March 24, 2009
Mr. Karen and I finished up our ski season with a trip to Colorado last week. In a departure from our normal practice when skiing out west, we drove. Yep, drove. We put 2975 miles on the truck in a little over nine days, which is pretty impressive considering some of those days we had friends take us to the slopes and we put no miles on our vehicle at all. Why drive? Mostly because we couldn’t find airline tickets that fit into our schedule for a reasonable price once we added on the bag fees. Just looking for tickets was annoying enough that we started to think about driving; we did some math, contemplated the weather, considering how truly annoying flying has gotten, and decided to try road tripping it. I’m glad we did. There were some long days in the truck, to be sure, and some cranky moments, and we lost about a day of skiing compared to flying, but it was so nice to be able to take what we wanted to take in the containers we wanted to take it in. I put all my toiletries in one bag, liquids and gels and solids alike, under and over 3 ounces side by side. I brought my own full-sized pillow. We left when we were ready to leave. We didn’t have to drag bags through airports. We took our shoes off when we felt like it, not because someone ordered us to. The weather even cooperated, only raining on us a tiny fraction of the time and holding off the spring blizzard until the day after we drove back through Nebraska. It was really kinda great.
In between driving there and back, we visited our friends Sue and Dan near Vail and our other friends Bo and Gretchen in Steamboat, getting to stay and ski with them and benefit from some of the perks of being localâ€”they had better parking options than we would have been able to find on our own, and Sue and Dan got us some super bargains on lift tickets. We skied at Keystone, Beaver Creek, and Steamboat, with the conditions getting more and more spring-like every day. At times I swear I could see the snow melting before my eyes. By the last day, I was wearing a light rain jacket instead of my ski coat. It was still fun, and powder skis work well for slush, too.
In between skiing, we celebrated my birthday, and I bought new ski bootsâ€”after more than a decade, it was time. I took a day off and poked around downtown Steamboat Springs, finding the yarn shop that eluded me last time, then headed off to explore the area beyond the shops and ski slopes. Why it did not occur to me that taking the Colorado atlas and some snowshoes would be a good idea I do not know. After driving way past it and circling back, I found one of the rural cemeteries I’d read about online but it was mostly covered in snow. Just how much snow wasn’t clear to me until I’d already post holed up to my knees in it, at which point I decided I might as well trudge up and take a picture of the sign since I was already wet. The city cemetery was an easier go, though the road up to it was closed so I had to hike in and many tombstones were inaccessible due to mud or snow or standing water. I’m still glad I went because I don’t know when or if I’ll be back in better conditions and there were some interesting stones to see.
Now that ski season is over, I’m not planning to go anywhere at all for a while. It’ll be nice to catch up on some projects at home and maybe even get back to my sadly neglected quilting hobby.
Pictures from the trip are here.