YMCA of the Rockies: Reliving and Inventing the Glory Days

In case you haven’t figured out it, I’m a lover of all-things winter so ice skating under a covered pavilion, snowshoeing, Nordic skiing, or tubing at YMCA of the Rockies’ Snow Mountain Ranch = my personal paradise. But there’s so much more!

Kiva Recreation Center

The first night we arrived, we headed over to the newly-remodeled Kiva Recreation Center where my kids roller-skated for the first time (many activities are free when you stay). For kiddos 5 and under, they even had tricycles.After a rocky 15 minutes on skates, Bode momentarily wished he was 5 again.

I relived my childhood glory days of spending Saturdays cruising around to Boy George with my big bangs and winning Shoot the Duck contests. Not familiar with that? Get some speed, lift your leg in the air, squat down, balance on the other leg while holding your extended one and the longest person who can do this without falling is the winner.

As an adult, that is also called suicide.

The kids lost interest after a while and went to play with Jamie as I wound around the rink, marveling at my friend Bryan who mastered the art of roller-skating gangnam style. By the time I sauntered over to Jamie and the kids, they had wrapped up playing basketball and dodgeball and had moved onto floor hockey. I’m ashamed to admit this is the first time my half-breeds have played and Bode, in particular, took to it quickly.

The second I grabbed that stick, something deeply Canadian was ignited within me as I wove in and out of my competition (vicious elementary-school kids), relishing all those days I spent playing hockey with my brothers. My friend Aimee tweeted:I was so fired up after playing that I Googled local teams for Bode and me, resolving women’s floor hockey was in my future. I might even make it an Olympic sport! And then I woke up the next morning in such pain from my plantar fasciitis-prone heels that I pronounced early-retirement.

It was great while it lasted.

Also new since our previous visit was a three-story-high rock climbing wall, which Bode rocked.

Pun intended.

Hadley, on the other hand, was really great at indoor archery. She’s now begging to take additional lessons, along with horseback riding.I think she fancies herself to be Merida from Brave. If only she had inherited my hair….

Sleigh Ride

We had the time of their lives dashing through the snow on Snow Mountain Ranch’s hot cocoa sleigh ride. We met at Sombrero Stables, an on-property private vendor that also offers trail rides and steak dinner rides. (Adult prices are $28, kids 6-11 are $25, kids 3-5 are $12 and under 3 are free).

We bundled up under the provided blankets and were whisked away across snow-covered meadows against a Rocky Mountain backdrop. After a half-hour, we stopped near the old Rowley Homestead, site of the Rowley Nature Museum in the summer. We sipped hot chocolate, roasted marshmallows over a crackling fire, pet the horses and got stalked by a bull moose. It’s no wonder it was our favorite activity of our trip to the YMCA of the Rockies.

 So Much More

At the top of my bucket list is dog sledding and for only $15 for one ride, $25 for two, YMCA of the Rockies is the cheapest I’ve ever seen. However, spots fill quickly and we had already signed up for our Nordic skiing lesson so we opted out. We didn’t have time to head over to the craft center, swim or do any of the activities at the library for our blogger retreat but I have no complaints. At almost every turn, there were games and one night, the kids made a makeshift movie theater under the stairs with NO PARENTS ALLOWED.

When our family travels, I try to capture our final, fleeting moments in a memorable way and some of my favorites have included flying kites with Hadley off our balcony at the San Juan Marriott in Puerto Rico or having the pool to ourselves on a freezing night aboard our Disney Cruise. At YMCA of the Rockies as we prepared for bedtime, it started snowing.

“Mommy, do you see that?” Bode squealed.

“Let’s go to the playground!” I suggested.

So, despite the whirling snow, frigid temperatures and a pitch-black sky, we walked out of our cozy room at Indian Peaks Lodge and giggled our way across the deep snow. Holding hands, we vaulted onto the playground, marveling about our adventure and that it was one night to remember.
And we plan to make many more of them at YMCA of the Rockies.

Thanks to them for hosting a great retreat!


Just tuning in? Don’t miss Parts I and II.

YMCA of the Rockies: My Colorado Love Affair

YMCA of the Rockies: The Nordic Redemption

Other Posts