Winter in Creede
By Lyndsie Ferrell
CREEDE- The days shorten as the fall colors of the aspens begin to change, the soft sighing breeze of winter hangs breathlessly upon the air. Local wildlife hunker down as the inevitable cold catches the last lazy rays of fall sunshine, turning the world into a silent tribute to the summer warmth. A place of peace and tranquility, unhindered by the busy preparations of a holiday season on the horizon and a New Year of possibilities yet to come, Creede is a place to get away and step outside of the norm.
A hidden treasure nestled in a canyon of high ragged peaks surrounding the small mountain town of Creede, Colorado. A unique place to spend the winter, Creede offers a wide variety of outdoor recreation, celebrations and days upon days of sunshine during the winter months. Known for its mining history the area surrounding Creede is one of many mysteries and small surprises sure to catch the attention of anyone wishing to experience something all their own. A secret hides in the folds of the San Juan mountain range simply awaiting discovery for those wishing to seek it out.
Begin the winter in Creede with homemade delectable treats provided by local businesses during the annual Chocolate Festival. Step away from the mundane and enter into a world of decadent chocolate while shopping for holiday gifts in local shops. No need to bother with the busy holiday crowds in larger cities when you can shop and enjoy sweet rewards while you're at it. Each participating business vies for bragging rights for the next year, as they share their own unique talent in the craft of making the perfect chocolate treat. Homemade goodies offer endless possibilities to quench even the most selective pallet, rendering the inevitable holiday sweet tooth silent.
Winter activities do not end there. Snow begins to fall, coating the world in a white blanket of Colorado fun. Creede has several opportunities to get out and enjoy the winter sunshine. From cross-country skiing to grabbing the sled and sending the laughing kiddos down a hill, Creede is the place to be when wanting to get a touch of the unexpected. The perfect place to get a taste of a good old fashioned Colorado experience. Crowds are non-existent this time of year and solitude is handed out in the bucket loads. Take a walk on the wild side, grab a snowmobile tour and head into the untouched, unseen wildness surrounding Creede or cuddle up around a roaring fire in one of the vacation rentals or lodging accomodations open during the winter months. Either way the time spent in Creede will be worth a lifetime of fond memories.
Holidays have come and gone, the winter is beginning to seem as if it were going to last forever. The New Year brings a revitalized feeling of joy and what better than a good hockey game to rid the soul of pending eagerness? Come join the Creede Hockey Club and participate in the annual “Golden Pick” Tommyknocker Pond Hockey Tournament. This Creede tradition brings amateur hockey players from all over the western United States for two solid days of fun. Local restaurants provide food and the local underground community center offers a warm reprieve for frozen guests. The days are filled with hockey games and the nights are filled with live entertainment and local food. Gather around a warm fire while watching a lively hockey game and sip on hot chocolate or perhaps partake in a hot toddy. A great way to bring in the new year.
Cabin Fever Daze kick off in mid-February to rid anyone of the lingering cold of winter. With the promise of spring in the air, the days lengthen and temperatures begin to rise, locals of Creede decide to have some fun. As Mother Nature re-writes the world in a different font, artists from around the area come out to share in the beauty of snow and ice. Sculptures gather near the hockey ponds north of town and put the chisel to the ice, creating unique forms of art for everyone to enjoy. Guests are invited to glide silently along the smooth ponds on skates, walk town and enjoy an afternoon of sunshine and shopping or take a walk among the towering canyon walls, along Willow Creek as the ice melts, freeing the stream of its winter confines. It is a wonderful time to be outside and see the changing atmosphere while the world releases winter to its icy home allowing spring to pop in around the edges.
Join the locals in a fun game of Creede Curling during the Cabin Fever celebrations. Similar to Shuffle board, the game is a great way to have some entertaining competition with the locals. Slide a bowling ball cut in half across the ice, aiming for the target. The team that wins, has bragging rights and receives a trophy fit for Creede. As many as five teams can compete in the curling games.
After the festivities of the days, the nights are full of live entertainment, a firework show and even a play by the famous Creede Repertory Theater. Find a local eatery on the picturesque Creede proper, where local live entertainment is sure to lure in the fun. Sit back, relax with an ice cold brew and order up some fantastic food to add to the dazzling night life. There's something for everyone, young and old, on the streets of town.
On the final day of getting the fever out, runners of all ages gather south of town for a biathlon, a great way to stretch the legs and enjoy the fresh mountain air. The race takes runners down into the flood plain below town, weaving along the nearly frozen Willow creek as it glides gracefully along. No need to hurry and no need to take your time, either way the race is a rewarding end to a wonderful weekend in historical Creede.
Creede is an unhindered destination with a plethora of unexpected experiences for those who wish to step away from the mundane and grasp a hold of the untethered Colorado lifestyle, even if only for a while. Whether visiting during the summer to partake in the famous Creede Repertory Theater or to enjoy some winter activities in the quiet forest around Creede, it is sure that guests will walk away with a story to tell and a few cherished memories to keep for all time. A place that once you visit you become family and are welcomed with open arms to experience what the locals get to see everyday.