Wedding on Top of a Mountain and Breakfast Enchiladas

July 16, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Posted in Breakfast, Chicken, Mexican/Southwest | 29 Comments
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Ever tried drinking and dancing for hours at 11,500 feet? It’s a tough job. Even raising a glass of champagne to toast the bride and groom can cause a slight shortness of breath. 🙂 Nonetheless, seems like we managed. A couple of weeks ago Brian, son of friends Tom and Kathy got married to Melanie on top of a mountain at a ski lodge above Keystone Resort. It was hands down the most beautiful wedding I’ve ever attended.

Timber Ridge Lodge is located at the top the of the North Peak and you feel like you are on top of the world. At 4:00 in the afternoon two separate gondola rides escorted us to the lodge with spectacular views along the way. At 11,500 ft, the views are stunning and the interior a cozy Mountain lodge atmosphere.

The ceremony was held outside on a wooden deck with majestic views of the Gore and Ten Mile Range as back drops. 

We spent the next six hours with family and friends in glorious celebration.  

When the announcement is finally made for last call for alcohol everyone rushes the bar for one more lemon-tini, the DJ starts packing up and as much as you hate it, it’s time to head down the hill. In the dark and I mean D-A-R-K.

Most of us have only been on a gondola on a bright sunny day, encapsulated with jubilant skiers, enjoying lively conversations about runs and moguls while gazing down at forty inches of fresh pillowy white powder. In the dark, you take note of your ominous surroundings. In daylight we hadn’t noticed that those gondolas creak, groan, grind, sway, have no lighting, and for no apparent reason stop periodically to dangle you in silence . And in June when you’re wearing a flouncy skirt and strappy heels, you take note that the dangle is above sheer granite.  No powder, no sturdy boots or ski suit to cushion the blow when the cables snap and you plummet. 

Maralee and Greg

All of a sudden those cute little comprehensive graphics inside the gondola warning you not to hang  legs, feet and head out the door that we chuckled about on the ride up, didn’t seem so frivolous. They also ask that you not jump wildly up and down in order to get the gondola to bouncing in mid-air. At that moment I took a deep sigh of relief that our friend Maralee wasn’t riding down with us.

And what if the thing breaks down? How do “they” get you out and off the mountain? You’re a couple hundred feet in the air and a couple of miles from town…do they get some guy out of bed at midnight to get dressed and  run a cherry-picker up the hill while you sit there in the dark? Or do they send helicopters and you have to climb the ladder to safety? And who are “They”? The only people I saw running this operation were 17 years old guiding you to make sure your high heels didn’t catch in the metal mesh flooring as you were running along side the gondola to jump aboard? Ok, I’ve officially exaggerated, it was a brisk walk. 

Oh, I suppose somewhere down in the village there’s a NASA type high-tech control room with dozens of men in white shirts, sleeves rolled up wearing black rimmed glasses staring intently at computer screens to make sure tiles don’t come loose as you re-enter the atmosphere.  

Maybe I should have had one more lemon-tini before heading down the hill.  Alrighty, so let’s talk about food. 

On the way back to Denver, we stopped at Sunshine Cafe in Silverthorne. I had breakfast there about 20 years ago and remember it fondly as serving up some flat-out delicious breakfast food. When we walked in the door, I felt I was transported back in time. Nothing about the place had changed. Just picture a modest small town cafe.  As you walk in the door, you are greeted with the smell of fresh brewed coffee, maple syrup, the sound of plates and silverware clanging and bustling attentive waitresses balancing generously filled plates of food on their palms while ushering you to your table. 

I ordered Chicken Enchiladas nestled in a bed of perfectly cooked crispy shredded hash browns, topped with some of the best green chili I’ve ever had, sided with two sunny-side-up eggs and a beautiful bright avocado. You can order the green chili with or without pork.  Mine was with.

Of course I had to try to recreate this at home. It’s a great Sunday Breakfast idea.  Let’s take a look.

Just make a big pot of green chili. Dip some corn tortillas in enchilada sauce. Sautee them briefly in a small amount of olive oil in a skillet. They are very fragile at this point, carefully fill them with shredded cooked chicken breast and grated Monterey Jack cheese, top with green chili and bake in the oven until all is nice and warm. Maybe 15 minutes. Serve over hash browns, side with eggs and an avocado.

Enjoy a slide show of Keystone Village in the Summertime, the beaver ponds that line the Snake River, our gondola ride and the beautiful celebration of the marriage of Brian and Melanie.

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  1. High altitude plus champagne = FUN!

    • Plus wine….plus martini’s…..

  2. Spectacular view! I mean the mountains, rivers and all are nice, but look at those eggs! Kidding. Everything looks great.

    • I’m always amazed when a restaurant serving a room full of people can serve up perfect eggs like that.

  3. What fun! AND what a breakfast!

    • I loved that breakfast! My green chili didn’t turn out as delicious as theirs however.

  4. Love seeing the snow in the summer; that was such a shock when we first moved her to see snow in August even if a bit higher up. Looks so gorgeous; I can see why you thought it was such a beautiful wedding. I’m heading to Snowmass on Thursday…now a bit more excited even than I was before!

    • Barb, I look forward to hearing all about your trip to Snowmass! Have a wonderful and safe trip.

  5. Wow! To think we are dying here of plus 100F temperatures daily! This looks like a great wedding!

    • It’s to be around 100 here today … I’ll be turning on that AC early.

  6. What a fancy affair and what a view. (And to think we thought we had high altitude around here at 4000′.) I would say that’s a great way to start a marriage. The ride down sounded scary and I bet you’re glad for those martinis. Your breakfast sounds stick-to-your-ribs delicious Lea Ann.

    • It was quite elegant. Beautiful wedding. Yes Sam, our mountains are quite majestic and most certainly “up there”. The ride down was quite an experience, and truthfully only a couple of nervous moments. It was just so dark.

  7. I’ve ridden the gondola at night and even with the slopes lighted, it was still dark. What a magnificent place to have a wedding. We ate lunch there the year it opened – they provided slippers for you so you could take your ski boots off. Keystone has grown alot since my first visit in the mid 80’s. I’m sure glad I won’t be getting the bill for that wedding. I just love the food from the little diners and your plate looks super good. Thanks for the slide show as I’ve only seen the area in winter.

    • Well, I guess someone forgot to turn on the mountain lights the night we rode down. And where the heck was the moon? 🙂 It really was quite the experience with truthfully only a couple of nervous moments. Are you saying you ate lunch at the lodge? I really like Keystone and when I used to ski, really liked it there. And A-basin. Seemed like there weren’t “as” many tourists. I can’t imagine the bill for that wedding. Sunshine Café is in a strip mall situation, I’m sure there’s plenty of room to park an RV… I’m must sayin. Wish I could make green chili as good as theirs.

  8. What a lovely trip. If the cafe’s eggs are anywhere as good looking as yours it would be worth the trip up for that alone. Yum!

    • Karen, those are the restaurant’s eggs. 2nd photo is my attempt at home. 🙂

  9. Brilliant location for a wedding, Lea Ann! What fun for everyone. And I loved your slideshow!
    Super job on those enchildas too.

    • It was spectacular Barbara. I love that enchilada idea for a big breakfast, a delicious combo

  10. What an amazing experience. My son is getting married next year, and I know it will be at a beautiful farm here in farm country, but I seriously doubt the surrounding will top that!

    • How beautiful and serene to have a wedding in farm country.

  11. I laughed so at the humor in your story. I think those would have been my thoughts exactly. I love enchiladas and yours sound great.

  12. What a beautiful place for a wedding! I’ve never seen the mountains in any season other than ski season and I’m sure it’s even more breathtaking in the summer. I’m glad I didn’t have to ride the gondola down in the dark though 🙂

    That is a delicious breakfast!

  13. My kids just left from the wedding weekend here and I’m about wedding’ed out . . . still, this looks like a really spectacular event and the gondola trip sounds like a wild adventure (the best kind). And just look at you and Bob – you two are such a beautiful couple! I’m glad you included that in the gorgeous slide show.

  14. This sounds like a gorgeous wedding although not one for the faint of heart! (Or those of us with fear of heights. Ahem.)

    And those enchiladas…I am SO craving those right now.

    • I’m thinking I won’t drive you over Independence pass if you ever come to Colorado. EEK. 🙂

  15. LOL about the tiles coming loose! Can’t imagine that ride in the dark. This dish looks great – and now I really want to see the mountains again. Oh wait! 2 weeks and I’m there!!! 🙂

  16. What a gorgeous spot for a wedding. The cake was spectacular! Loved this post – and your slideshow. Back when DH and I lived at 45 below sea level, we went to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon one year. We huffed and puffed all day long… there just wasn’t any oxygen up there!! It got funny when we found ourselves out of breath from rolling over in bed during the night. LOL

    • That cake was outstanding. The one layer was decorated to look like bark of a tree. Impressive. I understand that oxygen thing.

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