Summer Solsticing (and traumatizing) at Granby Ranch

A week ago, we attended Granby Ranch’s summer solstice. The resort went all out for this celebration that included fireworks, BBQs, chairlift rides, face painting, golf, crafts, a climbing wall, trampoline, massages, pony rides and mountain bike demos. To name a few.

We reallllly wanted to go on this trip because:

1) It sounded fun. Duh.
2) The following weekend would be our dreaded camping trip with the children and we wanted them to have at least one positive experience with the great outdoors. Even if it meant enjoying it from the great indoors of our slope-side condo.

If you’ve never been to Granby Ranch, you must not be a hip, nature-loving family with young children in Colorado because that is 90 percent of their audience. The other 9 percent consists of suicidal mountain bikers who barrel down the resort’s new mountain bike park. The remaining 1 percent? Toileting-papering, hike-traumatizing city folk like us.

One of our best–and worst–experiences was shortly after we arrived. Much to the delight of the children, we rode the chairlift to the summit. The plan was to then hike through the resort’s wildflower-laced meadows and sing “Climb [Down] Every Mountain in a scene reminiscent of the Von Trapp Family Singers.

Yeah, right.

Our children have been on the trail since they were six weeks old so they are well acquainted with the rigors of the backcountry. Just not the hazards of their father.

We were about halfway down when my husband Jamie proclaimed this place was where he nearly killed his father 20 years ago when he convinced him to forsake the bunny slope.

Hadley chose this Valley of Death to announce that she needed a break. Before I could object, Jamie spotted a grove of trees and proceeded to climb over an obstacle course of deadfall before plopping down on a log. Bravely, Hadley followed her daddy and within moments, she let out a death-defying screech. She had sliced up her hand on one of the logs.

Really, the damage of a few slivers was minor. But if you are four years old and there is no princess band-aid in sight, you think your life is O-V-E-R. I will spare you the sordid details of the rest of the hike but let’s just say it was replete with a few of her [Not-So] Favorite Things.

After a full day’s activities, we settled back on the deck listening to live music and enjoying a gourmet BBQ. As the evening progressed, the hilarious Jackman Brothers performed. At Bode’s insistence, I left to replenish his plate with even more food. Because evidently five ribs and countless chicken nuggets were not enough for our 1-year-old garbage disposal.

Upon our return, we made a very disturbing discovery:

Some would consider this to be my husband subjected to the humiliation of getting called up in front of hundreds of people for a corny toilet paper race.

Others—like my father-in-law and daughter—would call it Payback at Granby Ranch.

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