We went to Costco on Christmas Eve and loaded up on 4 lbs of Alaskan King Crab legs. What did we do with all of em??? We had some free time between Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve…..sooo, we decided to spend a few days in the mountains, away from people, in a rustic cabin, eatin’ crab legs and filet mignon – just Sean, me and Yogi. It was fabulous.
I’ll keep this post short and sweet as the trip was just that – short and sweet.
Where did we stay? The Beyul Retreat – Beyul is the Tibetan word for hidden lands. The property is aptly named as it’s a remote property in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. There are 15 cabins (Wifi free) and a main lodge with 8 rooms on 32 acres in the Frying Pan River Valley roughly an hour from Aspen, CO. It used to be called the Diamond J Ranch back in the day. In fact, it started operations as a guest ranch in 1941 – the place has been around for a LONG time.
The drive up through the Frying Pan River Valley is a STUNNER.
In 2021, some young. local entrepreneurs took over the Diamond J, revamped the name, and are trying to broaden the experience. The Wall Street Journal mentions, “The new owners have reimagined the property as a Burning Man meets backcountry experience, complete with artist residencies, breathwork sessions, avalanche safety courses and holistic hunting workshops that emphasize ecosystem management and full-animal butchery.”
It could have been the time of year, but we didn’t feel any of that vibe. I do, however, trust they have a vision and will do their best to make it so. It really is beautiful up there – the sky is the limit for their dreams. In all fairness, we did stay in our cabin most of the time – we only interacted with the owners once a day at the main lodge when we checked email. It was kinda sweet not being tethered to our phones all hours of the day and night.
The cabins are pretty basic and no frills – we often like it that way. The one thing about this place is you have to bring all of your food – I mean ALL of it – spices and oil included. There is no grocery store so if you forget something, you are hosed. We forgot eggs and had to borrow one from the staff to make brownies! Each cabin is outfitted differently so pay attention to that when booking – not all of them have full kitchens. If you are making something super special, it might also be a good idea to bring your favorite cooking utensils.
Once we were settled in, we put on our snow shoes and got outside. There was a TON of snow – in fact, it snowed almost 8 inches+ every day we were there – it was gorgeous! There were trails right on property that will take you for miles and miles. We also drove up to Forest Service Road 505 and snowshoed a portion of the route to the Betty Bear Hut – one of the more remote and difficult mountain huts to get to.
Yogi was in dog heaven – he loves the snow. He couldn’t run fast enough through the soft powder.
We also cooked up some of the best crab legs and filet mignon we have ever made. Too bad the only picture I took was of the leftovers in the sad aluminum foil. One of our good friends whipped up some chocolate mousse for us – it was so good we made it last the whole time we were there.
A couple of things that make our relationship so great is that we LOVE to play cards and build puzzles. The day before we left the cabin, we cracked open a 2,000 piece puzzle. Our checkout time was 10:30 the next morning so we had a bunch of work to do! We (Ok, maybe I) became OBSESSED with that damn puzzle. To make a long story short, we made our deadline with 4 minutes to spare. I don’t think my back and neck have ever been so sore in my life. lol.
Anyhoo, that’s it! We slept, ate, drank, snow-shoed, puzzled, played cards in simple digs for 3 nights. It was great. Loved every minute of time spent with our small, but precious family. Can’t wait to do more of it once we aren’t strapped to our jobs.
…i choose this…