Colorado Cruisin’

Some of you may remember that the Amazing Sleeping Man (ASM) and I have Epic ski passes this year–we can ski at all Vail properties with a single pass. Vail is having a big anniversary, and to honor their beginnings, they gave a huge discount to military members and veterans. Since our lift tickets are so ridiculously cheap, we planned a couple of trips to take advantage of the pass. At the start of ski season, we went to Park City, Utah. This time, we headed for Summit County in Colorado. The first day’s driving was easy and clear, but the second had gale-force winds with lots of snowy whiteouts. But we made it there safely.

Sunrise over the Colorado Mountains

While we love our little Lost Trail Ski Area, the Colorado resorts have much longer runs, more terrain, and faster lifts. It’s great to revisit our old haunts, too. We stayed at a condo in Silverthorne and skied at Keystone, Breckenridge and Vail. At the beginning of the week, the snow wasn’t great, but the days were sunny, almost too warm, and the runs nicely groomed at Keystone and Breck. There were way more people out there than we’re used to, though.

A warm day at Keystone

We took a rest day and visited with some old friends who drove up from the Ft Collins area for the afternoon just to see us. It was really great to reconnect. Later that night, one of my brothers, Jerome, joined us for the final two days. The ASM and I are pretty decent on our boards, but Jerome is a real expert. We decided to hit Vail on Thursday, the day a snow storm was due in.

Eating cookies for lunch at Keystone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Storm it did! Lots of snow and high, gusty winds made for bone-chilling chair rides and skiing in whiteout conditions. While the snow was good, you couldn’t see where you were going and froze on the way back up the hill. It was so cold, Jerome’s video camera mount broke! Fortunately, it happened while he was standing still and Jerome managed to catch it before it was lost forever.

After snowblasting ourselves all day, we came back to the car and found a flat tire! Fortunately, the ASM is very prepared and even though the ‘fix-a-flat’ was frozen, our small air pump worked and we got the tire aired up enough to drive to a nearby shop. Big O Tires in Eagle-Vail checked it out, found out it wasn’t fixable, put the donut/spare tire on for us and gave us directions to the nearest Costco (the tire was under warranty) all for free! Thanks, guys–you’re awesome!

So, rather than having a nice dinner at a cool restaurant in Vail, the three of us ate Costco pizza while they replaced the tire and drove back on snowy roads late that night. Still, it could have been worse.

Jerome, AM & the ASM

The next morning, we headed for Keystone but ended up in a traffic jam. A very nice man in the car next to us got our attention and told us the power was out at Keystone, so they weren’t running the lifts, but Breckenridge was open. We got turned around and drove the back roads to Breck, only to find they weren’t open either. They said they might open at noon. So, we had a good breakfast, bought some t-shirts, and checked back. Sure enough, they were open, but only the lower parts of the mountain and the lifts were running on diesel, so they were slower. And they were still charging the regular price for a half-day lift ticket! Yikes. Glad we had the Epic pass.

 

Jerome at Breck

Jerome still wanted to ski, so off we went. We had a great time, finding a few little pockets of fresh snow and zipping down unusually empty runs at high speed. We also had dinner at a decent restaurant in the cute little town of Breckenridge–hopefully, it made up for the warehouse-store food the night before!

We drove off early the next morning under bright blue skies. The Colorado mountains are a joy to drive in good weather–they’re so beautiful! Unfortunately, the weather didn’t stay good, and the last few hours we were back in a snowstorm. Rather than driving straight through as planned, we stayed the night in Idaho. While the next day was still snowy, daylight made the rest of the drive much easier. We arrived without any further problems, happy to be home. While we love exploring and going places, fourteen-hour drives that turn into two full days are not any fun at all. Still, I’m happy we’ve had the opportunity to ski places we haven’t skied in many years, to see old friends, and ski with family!

Here’s a little compilation video the ASM put together, including a few seconds at Lost Trail to round it all out. Click Here!

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