Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!
Oh, the weather outside is frightful,
But the fire is so delightful,
And since we’ve no place to go,
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
My brother and his wife and their kiddos came to visit for Thanksgiving and we got our first snow the day before Thanksgiving. We had planned to go exploring, but decided to start the fire, stay in side and watch this snow fall. It was so peaceful and beautiful. The next morning we went for a hike around the Red Rocks group campground in Pikes Peak National Forest.
The day after the Thanksgiving feast we climbed the Manitou Incline.
“In 1907, the Manitou Incline was constructed as a one-mile, funicular, cable tram to aid in the construction of a nearby hydroelectric plant and waterline. In 1990 the Railway operations ceased to exist and the rails were removed, creating a natural staircase of railroad ties and an open invitation to hikers.” This information came from the inclindebasecamp.com website.
The ‘trail’ is super steep – you gain 2000 feet in elevation in .88 miles – or 2768 steps. And yes – that’s my nephew way up the trail ahead of us. We made it to the top – I only wished it had worked off more of the delicious calories that I consumed the day before.
Speaking of ‘inclines’, right after we got down from the Manitou Incline, we took the Cog Railway to the top of Pike’s Peak. I remembered riding the train at some point when I was young and we had come to Colorado Springs to visit my Uncle Nolan and Aunt Joyce.
Click here for some history on the railway. After running trains for 126 years, they shut down the operation to rebuild the tracks and to upgrade everything to state-of-the art equipment. They had the Grand Reopening this Spring and I couldn’t wait to go. Click here to see pictures from their grand re-opening. The view from 14,000 feet at the top of Pikes Peak is just incredible.
The next day I took my niece and my two nephews to Seven Falls – which is referred to as the Grandest Mile of Scenery in Colorado. It is a series of seven waterfalls inside a 1250 foot box canyon. You can climb the 224 steps to follow the water to the top of the waterfalls. Still didn’t work off enough calories … This picture is of the small waterfall at the top – the box canyon ones are much more impressive.
You can climb more steps to get to the Eagles Nest for an incredible panoramic view of the falls and the box canyon – they also have a gift shop with all kinds of jewelry made from minerals and rocks – I of course had to add to my collection.
While we were hiking we noticed, and heard, people soaring above us. They have built zip lines and suspension bridges above the canyon. Click here to see the zip lines. That is now on my bucket list of things to do! In fact – I want to take my daughter Kayla there for her birthday with me next year!
If you ever get to the Colorado Springs area – I’d highly recommend these activities!
Wow – you had to read through all of this to get to the ‘real purpose’ for my blog post today. My muscles were sore – and I need a heat bag to comfort them. In fact, I am using one right now to comfort the back of my thighs. I just taught classes on how to make the heat bags at the Pinners conferences in Indianapolis and in Scottsdale. Click here to see all the Pinners Conferences currently scheduled for 2022. I’ll be teaching at quite a few of them and would love to see you there!
They are really easy to make – and would make a great gift. If you have someone who is just learning to sew – this would be a great project – It’s all straight lines. I created two separate components – the cover, and the ‘heat bag’. The original ones I made years ago were all one piece, but I like having the cover separate so you can wash it when needed.
You can download the pattern for free from our website, just click here. If you haven’t ever downloaded a free pattern from our website before, you just need to put it in your cart and check out (no cost) and we send you the link for the downloadable pattern.
In terms of what to use when you fill the heat bag – I typically use rice, wheat or flax, but there are other materials you could consider like cherry pits, whole corn or pinto beans. Because the heat bag goes in the microwave – I would use a fabric that is 100% cotton. In terms of the cover – you can use lots of different fabrics – my favorites are fleece, flannel and soft Soft Shannon cuddle fabrics.
Hope you have fun making gifts for your friends and family this holiday season!