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December 18, 2002
Suddenly, ahead of us, we see someone swinging a lantern, signalling us to pull over and park. The horse drawn sleighride to the restaurant doesn't pick us up for another hour. Somehow, I got the time mixed up, so??????? We park the car.
As we're contemplating what to do for an hour,we notice across the snow an ancient log cabin, with smoke rising from the chimney. The lights are on inside. I can see a sign against the wall under a dim light reading "Toklat Gallery"- OPEN-
We pile out of the car with trusty flashlight and head through snow on what appears to be a trail. We enter an incredible cabin, all hand-crafted. I'll never forget the wooden front door lever. As we enter, a giant malamud puppy (you know, the kind they use for dog-sleds) greets us. We enter a gallery of incredible arts and crafts, wooden hobby horses, ethnic arts from local and afar. All perfectly selected and placed in complete harmony. While walking through the front entry, I noticed a room where only ancient rugs were kept. We then entered a main room, where I notice a wooden slab dining table suspended to the ceiling. Iron rods hooked it to the large beams running through the room. The gallery owners,Lynne & Isabel Mace (mom and daughter) greet us and made us feel like long lost friends. Absolutely amazing collection of items and artwork. Fantastic experience unto itself.
Soon it was time to meet up with the other dinner guests. Everyone was to meet at King Cabin. Not only were people heading up to the restaurant by sleigh, there were also skiers outfitted with headlamps, preparing for the Flynn Trail. Soon a sleigh pulled up, drawn by the largest horses I've ever seen, Belgian Draft horses. Everyone climbs in, bundled in warm wool blankets. Off we sleigh into the snow, accompanied by the night skiing diners. It wasn't long before the first xmas carol broke out. Everyone sang along, "Jingle Bells" the obvious hit of them all.This was a kodak moment. Nothing like children singing xmas songs.
When we started approaching the Cookhouse, the horses kicked it up a step.The driver had to whoa them down a little.The cookhouse is set way out in the wilderness, accessible only by horse, snowmobile or skis.
You come into this old place and you leave the 21st century behind.This is about being cozy and warm,fine winter dining and an experience your are likely to never forget. Dinner was wonderful, but very pricey. But to think of the amazing difficulty in preparing and feeding all the guests in this unique setting, makes it all so worthwhile.
From journal Aspen Special Spots
Washington, District of Columbia
November 14, 2001
Venison tenderloins with a cheese and berry topping melted in my mouth. The salty meat/aromatic cheese/sweet berry combination was a truly unique experience. You could not buy meat as good in quality as this if you wanted to - they have an exclusive reserve.
The rainbow trout with yams is fantastic as well.
And the super friendly staff and chefs work hard to make it a memorable event as well.
From journal Aspen in the summer