Full moon at a Colorado winter resort

full moon over a Colorado resortfull moon over a Steamboat resortTuesday night was the full moon for February, which is a really amazing thing here at our Colorado winter resort during the winter.  When the meadows and mountains are covered in snow, the full moon’s reflection lights up the Elk River valley.  It’s amazing how bright it can be when it’s dark outside!  You can even see your shadow on the snow.

Ok, so I can’t take credit for this photo of the full moon, but I found it and it inspired me.   I actually found it onliine, taken somewhere near the Steamboat resort in January.

I don’t get the chance to get out and play as much as I used to in my pre-kid days.  But, I have fond memories of full moon snowshoes “back in the day”.  My favorite one is with my buddy Tim (do any of you remember ranch hand Tim, from way, way back in the late 90′s?).  We hiked up Hinman Mountain on snowshoes one of those full moon nights. We didn’t take headlamps, and there was no path to the top so we just explored and found our way up there.  The hike started through a thick forest of trees, up a super steep hill.  Then, we broke out of the trees and into the open mountain side.  From there on, it was just serene and peaceful and we didn’t talk much.  We watched our shadows and listened to the soft crunch of the snow under our feet.  At the top, we sat down and enjoyed looking out over the valley, down on the ranch.  It was bright enough with the light of the moon to see the whole valley, and see our Colorado ski lodge down below.  The lights of the cabins seemed so far away, but the place looked cozy and inviting.  We could imagine all those folks who were enjoying a winter vacation finishing up their dinner and heading off to their cabins.  After enjoying the view for a bit, we made our way back down.  I don’t remember what we talked about, or if we even talked at that point. 

Honestly, I think about that magical night every time we have a winter full moon.  One of these days I’ll strap on snowshoes and take my family up to that spot.  The great part about these mountains is that they aren’t going anywhere.   I look forward to watching my shadow in the middle of the night the next time I’m up on a mountain with a full moon shining down on my back.