Matt RaibleMatt Raible is a Java Champion and Developer Advocate at Okta.

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Over 10 years ago, I wrote my first blog post. Since then, I've authored books, had kids, traveled the world, found Trish and blogged about it all.

The Ski Train

This morning, I woke up at 5am, packed up the car, dragged Abbie and Jack out of bed and headed to downtown Denver to catch the Ski Train to Winter Park.

Ski Train

The kids were pretty groggy when I woke them up at 6, but perked up pretty good when they realized what we were doing. It probably didn't help that they didn't get to bed until 10pm last night (DU Hockey game).

I called earlier this week to buy tickets and they told me they were sold out. They recommended getting there at 6:15am to buy some from folks selling them. We were able to buy tickets (in different rows) and then waited until 7:15 for the train to leave.

I've always enjoyed traveling by rail and today's trip was no disappointment. It did take three hours to get up there, but the views were great and the kids loved the 29 tunnels along the way. The "breakfast car" was a big hit too - breakfast burritos, donuts, bagels among many other things. Our seats kinda sucked because they didn't have a window, but we moved to another car and found some that had a great view.

Two things I really like about the Ski Train are 1) you can leave stuff on the train and 2) it drops you off less than 50 feet from a lift. Abbie and Jack both rode the T-Bar lift for the first time in their lives today and pulled it off without a hitch. Abbie can not only ski all by herself, but she can get up when she falls and even puts her own skis on. Jack (3 and 1/2) still seems to be a little young for skiing as he refuses to do "pizza" - mostly because it slows him down. We had a heckuva time today and I'd recommend the ski train to anyone in Denver that's looking for an easy way to the mountains with beers on the way home. We arrived back in Denver at 6:30pm - a 2 hour nap for the kids.

There were a lot of groups on the train and it does seem like an awesome way to enjoy a ski day with friends or co-workers. I'd highly recommend it if you ever get the chance.

Posted in General at Feb 24 2008, 10:09:47 PM MST 5 Comments

When you told me about doing this... I was pretty sure it sounded like one of Dante's levels of hell. In fact, we were coming home today after a long day of church and errands and the like... and were fairly worn out and tired of the way Grady (1.5 yrs) was behaving... and I was actually able to calm myself down by telling myself over and over again... "At least I'm not Raible on the ski train."

Sounds like it turned out to be a fairly smooth and fun trip though. Good stuff.

Posted by Country on February 24, 2008 at 11:34 PM MST #

Wow....I wish we had a ski train! Of course around here you've got to drive a minimum of 6 hours to get to any decent skiing!

Posted by David Sachdev on February 25, 2008 at 09:43 AM MST #

I love trains - and have ridden them all over the world. The first time I took the ski train it was great - dropped us off right in front of the lifts. The return trip however was dismal - due to logisitical bottlenecks - did not arrive in Denver until 1:30am. No consideration, no refund. I'd love to do it again - but I cannot convince the wife it would be a good trip again. Glad y'all had a good time.

Posted by Greg Bloodworth on February 25, 2008 at 10:16 AM MST #

Greg - I had a similar experience the first time I rode it in summer quite a few years ago. It took over 6 hours to get home because it had to pull over for "more important" trains quite a few times. I was extremely happy to see this one make it home in 2 hours. It could have been quite ugly.

Of course, if you rode the ski train with friends - there's plenty of beer on board to make it a fun night. Furthermore, there were lots of groups that packed lots of post-skiing snacks and wine. It seems that you can BYO anything - so pack a full cooler.

Posted by Matt Raible on February 25, 2008 at 10:25 AM MST #

I love that train ride! Yeay for you guys!

Love trains so much don't care when they run late. Trains put me in a happy trance. 12 hours late to Sacramento feels the same to me as on time. What I DO mind is the people complaining about lateness the whole time. Oy! Need to bring earplugs next time to drown THEM out. :))

Adore the view, seeing elk and deer, falling asleep when it gets dark and waking up with the crack of dawn. (Not true in my regular life!) Talking to strangers in the scenery car with the huge windows to see all around. We even had impromptu singing with 3 previously complete strangers. (I was too entertained to do more than listen.) Next time bringing the travel guitar!

Allen recommends the train system in Alaska. Their customers insist on better service and nicer cars.

Posted by Christina on February 26, 2008 at 10:57 AM MST #

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