Skiing Holiday in Keystone Colorado

Jocelyn Murray September 27, 2010 1 Comment

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Outside Lone Eagle Lodge Keystone Colorado

Outside Lone Eagle Lodge Keystone Colorado

Our skiing holiday in Keystone, Colorado of February 2007 was cold and eventful. As natives to Southern California, the temperature change was a bit shocking. We just happened to be traveling at a time of year when blizzards were commonplace and getting snowed in was very likely to happen.

We flew from LAX International Airport to Denver, where we had made arrangements for transportation to drive us to Keystone two hours away.  I was not excited about the prospect of having to sit in a heated van – no matter how comfortable – after our 3 hour flight, especially as we were traveling with our two young children, ages 2 and 4 at the time. We made sure to take my son’s car seat and stroller. The car seat was very useful during the flight, as he was accustomed to it already, and was able to sit there without much of a fuss. Having a portable DVD player and the children’s favorite videos was a great idea, as it helped to keep them quietly entertained.

Keystone Colorado Lone Eagle Lodge

Relaxing in the living room of our Lone Eagle Lodge

We stayed at Lone Eagle Lodge, tucked away in the woods at the base of Keystone Mountain located across from the gondolas and ski lifts in River Run Village. The luxurious accommodations include heated outdoor pool, hot tub, full health club facilities, a well equipped fitness room, spacious common lounge and library, concierge, ski lockers, and shuttle service to nearby shopping and restaurants.

Our spacious and beautifully appointed 2 bedroom 2 bathroom penthouse had a full kitchen with dishwasher,  granite counter tops, slate floors, tumbled marble baths, living room and gas fireplace. Although the kitchen was stocked with all the tools necessary for the gourmet chef, we opted to eat out most of the time, as cooking was not on the holiday’s agenda. A washer and dryer came with the suite, and proved quite useful as anyone with young children knows.

Ski School Lift for kids Keystone Colorado

Ski School Conveyor belt for kids in Keystone

We enrolled our children in ski school for the first time, and they seemed to enjoy it. It was by the main ski lifts, and a short walk from the lodge itself. Enclosed in a fenced off area, the ski school had a conveyor type belt that would take the little skiers up a short slope, only to return by plowing slowly behind their instructors like little ducks in a row. It was very cute to watch them all bundled up with their gear and helmets. This allowed us time and freedom to enjoy the slopes on our own.

We spent the days skiing, and every evening having dinner at local restaurants. Then we would get cozy by a roaring fire in the hearth of our suite, watching the snow fall in a parade of softly shimmering light. There is plenty of shopping and nearby dining all within walking distance, including Starbucks coffee, the Great Northern Tavern, Blue River Bistro, Paesano’s or Kickapoo Tavern. There is also an opportunity to go ice skating on the frozen lake, although we did not do so. We did however, take the children tubing and sledding which they loved, as made evident by their squeals of delight.

Moutain View from Gondola Keystone Colorado

Moutain view from Gondola Keystone Colorado

Because of the icy cold weather, riding on the ski lifts was not an option. Instead, the gondolas were used to transport the skiers up the mountain to the slopes.  Each night, the freshly fallen snow made the ski conditions lovely, although one of the days the weather did get a bit too blustery, affecting visibility and making it just too cold to brave the slopes.  Unfortunately, both my children caught colds, and my son developed an ear infection that required us to take him to the emergency room nearby for treatment and antibiotics.

The day of our departure proved to be quite an adventure starting with a bottle of medication pills I had left unattended on the living room table for mere minutes.  But that was all it took for a curious 2 year old to help himself to what he may have thought was candy.  Within about 20 minutes of taking the pills, he stumbled groggily about while we panicked and gathered him up to take him to the emergency room once again. It just so happened that a blizzard was coming and the roads were closed. So between taking my son to the emergency room, praying for the roads to open so that we would not be snowed in and miss our return flight to Los Angeles, and attempting to find accommodations in case we missed our flight, we were in a state of utter frenzy.

Hot Tub Lone Eagle Lodge Keystone Colorado

Melting away in the hot tub of the Lone Eagle Lodge

Our stay in the emergency room lasted a couple hours, and aside from appearing like a little drunken sailor, my son was ok. Luckily he had only taken one pill so he did not require any treatment other than observation and monitoring his vitals. Our driver arrived as my son was finally released from the emergency room, and we hastened to climb into the van and begin the 2 hour drive back to Denver when we discovered that the roads were closed.

As our penthouse had already been leased by other occupants, my husband searched to find us other accommodations for the night. Shortly after checking into a condominium at another lodge, we got word that the roads had opened, albeit briefly, as another blizzard was expected. Not wasting a moment, we jumped in the van and our driver took off, as we prayed that the roads would remain open and that we would not miss our flight. We arrived at Denver International Airport in a flurry, and literally ran to the gate with minutes to spare before boarding.

Top of Inner Tubing Slopes Keystone Colorado

Top of inner tubing slopes at Keystone Colorado

Our return flight was not at all pleasant because both my children were sick. They cried almost the entire flight back, making me cringe as I counted the minutes before we landed. Although our holiday had been mostly pleasant, the final episode left its indelible mark, assuring me that I did not wish to return. It is just easier to fly directly to the town where you will be staying (like our recent ski trip to Vail), rather than having to fly and then drive a couple of hours. It made it a bit grueling, especially with the unfortunate events of our departure day. Yet time has a way of softening some of the blows of yesterday, and allowing us to fondly reminisce and laugh about our experiences. Perhaps someday we may return now that the children are older and more independent.

In town with the kids Keystone Colorado

My husband in town with the kids in Keystone

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avatarAbout the Author:

Jocelyn Murray is a travel writer and historical fiction novelist. She holds two university master's degrees in both English and Education, along with a bachelor's degree in Economics and European Studies. She also has a teaching credential and taught at the elementary school level.

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One Comments to “Skiing Holiday in Keystone Colorado”
  1. avatar Winter in Park City Utah and Telluride Colorado with the Kids says:

    [...] Skiing Vacation Holiday in Keystone Colorado Vail Winter Vacation at Lion Square Lodge VN:F [1.9.6_1107]please wait…Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)VN:F [1.9.6_1107]Rating: 0 (from 0 votes) About the Author: Genie Davis is a multi-published fiction author, screen and TV writer, and travel writer. If it was possible, she'd like to spend every day traveling. http://www.geniedavis.com Tags: Colorado, Ski VacationsReviews, Travel Excursions [...]