Colorado Adventures - Gasthaus Eichler, Winter Park

Monday, June 11, 2012
It's been a while since the Smart Man and I indulged in a Colorado Adventure, and we were glad to get back to it. We decided on Winter Park, Colorado, which is primarily a ski resort, but also has summer activities. If you like to bike or hike, this town is a perfect summer destination. The people were all friendly and everywhere we went the service was exemplary.

The Lodgings


Our room by the creek
We stayed at Gasthaus Eichler, a German style Guest House on Winter Park's main thoroughfare. Our room was clean and looked out over a local creek next to the hotel. The weather was mild enough that leaving the windows open was a good idea, but for city folk like us, the sound of a babbling brook (and the local railroad) resulted in our waking up often during the night.

Our hosts were Hans and Hannah - who obviously hail from the region where Gasthauses are common - and they were gracious, easygoing and attentive. The atmosphere of the place was relaxed and happy, with Hans and Hannah taking care of most matters personally. The cost was very reasonable, and we've put this establishment on our short list for return trips, because DUDE - THEY HAVE A BEER GARDEN.

The Food 

As is our custom, we chose to eat our meals in our hotel. Since Gasthous Eichler also has a German restaurant, that worked out great, especially for the Smart Man - he has an unnatural fondness for German dishes. His choices included Jagerschnitzel and Weinerschnitzel, while I limped along with Elk Medallions in a Red Current reduction and Lemon Caper Salmon. The German dishes were served with a variety of German sides such as sauerkraut, red cabbage and spaetzle, all home made. All our meals were delicious, and the cost was quite reasonable, as well.

The Activities

They blew the whistle a lot, too
On Saturday we decided to take a ride on the Georgetown Loop, a historic train pulled by both a steam locomotive and a diesel locomotive. It's a narrow-gauge railroad, originally installed to manage mining activities in the area. The views were pretty spectacular, and who doesn't like trains?

Sunday morning we decided to try something different, and got up early to visit Dog Sled Rides of Winter Park. It's too late in the season for the dogs to actually be pulling sleds, of course, but they have a summer alternative - the dogs pull modified golf carts, instead. You have to be there at 6:15 a.m. to ensure the weather's not too hot for the dogs to pull, which means it's chilly.

A well-earned water break
OMGWTFBBQ, this was so much fun. The dogs (like working dogs everywhere) were all anxious to be chosen for the "team," and the ones left in the kennel were obviously disappointed by this turn of events. And the ten dogs that pulled our cart were the best examples of "ready dogs" I've ever seen. They were READY. Ready to go, ready to work, ready to run. There was even a pup on our team named Blaze, not yet a year old. He was paired with a more mature animal named Gabby, who reminded me of many Drill Instructors I've known. Blaze would start to goof off, messing around in his harness, and Gabby would school him with a snarl and a nip, clearly telling the youngster to quit fucking around - this is serious business, young man. WE'RE WORKING DOGS, HERE. 

The dogs were all quite friendly, as well, as we got a chance to pet them after the ride as their musher unharnessed them and put them away. The moral of the story: A tired sled dog is a happy sled dog. Jeff, the proprietor, told us that they run sled rides all day every day during the winter months, with professional mushers on every sled.  Highly recommended!

The Long and the Short of it

We'll be returning to Winter Park as soon as we can work it back into our schedule, as we look forward to enjoying Hans and Hannah's hospitality, as well as another visit with the dogs.

6 comments:

Janice's footsteps said...

This looks like an awesome adventure :} we just acquired a Live stock working dog and she is some getting use to but so full of spirit. I hopped over from Megan's blog to check out more on the reading challenge, I am on board, looking forward to the assignment I'm a new bloggee friend to your post :)) Happy Monday.

Janiece said...

Welcome, Janice's footsteps.

The Mechanicky Gal said...

OMFG I WANT TO GO.
Vacation plans in the works.

Janiece said...

MG, I'd be happy to take you. What are you doing Thanksgiving weekend?

JstPam said...

Looks like an awesome vacation!

Aileen said...

How wonderful! I love love love your description of the dogs - I can just picture them in my head!