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Explore the local area for winter fun

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Patricia VanBeek
  • 90th Missile Wing command chief executive assistant
If you've been outside lately, it is probably as clear to you as it is to me that winter is officially here to stay. One of the biggest challenges we face during our long winters, second only to the wind, is boredom. It seems like just yesterday we were rejoicing over the arrival of summer and already it's time for our heavy coats. But do not despair! Just as in summer, there is plenty to do in and around Air Force Global Strike Command's F. E. Warren AFB during the winter months. There are a variety of snow sports to play, holiday activities to attend, and places to go.

Since we have roughly eight to nine months of winter in Wyoming, it may be a good idea to try to embrace it. Snow has already started falling here in Cheyenne, and the summits of Medicine Bow and the Rockies are covered in it. Snowboarding, skiing, sledding, snowshoeing, ice skating, ice fishing, snowmobiling, dog sledding, sleigh rides and even ice-wall climbing await just outside your door step in Wyoming and Colorado. Jackson Hole, Wyo., offers some of the finest trails in the country, but you can also find world-class facilities within a couple hours' drive. If you don't know where to start, stop by our Outdoor Recreation or Information, Tickets and Tours offices and they can gear you up and point you in the right direction. The last weekend in January is SnoFest at Keystone Resort; what a great way to get out and enjoy the snow and camaraderie!

We've already entered into the holiday season and there are plenty of things to do to get you into the holiday spirit. Santa will be visiting places all over town and holiday lights are going up everywhere. In downtown Cheyenne, you can take a Holiday Lights Tour on the Cheyenne Street Railway trolleys. The Cheyenne Civic Center will be hosting the Moscow Ballet performing the "Great Russian Nutcracker" and the historic Atlas Theater will be presenting "A Christmas Carol." There are also a ton of opportunities to practice one of my favorite pastimes, holiday shopping!

For some indoor fun, the Budweiser Events Center, just outside of Loveland, Colo., offers concerts, shows and hockey games. Or, you can catch a Nuggets game down in Denver. For an extra way to stay warm this winter, visit one of the many hot springs scattered all over Wyoming and Colorado. Rent a cabin with some friends and sip hot cocoa by a roaring fire - you can find some awesome and affordable ones in Estes Park, Colo. If you got out and explored during the summer, go out and explore those same places in winter and you will be pleasantly surprised at the transformations that occur during this time of year.

Of course, winter brings with it some challenges as well. Winter driving poses hazards, as well as some of the snow sports mentioned above. Wear your personal protective equipment when appropriate, dress in layers when playing outdoors, and pay attention to the weather forecasts.

Utilizing a little common sense and good judgment should allow you to stay safe while enjoying this season. They say "time flies when you're having fun," so instead of idly waiting for the winter to be over, try some new things, and hopefully we will be welcoming warm weather before we know it.