Keystone Adventure – the Road Trip
This is part of a series of sponsored posts. Keystone Resorts provided complimentary activities for our family to enjoy during our stay.
Keystone Adventure: Day 1
For years, the boys have begged for a “cold vacation.” They wanted snow, skiing, snowboarding, pond hockey, and sledding. They wanted hot coco, and apple cider! So, after a little research and planning, we chose Keystone, Colorado for our first venture into the world of winter vacations. Being on a budget means flying at Christmas is out of the picture. Road trip it is! Mapping out our route we realized 16 hours in a car, longer with stops for gas and food, was not a good plan. I don’t know about you, but I can only handle so many, “Are we there yet? He’s on my side! He’s looking at me. He’s touching me!” If we were to do all 16 hours, longer with stops, I don’t know for sure that we all would survive the trip. The half way point was Amarillo, Texas.
We left before sunrise. The boys slept in the car for a large part of the morning. We stopped for a late breakfast/early lunch at Whataburger. We ventured into the local Wal-Mart to purchase spray paint to take to the Cadillac Ranch. Each boy got to choose a color to take out to spray paint the old cars that are part of a public art installation. It’s totally allowed and encouraged. You just don’t want to have to get your paint at the gas station nearest the Ranch. We paid about $4.00 a can at Wal-Mart for our Poppy Red, and Fluorescent Green paint. Also, it’s a good thing we went into the store with them. The boys aren’t old enough to purchase spray paint by themselves. I didn’t know you had to show ID to buy spray paint.
Coming soon – Check out my guest post on The Educational Tourist about cool stuff to do in Amarillo, Texas!
By the time we made it to Amarillo, we were all ready to be out of the car! And, boy had the temperature dropped! Between Houston and Amarillo we went from being in the upper 50’s to the upper 30’s!
After we checked into the hotel, we had dinner at https://www.bigtexan.com/. The menu is huge with options for even the pickiest eater. They had a robust beer list, as well. We thought the “Whoop your Donkey” was the funniest name for a beer. Our steak was amazing! And, while we didn’t attempt the 72 oz. free steak challenge, we did see a guy giving it a try. You have one hour to eat a 72 oz. steak, 3 fried shrimp, a baked potato, a roll, and a small salad. My hubby watched for a bit. Apparently, you need a strategy. The guy divided all the food into four parts. If he ate one part every 15 minutes, he’d complete the challenge in the allotted hour and get it all for FREE! After we ate, and took in some of the Big Texan sights, we headed out to check out the Cadillac Ranch. The boys were most excited to spray paint cars and not get in trouble! After such a long day in the car, Amarillo provided a nice evening.
Keystone Adventure: Day 2
Up and going the next morning, we drove through a ton of little towns. Realizing gas stations can be few and far between we opted to get gas if we were at half a tank, and came across a gas station. I can tell you when a community is known for cattle, or chicken processing – you do not want to get stuck there! Wow! That was a smell like no other. We crossed into New Mexico, and watched the sunrise behind us over the Rita Blanca Grasslands.
After hours of boys watching downloaded videos on their phones, a few games of Uno, a round of pop-culture trivia, we were ready for a break. By lunch, we were almost to Denver. We managed to to get the boys to hold out until the Mile High City. We all needed to stretch our legs, and the Denver Diner provided the perfect opportunity. We had a great lunch and got to see the Mile High Stadium. My hubby gets excited about seeing football stadiums. He was bound and determined to get a photo. I realize the photo isn’t the best, but when the husband is doing 70 mph on a freeway in Denver while insisting, “Take a picture! Take a picture!” It’s the best I could do. It’s the same with the frozen waterfall. “Hey! Hey! Hey! Look at that! Did you get a picture!?!” And….”Don’t forget to watch for the Air Force Stadium. I really want a picture! It should be coming up. Do you have the camera ready? Boys – get your phones ready! Harley, I think it’s on your side. Did you get one?” Does anyone else practice photography this way?
Keystone Adventure: SNOW!!!!
So, if you know anyone from Houston, or the Southeast Gulf Coast area, you know they don’t see snow. Even if it “snows” it usually turns to light tan sludge pretty quickly. It isn’t light, fluffy, deep, powdery snow. And, while we are experienced at driving through torrential, hurricane wind and rain; we shut down everything at the first sign of snow or ice. Before leaving, we did make sure I had all weather tires. Side note: I didn’t know they made different tires for different seasons. A friend from Denver asked what kind of tires I had. My response, “Round, rubber, black ones.” Also, we (meaning the hubby) made sure to add antifreeze to wherever that goes. The one thing we forgot…..the water for cleaning your windshield. Evidently, there is a chemical you can add to it to prevent freezing. We forgot to add that part. So. . . . this was the view from our front windshield once it really started snowing:
At first we could see snow capped mountains. Before too long, snow was everywhere. It was snowing!
Not being familiar with the area, or the various routes, we followed along with the navigation system. We ended up on the Loveland Pass. If there were guard rails, they were covered in snow, or maybe there were no guard rails. There were ominous warning signs about falling rocks, and avalanches! The road was icy, and the route was a series of zigzag, hair pin turns around and up the side of the mountain. Even at 15 mph, we still slid a few times. If we had gone off the road, we either would land in the snow covered trees, or plummet to our death. For a while we had a slow moving snowplow in front of us. You can see it in the photo through our filthy front windshield. We were thankful for the sand he was putting down on the road. But eventually, he pulled off to the side to help a tanker truck. We were left to continue our perilous journey at a turtle’s pace. I can only imagine what the local drivers thought of this crazy Texas family moving along at 10 to 15 mph. We survived the heart pounding, white-knuckle gripping, treacherous ride through the pass. After about 30 minutes to get through the pass, praying the whole entire time , our hotel was a welcome sight! Of course my husband had to quote the movie “The Hangover” with, “But, did you die?”
Thankfully, we didn’t plummet to our death, or land in the snow covered trees because our true adventures were just getting started!
More adventures found @ http://adventuresbymom.com/keystone-adventure-we-made-it-now-what/