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
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
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.