Jan 192004
 
Authors: John Teten

If I had a dime for every time I heard that phrase over break,

well, I’d have about 30 cents. Money is not the issue here, the

point is that I did hear it; that we are young and that now is the

time to partake, to explore and to accomplish. I don’t mean a time

to see how many ounces of fermented fluid we can withstand —

drunken belligerence is far from the point.

I’m suggesting that now is the time to go. Head to the

mountains, play a sport, get off the couch.

My experiences over break only encouraged this “carpe diem”

mindset. Having dropped a couple hundie on the Colorado Pass this

fall I needed to take advantage of the western hills as often as my

time and wallet allowed. I graced the groomed gradients a handful

of times during our month of rest; however, one trip stood out

above the others.

I met a roommate at the I-70/ 470 junction, albeit an hour late

and we headed past Idaho Springs unbeknownst of what lie ahead.

The travel was excruciatingly slow as a winter storm loomed over

the mountains. We eventually passed through Eisenhower and followed

the trail of brake lights to Breckenridge. We laced up our boots,

grabbed our boards and strapped in at Peak 8 Base, our heads dusted

by the steadily falling snowflakes. The mountains were in the midst

of a 70-hour snow dump.

The powder painted the hillside the entire day. Each run held an

opportunity for fresh tracks and cushioned falls. My cheeks hurt

from the perma-smile frozen on my face. We finished the day and as

the snow continued to float groundward we decided to stay

overnight. We asked around town for the nearest Chipotle, but none

of the Breckites knew what we were asking for. Eventually we came

across another football-sized burrito place in Frisco called

Chimayo. (After skiing few things hit the spot more than a loaded

tortilla. I think in some states these foil-wrapped monsters are

considered weapons, here the only assault is done to the

bowels.)

We capped our night at a local bar listening to a band from

Georgia and then searching for a spot to park because our sleeping

accommodations were limited to the back of a Ford Explorer.

Initially we were worried about the freezing temperatures, but in

the middle of the night our frustrations turned to the length of

our makeshift beds. The Explorer needed about five more inches to

fit a human body comfortably, so our night was spent in

fetal-position agony.

When we awoke our car had received another six inches of snow

and the resort held even more.

That day we carved through wide-open runs drowned in fresh

powder. Our knees were aching from the cramped quarters the night

before, but the falling snow and absence of semester stressors made

for a memorable two-day trip.

Many of our older lift companions reminisced of days of yore.

“To be young again,” they muttered.

So, in this new year forget resolutions and embrace activity.

Give your body a beating because we’re only young once.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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