Magazine article Sunset

Runners in the Woods

Magazine article Sunset

Runners in the Woods

Article excerpt

Say good-bye to the last snow of winter with dinner and a sleigh ride

The departure area is abuzz. People are introducing themselves, climbing into sleighs, and pulling warm blankets over their laps. Beneath the darkening sky, wranglers make final adjustments to harnesses and jingling bells as the teams of locomotive-size draft horses shift impatiently, clouds of steam puffing from their noses.

The horse and buggy era may be long gone, but there's something timeless about gliding through snowy woods in a horse-drawn sleigh. This is especially true when the sleigh stops-if not at grandma's house-at a cabin or tent where you can warm up and enjoy a good meal before the starlit journey back to civilization.

A number of Colorado outfitters offer dinner sleigh rides that range from casual to elegant. At most of them, you'll be welcomed to a cheery backcountry cabin or tent with a hot drink. Oil lamps, candlelight, and a woodstove help maintain the mood of an earlier era. Dinner is usually a buffet or served family-style; at some dinners you'll be treated to live entertainment such as mellow folk songs or a merry hoedown.

The trips listed here are typical of dinner sleigh rides you can find throughout the Rockies. Prices listed are for adults, and most places offer special rates for children; reservations are a must. Ask about entertainment and wine and alcohol service. Dress warmly and don't forget a scarf for the brisk ride home. …

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