In the pool: Getting soaked near Redstone |

In the pool: Getting soaked near Redstone

Scott Condon/The Aspen TimesShopping for antiques is part of the experience at Avalanche Ranch.

REDSTONE – Avalanche Ranch has raked in loads of good press lately. I learned over the weekend it’s well deserved.

A group of us rented the three-bedroom ranch house at the property five or so miles north of Redstone for Friday and Saturday nights. The house is nothing fancy, and neither are we, so it was just the ticket. It’s crammed with antiques and features a massive stone fireplace. It oozes character.

The two dogs with us seemed to be as amped up about the mini-vacation as the seven humans as we dribbled in at separate times Friday evening. After mowing down an ample share of food and grog, we made our first foray to the developed hot springs at about 9 p.m. The springs are a stone’s throw from the ranch house and easily within walking distance of 13 log cabins on the property.

After loading up on huevos rancheros the next morning, we worked off the calories with a hike through the spectacular scenery between Marble and Crystal. Upon our return to the ranch, we immediately headed back to the hot pools to soak our strained muscles. It was warm enough in the sunshine to hang in the pool that is coolest in character as well as coolest in temperature. Warm water pours off a short waterfall and splashes into the pool. You can burrow in behind the cascading water and gaze out at a flank of Mount Sopris and other mountains rising sharply from the Crystal Valley floor.

My only regret of the trip came Saturday night. After watching the Broncos get drubbed for a half, my colleagues faded fast. You know you’re getting old when four out of seven people are too wiped out to even make it through a game of Uno. I wanted to feed them shots of Geritol to bring them back among the living. Needless to say, a late-night excursion to the hot pools wasn’t in the cards.

We made up for it the next morning. Four of us were up before dawn and to our pleasant surprise found we had the warmest of the three pools to ourselves. We watched the stars fade as the sky lightened – a perfect start at a perfect ranch.

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