I was a kid. The race incorporates lots of things I love; dogs, snow and perseverance.
Snow Mountain Ranch is part of the YMCA of the Rockies. It is located between Winter Park and Granby, Colorado and is a snow sports fanatic’s dream destination. In addition to dog sledding guests can participate in everything from cross country skiing to fat biking to ice skating and the best part? Guests never have to leave the property. Continue reading
Each year I compile a list of my top ten highlights and each year it gets harder. This year was no exception. From birding festivals to wine festivals to festive Christmas outings, 2015 was chockablock with amazing Colorado experiences.
I truly hope you took inspiration from my travels and had a few Colorado festival and travel highlights of your own this year. At the end of this post feel free to leave a comment telling me a few of yours.
Without further ado, here are my top ten highlights of 2015 in no particular order.
The gift of a tomato in Crested Butte
Coloradans adore Crested Butte and before I visited this fall I wondered if the town would live up to the hype. Not only did it live up to my expectations, it exceeded them. The Crested Butte story I will tell for the rest of my life is that of the gift of the tomato. I’d only been in town a few hours when, while riding the free bus from town to the resort, a man gave me a beautiful heirloom tomato. Where else but in Crested Butte does a person receive the gift of fruit from a perfect stranger? No wonder folks adore this quintessential Colorado town.
Snow Sculpture Festival in Breckenridge
I’d been reading and hearing about the Snow Sculpture Championships in Breckenridge for years and in 2015, I finally attended. I discovered that there’s a good reason this event gets so much attention – it’s amazing. We were blown away by the spectacle of huge snow sculptures coming to life over the two day period while we were in town. This is an event that should absolutely be on your Colorado bucket list. Continue reading
This was the most unique winter festival we attended last year. It’s a spectacle of creativity and fire and must be experienced to be truly understood. And, the fact that it’s held in Telluride is a big bonus.
Part Burning Man, part community party, 2015 was the inaugural year of Telluride Fire Festival. The first thing we witnessed on our first night in town was El Pulpo Mecanico. I’ll admit, this fire breathing art car was one of the most amazing things I’ve witnessed in my nearly 40 years on this planet.
Telluride Fire Festival is broken into various piece. There are free events held in the Town of Telluride and in Mountain Village. There are also ticket events. Last year, March Fourth put on an outstanding ticketed show during Telluride Fire Festival.
There are also festival workshops. You can learn to weld or spin fire (yes, fire!). Some workshops have a fee while others are free. See a list of them here.
Dozens of artists come to town for this festival. From fire spinners to DJs to dance troupes, you won’t be able to toss a snowball without hitting an artist during Telluride Fire Festival. This is what makes it one of the most inspiration winter festivals in Colorado. See a list of participating artists here.
During the day you can participate in workshops or visit participating art galleries around Telluride, or you can ski or take a yoga class. That’s the beauty of Telluride, there’s a lot to do in this beautiful town.
Each night of fire festival there will be an event to warm you up including a dance party on Friday with Rob Garza, a Costume Fire Ball on Saturday and a fire-spinning party on Sunday.
A VIP event takes place Thursday evening and only those who purchase an All Access Pass will be allowed into this private reception.
An All Access Pass is just $195 (must be 21 or older to purchase). Purchase your pass here. Tickets to individual events are also available.
While some events are 21 and older, in general this is a festival for anyone who seeks to ignite a creative fire within their soul. I guarantee that something you see, hear or feel at Telluride Fire Festival will spark your imagination.
Telluride Fire Festival
January 14-18, 2016
Free & ticketed
Featured Festival spots on HeidiTown.com are paid advertisements. Interested in having your festival or event considered for a feature? Email TheMayor@HeidiTown.com.
When it comes to ghosts, I’m a skeptic, but I’m a skeptic with an overactive imagination. Therefore scary movies keep me up at night and staying in a haunted hotel can leave me with a racing heart and clammy palms.
My most haunting ghost experience actually happened in college while I was living in a huge Victorian mansion in Bellingham, Washington. On three separate occasions, just on the verge of sleep, I saw what looked like wispy human forms drift through my room; a little boy and a woman. These incidents were not scary, but slightly disconcerting.
Hotel Colorado, Glenwood Springs
Not long after moving to Colorado in 2000, I stayed at the Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs. The first stay was uneventful, although I will admit that the hairs on the back of my neck stood up whenever I had to walk down the large, dark hallways at night.
The next visit was during our anniversary trip in the mid-2000s. We had a small room at the end of the hallway. That night I woke with a start. It felt like someone had just sat on the end of our bed. Continue reading
Sitting on our room’s patio at the Table Mountain Inn, we felt a million miles away from the big city. This is the best part of a visit to Golden, Colorado; it is a small town that’s so close to Denver metro and the Front Range that you’ll hardly see your fuel indicator move on a drive there.
We were in town to attend the Golden Music Festival, but this 2-day itinerary works for whatever happens to bring you to Golden.
We arrived on a Friday afternoon, checked into our hotel and decided to indulge in nachos and a couple gigantic margaritas on Table Mountain Inn’s restaurant‘s new patio. A great idea because it was happy hour and everything was just $5, plus the nachos were impressive.
Tour Miller Coors Brewery
After our snack, we walked the short distance to Coors for our VIP tour. This was my first-ever big brewery tour and it was an eye-opener. The scale on which Miller Coors brews beer is staggering. My husband kept referencing “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” as we gawked at huge copper kettles and ginormous two story vats of bubbly stuff. Continue reading
It’s time for another HeidiTown segment on KRFC 88.9 FM.
June has five weekends, so that’s changing up my recording schedule. After this segment, I won’t be back on the radio until July 3rd, so this week’s segment covers the rest of June.
Without further ado, listen NOW to the HeidiTown segment on KRFC.