A sickly, fabulous birthday in the mountains

A couple of weeks ago, I turned really old. At least that’s how I felt when I woke up at Copper Mountain, sicker than a dog (I had previously felt just as sick as a canine but three days on the mountain had left me worse off than when I began).

But really, it was tough to feel sorry for myself because it was the final day of my mother-daughter getaway with Hadley, we were at Copper Mountain and this was what it looked like from my bed. I called it my “sick view.” Pun intended.

Despite how I felt, there was no way I was wasting my birthday so dragged myself out of bed, had a leisurely bath and we headed downstairs from our condo to Belgian Bean Waffles & Coffee. I was disappointed there wasn’t a bigger selection of waffles and toppings beyond strawberries, mixed berries, caramel, chocolate and whipped cream. But that stopped the moment we sunk our teeth into our unbelievably delicious Belgian-style waffle with mixed berries and whipped cream. We then ordered a magic cookie bar (my favorite) for dessert.

Don’t judge. It was my birthday.


We went back to our condo where we packed up our gear and checked out. We had originally intended to stay at Copper Mountain for one of their Free Ambassador Snowshoe Tours (which they offer two times a day) but the more moderate, family-friendly tour wasn’t until after lunch. I did some research of the area and decided we should go snowshoeing at the Frisco Nordic Center, just 10 minutes down the road from Copper Mountain.

I’m a longtime fan of Frisco and am moderately obsessed with having a cabin in the Frisco/Breckenridge area someday (OK, really obsessed). We have spent a lot of time biking the more than 80-mile network of paved, non-motorized paths that originate in Frisco and wind through Breckenridge, Dillon, Keystone, Copper Mountain and Vail.

Set on a peninsula overlooking Lake Dillon, The Frisco Nordic Center is one of the most scenic areas along the route and that’s why I’d recommend forking over the wintertime trail fees: $20 for adults, youth ages 7-17 are $15.

Snowshoeing at the Frisco Nordic Center

I bought the kids snowshoes on clearance at REI last year but this was Hadley’s first time using them. The 1,800-acre playground overlooking Lake Dillon’s glistening white panorama was the perfect place to break them in. Another advantage of “paying to play” were the 15 km of well-marked snowshoe trails. I’m not a fan of getting lost in the mountains, which is really easy to do with snow covering the trail. We had markers at every turn, which made our 1.5-hour loop that skirted the edge of the reservoir that much more fun and stress-free.

Frisco Adventure Park

By the end of our outing, we were happy, exhausted and ready for more so we walked across the street to the Frisco Adventure Park, which offers a tubing hill, beginner ski and ride hill and dinner sleigh rides. It was Wednesday and I expected the place to be a ghost town. I was wrong. We joined legions of other snow enthusiasts to watch a short safety video, grab our tubes, head up the magic carpet and then careen down the lengthy, FAST 1,200-foot tubing lanes.We had a blast together but I almost lost my breakfast as we caught air on each of the bumps.

Getting older has its benefits but a weak stomach isn’t one of them.

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