Every intern class, the USOC sends us on an intern excursion of our choice. Our group decided that with our last free weekend before the Games began, we would drive up to Breckenridge, Colorado, and spend the weekend there. While Breckenridge is traditionally a ski town, we knew we’d be able to find things to do in the off-season.
After a two hour drive from the Springs, our car of Connor, Dom, Jimmy, Courtney, and myself, stopped on the edge of a mountain at a scenic overlook just to marvel at the Rockies we were driving through. We thought it was one of the most beautiful overlooks we’d ever seen. Boy did we have no clue what we were in for this weekend.
Once we got into town, we stopped at Fatty’s, a restaurant that we’d heard great things about. The pizza was delicious, and afterwards, we continued just out of town to our place for the weekend, a huge, beautiful house tucked against a mountain. Friday night, we all explored the place and relaxed, tired after a day of work and a long drive.
Saturday morning, a few of us woke up early to watch the Open, one of the most famous tournaments in golf. Afterwards, we all got dressed, made a quick lunch, and headed out into town to ride the famous Breckenridge gondola. The free gondola takes you up to Peaks 8 and 9 that overlook the town and to the Peak 8 Fun Park. After spending some time on the mountain, we descended and stopped in town to walk around and explore.
When the rain started coming in, we packed up and decided to stop at the grocery store to pick up drinks for our big hike the next morning. While driving, we may have taken a wrong turn, and ended up on a winding road heading up a mountain, overlooking a lake. We decided to stop and explore, and found one of the most breathtaking places. As we took pictures on the ledge, we realized that there were dozens of chipmunks surrounding us! Naturally, we all tried to feed them and get the craziest pictures with them. I’m pretty sure Connor won with his Connor Nolte: Animal Hunter picture, earning laughs all around. We hiked around the trail and found some of the most beautiful spots, despite the thunder, lightning, and rain. We came home, drenched, and changed into sweats as Connor started a fire in the living room, and we all looked at the day’s pictures and laughed some more. It was quiet, peaceful, relaxing, and the perfect way to end the day.
Saturday night, we held a cookout and our whole group chowed on burgers and dogs, cooked by resident grillmaster, Jimmy. We packed up our bags with an early morning ahead, and settled in to watch most of an out-of-order double feature of The Dark Knight and then Batman Begins.
Breckenridge was beautiful and quiet and the perfect place to vacation to with my friends before the Games really get going this week. Tomorrow’s the first day of competition and with the Opening Ceremony on Friday, it’s going to be absolutely insane around here for a while, so Breck was the perfect weekend getaway!