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Summer Solsticing (and Traumatizing) at Granby Ranch

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[photopress:Hadleyprofile.jpg,full,pp_image]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 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: [photopress:JamieTP.jpg,full,pp_image]

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.

Amber Johnson
Author: Amber Johnson

Amber is the founder and editor of Mile High Mamas, travel writer and former columnist for The Denver Post. She is a passionate community builder and loves the outdoors. She has two awesome teens and is happily married to a man obsessed with growing The Great Pumpkin.

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  • comment avatar Yvie June 30, 2008

    I like the butterfly on her cheek. 🙂

    I’d like to try a nature-trippin’ with my family sometime.

    I’m simply loving the view there.

  • comment avatar Ashley June 30, 2008

    That looks like a really fun little trip! I love that your family is so adventurous, exactly like mine. 🙂

  • comment avatar Karen June 30, 2008

    I live in fear that I will be called up to perform in front of a crowd. How funny your hubby’s involved toilet paper!

  • comment avatar Amber Johnson June 30, 2008

    Yes, that lovely butterfly that looks like a bat. Against my better judgment, I let the gal paint it black and pink, knowing it would just be a big black blob in the end!

  • comment avatar Skyler Jamison June 30, 2008

    I LOVE Granby Ranch. In fact, we are possibly even looking at properties there!

  • comment avatar Mel @ A Box of Chocolates June 30, 2008

    What I would give have our families go on an adventures together. The amount of bloggin material would be priceless!!

  • comment avatar Guinevere Meadow June 30, 2008

    I’m curious what a toilet paper race is…we Floridians are much too sophisticated to engage in such apparent tomfoolery… 😉

  • comment avatar pisceshanna June 30, 2008

    Hahah Doncha love summer in Colorado?

  • comment avatar Kirsten June 30, 2008

    I could write a book on the traumas my husband has caused our daughter.

    Tooooo funny!

  • comment avatar Kirsten June 30, 2008

    P.S. Granby Ranch sounds like a blast!

  • comment avatar Rachel Johnson June 30, 2008

    You crack me up, especially about the princess band-aid. Because NO KID should ever have to go without one when hurt!

  • comment avatar Landry Smith June 30, 2008

    I still remember the first time we took my kids on a real hike. They could not wait for their big adventure. By the end, they were either whining or being carried.

    Granby Ranch’s pampering is MY idea of a good time!

  • comment avatar Landry Smith June 30, 2008

    And I LOVED that your husband got called up in front of everyone. 🙂

  • comment avatar Jdude June 30, 2008

    Your husband does not seem to be too disturbed by the fact that he has been turned into a giant toilet paper dispenser. That in and of itself is what you should be more concerned with. Was he?

  • comment avatar Amber Johnson July 1, 2008

    Thanks for the comments, everyone. And nope, he wasn’t at all concerned he was a toilet dispenser. Perhaps in his single years this would have been a problem but since he has become a diaper-changing papa? He didn’t flinch.

  • comment avatar Amber Johnson July 1, 2008

    Agreed on the great feedback on Granby Ranch. We love it there, too!

  • comment avatar Melissa July 1, 2008

    Sounds like a great place to go visit! And that last picture? I think you need to frame it 🙂

  • comment avatar Amber Johnson July 1, 2008

    I’ll frame it, right next to his prize-winning pumpkin certificate. 🙂

  • comment avatar Lauri July 1, 2008

    That sounds like a fun place. I think we had been to granby but I am not sure and I don’t think we ever saw a ranch.

  • comment avatar Amber Johnson July 1, 2008

    Lauri–Granby is the town. Granby Ranch at SolVista is a development not far from there. It is truly beautiful!

  • comment avatar imaginary binky July 2, 2008

    Amber, it’s your fault that we ate at Country Road Cafe in Evergreen (and loved it). Now it will be your fault that we travel to Granby. How dare you offer up such great ideas?!

    *shakes delighted fists in your general direction*


  • comment avatar Heidi Ahrens July 5, 2008

    Well it sounds like you had a fun filled day. I agree with [email protected] a box of chocolates that the more little trips you do the more material you have to write. It also creates some quite funny and interesting memories for all involved.
    the only thing I don’t get is that you talked about the large amount of nature loving family at the ranch but I don’t see the connection with the events going on.

  • comment avatar yvonne July 6, 2008

    You guys always seem to have the best time. I love it!!! Your husband is such a good sport. (Too bad there wasn’t a diaper flinging contest–YOU COULD HAVE WON!!!)