Monday, September 8, 2008

Mini-Cation- Kicking Horse Mountain Resort

Just take a second to breath in the fresh, pine-laced air. There is frost in the air, but it's a only a short walk up the pine-timber stairway to Vagabond Lodge where a warm welcome awaits. Ken and Lori Chilibeck welcome you to their mountain-side Lodge, channeling the historical Club Vagabond in Switzerland where hikers, and outdoor enthusiasts can gather after their adventures around a warm fire, sipping their cocktail of choice.
Pulling up to our accommodations this weekend, I have to admit being a little intimidated by the red Ferrari parked in the lot, next to the Lincoln Navigator. But those fears were quickly waylaid by a friendly, down to earth welcome from Ken himself. A quick tour of the lodge showcased their impeccable attention to detail, and concern for their guests' comfort. Designed to allow the guests to mingle at their leisure over a game of pool, a cocktail fireside or on the balcony with sweeping alpine views, the concept is incredible. Furs, antique hiking and ski equipment nestled in the common areas are only the beginning of the pieces of art you will encounter around the lodge.
We unpacked our suitcases into the solid oak wardrobe in our suite, sat for a short rest on our window day-bed and changed into our bathings for a dip in the hot tub. Putting our bottle of Reisling into the fridge behind the common bar to chill we headed past the fireplace, pool table and soon-to-be completed sauna to the outdoor hot tub. My aching muscles from training, and partner's sore shoulders from the 2.5hour drive from Calgary appreciated the warmth. Sitting under the stars, facing the mountain slopes it was a true way to begin our weekend of leisure.
Retiring to our queen feather bed for a glass of the aforementioned Riesling, we entirely forgot where we had come from- that busy city somewhere to the east.
The next morning we were served a hot breakfast of fresh scones, peach oatmeal, strawberry pancakes, muesli, eggs etc. The dining area was bright with morning sun, and the other guests were excitedly talking about their outdoor excursions for the day. It was a fun atmosphere to meet couples from Scotland, and one from North Carolina (who inquired if the red car parked out front was ours- choke!). The rest of the weekend was much of the same comradry and comfort.
Must-Do while at Kicking Horse Resort:
Stay at: Vagabond Lodge- Kicking Horse Mountain Resort
Get your morning java: Bean Bag local, fair trade and organic roasters, downtown Golden.
Lunch at: Whitetooth Bistro with an executive chef with a flair for fresh, local produce and asian influence on 9th Ave (downtown) Golden.
Fresh greens at: Golden Farmer's Market, Saturdays during the summer from 10-2
Health infusion at: Columbia Valley Natural Health Center at 503 9th Avenue North, Golden BC. With the largest selection of organic, bulk spices, beans, flours and other necessities it is a must-stop. I even found the elusive aduki beans for moon cakes in bulk here. I also came away with a great big bag of mate loose tea for the most reasonable price I have ever seen.
Supper or Sunday Brunch at: Atop the mountain at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, in Eagle's Eye Restaurant
Pub fare and tomfoolery at: Local Hero Pub at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort

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