Mike Nelson's Colorado: Gourmet Dinner Sleigh Ride

Visitors Enjoy A Gourmet Meal In The Back County

SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. - Colorado is known for its many wonderful and unique restaurants. There's even a back country campsite serving a three course meal and a music show. And to get there, you go for a sleigh ride.

The evening starts when the mule teams arrive at the Frisco Nordic Center with their sleighs. It's a beautiful sight complete with sleigh bells ringing. Guests are welcome to take photos and pet the draft mules.

After a welcome from one of the drivers, families hop on the sleighs and hit the trails. The scenic one mile ride goes through the trees, across the snow, past the peaks, to the back country camp site.

"About a 15 to 20 minute ride out with spectacular views of the mountains, overlooking the town of Frisco and Peak One," is how John Lampe, co-owner of Two Below Zero sleigh rides, described the trip.

At the camp site, guests find a large, heated tent. Inside, musician David Peel welcomes them with music. At the tables, hot chocolate is served to warm them up.

As families make themselves at home, the sleigh drivers become servers. Bringing out the first course of soup and even a little peppermint schnapps for the adults hot chocolate.

Behind the scenes in the kitchen, there's controlled chaos. The cooking team and servers quickly serve up dozens of plates of chicken, steak, vegetables and potatoes. Within minutes, the dinner bell rings and the food is served.

"I think it's a good experience for the kids and I think it's a lot of fun," said Michele Bolice of Corpus Christi, Texas.

The Nellis family came from Kansas for spring break. They thought they'd try something different.

As the visitors finish their meals, Peel returns playing everything from Johnny Cash to Neil Diamond to the Mickey Mouse theme song.

"He impersonates everybody and gets the crowd singing along," said Lampe.

Families often find themselves singing along inside and maybe even outside as their sleighs take them back home in the moonlight.

"It just seemed like the appropriate thing. We're in Colorado. There's snow. How old fashion and perfect is that?" said Sandi Miles from Chandler, Okla.

Two Below Zero is at the Frisco Nordic Center in Summit County. They offer winter sleigh rides and summer chuckwagon dinner rides and a wild west show. To make a reservation, call 1-800-571-6853 or visit their web site, DinnerSleighRides.com.