Saturday, March 10, 2007

For the Love of Skiing

Just got back from three full days of skiing and two days driving to get there and back. It was a blast.

For me, it started a 5am in St.Louis Mo. I drove across to Lenexa, Ks (outside Kansas City) to my friends, George and Julies house. George was off boarding Sophie their dog; so much for leaving at 9am. Along with them, Rachel, a long-time friend of Julie's, was joining us. It will be the first time for her.

We loaded up George's Tacoma and hit the highway with Julie at the helm. She decided that us geeks (George and I that is) should be able to "geek out" in the back seat and play computer games on the two laptops. The truck was totally geeked out with two laptops, a radar detector, and a thing to pipe sound into the radio from the laptop. Two PDAs, one with Tom Tom on it, at least two cameras. Totally geek.

Though we never got the laptops to work correctly together, it still helped pass the time. George had a cellphone data card, so we looked up Rachel's mom's blog, Catmum . We then skyped her and she was there. Ain't technology cool? She told us to drive faster, but Julie was driving, so we stayed at more sane speeds.

Unfortunately, all that technology blew a fuse in the adapter, and when we stopped for gas at this Winery-Gas Station, they gave George a funny look like 'we are drinking wine and eating cheese, don't pester us with your silly wants'. We later found a real gas station and got a fuse.

We almost got to see the lunar eclipse. (see catmum's its light years better)

We arrived in Siverthorne, Co ~8pm, popped into Virgin Island Ski Rental, amazingly we all got pretty much the right sizes, then off to dinner at Maxwell's . Good pizza, look them up if you are in town.
Our condo was great. George always does a great job of finding condos. Ours was in the Timberline condos, two bedrooms, one with a queen and the other with two twins. Two full bathrooms and a kitchen, it was great. As George and Julie were there as a couple, they got the queen and Rachel and I shared the room with the twins.

Day One of Skiing

Once again, George and Julie being great organizers, managed to buy some coupon books with 2 for 1 coupons to Loveland Ski area. It is less known, but it was not crowded and the runs were great. We got there in time for Rachel to go off to Ski lessons and the rest of us hit the slopes, a few times quite literally.

Once we got our ski legs back, it was time for lunch and time for Rachel's lessons to be done.

We then took Rachel up a tall chair lift, freaking her out, but by the time we made it back down the green run, she was looking good.

That evening we went over to a condo that George's friends had. Mel made some of the best tasting lasagna and mostaccioli with Italian sausage. It was also Mel's husband Linus' birthday. They had six people staying at their condo, it was huge.

Day Two of Skiing

So we went back to Loveland and went to its other side where it had several easy greens for us to take Rachel down. The beginning of the green was kind of nerve racking as it was narrow and had a drop off on one side. We kept her corralled, she did fine. We worked her down the run, and when i say we, I mean mostly George. He was doing a fantastic job of coaching, Julie and I piped in with hints and encouragement.

At lunch, we got to see what had happened to the breakfast bars we had brought to snack on. George did the demonstrations on how to eat them correctly in their current state (smashed beyond all recognition).

Due to altitude and rubbery legs, and maybe that chilly(not really), Rachel packed it in for the day rather than face injury. Since it was already after 1pm, she just went and slept in the truck.

Getting lost on the Mountain

(For reference see the last lift on the right, with the double-black diamonds at the top)

George, Julie and I went and did a few more runs and then decided we needed a little more difficulty and went off to some blue runs. There is a big clump of them, and a warning sign that the chairlift only went to more difficult runs. We've done difficult, get out of the way and let us go. On the way up we make a plan to stay far right, and that would dump us onto some greens below. Well, we had a plan, but we didn't stay far enough right, there where very few signs like in other places, and came up to a very steep hill with Moguls. Eeeek! So we went down the only other way we could, which was a steep, soft snowed hill that led directly into the trees with no way around. After about 45 minutes, we made it through the trees on our butts or stepping sideways down the hill between the trees.

Short movie George took at the time

After one more run to repair our damaged egos, we called it a day. Actually the ski patrol called it a day for us as the slopes were closed, and followed us down the mountain.
Knowing we would be too tired after dinner to use the hot tub, we popped over to the clubhouse for a hot dip. This was great!
Short movie George took at the time

We had dinner at the Dam Brewery. George and I had their seasonal raspberry beer. Very smooth, with no after taste, not really fruity at all. I would highly recommend.

We then went back to the condo and Rachel and I made chocolate chip cookies. Yummy!

Day Three of Skiing

Julie, George and Rachel skiing in front of me

We went to Copper Mountain this day, and took Rachel down an easy green. She was skiing like a pro at this point. Julie dropped her glove on the way back up, so I sped down the mountain, picked it up, went back up and then caught up with them just as they had finished.

Rachel letting George know how much she likes her pic taken right now

At this point we took turns, leaving one person with Rachel. I think it was George, then Julie then me. On the runs I took with George and Julie they were great. My last run was with Rachel and she did great, often going faster than I was (speeed deeemon ;).

As it was our last day of skiing, we have the obligatory last ski drink. I now know that I do not like Hot Toddies (whiskey drink). Julie had hot chocolate with (something cinnamoney) and Rachel had hot cider (not hard).

We had dinner at Tuscato, a nice Italian restaurant in Frisco. That was really yummy. I had the portobello mushrooms, peas and peppers in a Alfredo sauce. George had this great looking chicken dish with cheese and marinara sauce. Rachel had Spaghetti, and Julie had (forgot Need to ask).
After that George was now coming down with something nasty, so just Rachel and I went to the hot tub. The water felt hotter. We had some nice conversation and then went back to the condo.

The Way home

Sad to say, but we had to come home. George was really bad at this point. We all packed up and left. Rachel, being the smart one of the bunch, had a flight from Denver back to St. Louis. Me, being the dumb one, also had a flight back, but that would have left my car in Kansas City, so much for thinking that all the way through.
Julie once again being a trooper, drove, while George was sick and I slept. I needed to sleep because I had to drive from Kansas City to St. Louis to be at work the next day. (I got home at 1:30am )

The sickness that follows

So, all of George's friends in the other condo also got sick. Rachel seemed to really get hit Thursday. I got something, but don't really think its the same as what they got. They had more acute flu symptoms, I had much more mild pain, mild fever, but my lungs felt as if they were on fire. As of this writing, George says Julie is circling sick, hoping not to land there.
My doc said that at least sickness is easier to get over than a broken bone (I did that last year)

For the love of Skiing, I will do it again next year.

All the pics from the trip are here: Skiing Pics or here

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