Posts filed under ‘Vail’

Skiing Synopsis

Quick synopsis of the rest of our ski trip.

Tuesday
Kipp was sore, so we spent the day at Sylvan Lake State Park near Eagle.  We took a picture of a frozen lake.  We spent some time hunting for fossils in sandstone and we went for a very muddy hike on McKenzie Gulch Trail.  I may elaborate once Kipp uploads the rest of his pictures.  Afterwards, we ate at Moe’s Original Bar-B-Que in Eagle.  That stuff was delicious and we ran across a very pleasant surprise:


Fuck yeah!

I was in the middle of ordering my smoked turkey breast when Kipp yelled across the restaurant, “Vicky, they have sweet tea!!!”  I was quite pleased.

After that, we drove home and Kipp captured this little gem:


Perhaps I should have gotten that rental car insurance afterall.

Wednesday
Wednesday was the day I fell on my head.  Visibility was quite poor that day and I struggled overall.  Kipp got a couple of shots that showed what we were up against:


Stacy on the left and declining visibility on the right.


Stacy and Vicky on the lift and obscured trees in the background

Thursday
Thursday was freaking awesome!  There was all this fresh powder on the mountain.  At first I found it to be a struggle, but then I LOVED it.  I never fell, but I sure had many less-than-graceful close calls.  Stacy wasn’t as lucky. 

Journal except on how deep the powder was:


…The powder took Stacy offguard and he lost a ski.  The snow was so deep– that the missing ski was no longer visible!  It was buried under the inches of powder.  Luckily Stacy knew where it dislodged and retrieved it.

Kipp and I both come from organizations that focus on process improvement.  As such, our crew realized we might not be so lucky spotting a missing ski next time.

“We’ll have to watch each other,” Kipp said, “So if there is a wipeout, we can see where the skis fall off.”

It was a very good idea.  Then Kipp followed it up with a poor calculation.

“I’ll go last,” Kipp said, “Since I’m the least likely to fall.”

Journal excerpt showing how lucky I am to have forgiving friends:

[Stacy] fell three times in succession and the third time, despite my best efforts, I started laughing.

“I’m so sorry, Stacy!” I choked between chuckles, “I’m so sorry I’m laughing.  Are you mad?”

“I’m mad,” Stacy confessed as he clicked a boot back into its bindings, “but not at you.”

Phew!

Kipp had his own difficulties later that day.  He lost a ski and even though he was able successfully find it in the snow– he couldn’t get it on.  After a 30 minute ado (which did include some skis being hurled out of frustration), he was finally able to get it back on after the large cake of ice was removed from his boot.

Thursday also marks the very first time I took a support call on Vail Mountain.  I got called outside of Two Elks Lodge after lunch.  In case you are curious, it was a DSN issue.

Software Support at Two Elks Lodge

Finally Thursday night, I got to visit with my cousin Allison!  Her babysitter, Liz, drove her all the way down from Boulder to Vail to eat supper with me.  Later that evening we watched watched a movie.  It was very nice of them to come and see me while I was in town.

Friday
Friday the skiing was pretty nice, but the main goal of the day was to go snowshoeing!  We originally aimed to do that on Tuesday, but did not get back in time from Sylvan Lake.  Then we decided to do it Friday morning… but a surprise Gondola closing thwarted that.  The third time is a charm.  We were able to ski in the morning and successfully make the Friday afternoon hike!  

Friday brought all three of us two new experiences:

1) Hiking with snowshoes on our feet
2) Skiing with shoes tied around our necks. 

I love my Asolo hiking boots and the memories I have had with them makes them very sentimental objects.  HOWEVER, that added love did not make me enjoy the sensation of descending a slope with them flopping around my belly.  It was worth it though.  I loved snowshoeing!

I was worried Stacy and Kipp would not enjoy our snowshoe trip that much and that they were just humoring me.  That worry disappeared the second I saw our tour guide.  She was pretty.  She was blond.  She was charismatic.  I knew I was set.  🙂


A stranger from the Bahamas, Stacy and Me on the snowshoe hike!


Kipp rests on the snowshoe hike

Memorable Songs
We had a few songs of note this trip:

1) Sandwiches

Sandwiches are beautiful.  Sandwiches are fine.
I like sandwiches.  I eat them all the time.
I eat them for my breakfast.  I eat them for my lunch.
If I had a 100 sandwiches, I’d eat them all at once!

Kipp taught us that chant in the mornings when we made our “saving money” sandwiches.

2) This is Why I’m Hot

I’m hot ’cause I’m fly.  You ain’t ’cause you’re not.

Stacy and Kipp were not familiar with this song.  Yet, they could still appreciate the deepness of Mims’ philosophic mind.  It was quoted a couple of times during the trip.

3) Born Free

Boooooorrrrn Freeeeeee.  Blah blah blah blah. Blah– Blah.  Blah.

There was a slope called “Born Free” which often prompted this song.  Unfortunately we only knew two words.  “Born” and “Free”.

“One day, we’ll have to look up the rest of the words,” Stacy said.

4) Snore Symphony

The first two nights, Mike and I shared a bed.  Kipp dubbed it the “Snore Bed”.  He said it was like a symphony.  First I would be going, then Mike would join in.  We’d harmonize together then I would fade out and Mike would have a solo. 

Luckily for Kipp and Stacy, I’m told there weren’t many encore performances.

Picture Frenzy!
Kipp’s Pictures on Flickr
Stacy’s Pictures on Flickr
My Pictures on Flickr (Mostly stolen from Kipp and Stacy!)

Related Blogs
Stacy’s Blog
Mike’s Blog

April 1, 2007 at 10:11 pm 2 comments

A New Experience, A New Investment?

Today wasn’t my best skiing day.  It was still great exercise and fun.  But, I struggled with the visibility (very foggy), the terrain changes (a nice mixture of powder, ice and slush), and my turn techniques.  Oh… and I fell.

Falling isn’t a sensation that is new to me.  I do tons of activities that encounter occassional falls.  As a child, my siblings and I biked extensively.  As an adult, I hike.  I rollerblade.  I iceskate.  I ski.  I even fell once jogging with the dogs.  I was trying to yank Jimmie out of a neighbor’s yard as he started to squat (moral of that fall: don’t try to play god with dog dumps).  In all those years of formidable falling experience, one aspect of the fall has alluded me– hitting my head.  That is…until today!


Me after my fall.  Note the snowy back of my head and the lack of snow on the rest of me.

Luckily, it was not a hard fall.  No physical damage was done.  But, the fact that the ground was able to impact my head period certainly provoked a multitude of thoughts the rest of the day.  I do believe I’ll be following in the footsteps of Carolyn and Stacy and investing in a helmet.

Now, a helmet may protect one’s head, but it will do nothing for the ego.  I happened to fall underneath a ski lift.  As I sat up and checked my pockets to make sure my wallet and my cell phone were still in their respective pockets, a kid called out to me from the ski lift, “I’m sorry you fell!”

That was surprising.  I thanked the kid and at the same time of his friends, also on the lift, started laughing at me.  This was the reaction I would expect from lift riders.

The first kid turned around and shouted back at them, “I *can’t* believe you guys!”

As much as I thought the first kid’s sentiment was unexpected and refreshing, I don’t think his defense of me is going to exactly put him in good standing with the “cool kids”.  In fact, he may have done more damage to his social standing than the fall did to my head.  🙂 

Welp, our ski vacation is more than half way over.  Hopefully there will be a stunning abscence of head hits for the rest of the trip.

March 29, 2007 at 12:03 am 4 comments

Greetings From Vail

Greetings from Vail, Colorado!

Transition from Spring to Winter
On Saturday afternoon, I took the dogs for a nice spring hike in Virginia.  We had wonderful warm weather and lots of sunshine.  On the drive back, I passed a house where a little girl was taking down a decorative snowman from her front porch.  Spring was definitely in the air…. and here I was leaving for a winter vacation the very next morning!

Thanks to my insistence to hike with the dogs on my last day home, I put myself in a frenzied situation where I was packing and preparing until 1 AM Saturday night.  That’s all fine and good except I needed to leave at 4:30 AM Sunday morning to get to Greensboro in time for my flight!  Needless to day, Sunday was a tiring day.  But all in all with such little sleep, every leg of the journey went by exceedingly smoothly.  Even my wee hour drive to Greensboro got kicked off with a bang.  As soon as I turned on the car, James Blunt’s “Your Beautiful” came on the radio. 

That song always reminds me of skiing!  Last year, Carolyn and I were skiing a sparse weekday at Snowshoe and that song was playing at one of the lift loading stations.  I was fond of that song already, but it was so much better as Carolyn and I ascended up the mountain and listened to it slowly fade away under the whir of the lift and the silence of the fresh mountain snow.  With that one song on my car radio, I was suddenly in the mood for winter again. 🙂

First Ski Day
Yesterday was my first day on the slopes.  Our crew currently includes Kipp, Stacy, Mike Newman, myself, Paul (Kipp’s brother) and Sarah (Kipp’s brother’s girlfriend).  At first, I thought, “This isn’t that much different than the east coast”, but then as our adventure progressed the views got exponentially more beautiful.  Sometimes, it felt like I was in a movie, all the scenery just did not seem real.  Riding up the chair lifts is a whole different experience because you have so much to look at.  And sometimes, a flat section was a bonus because you could afford to absorb the views (and rest your weary legs).

Last night, we had a wonder dinner at Ti Amo in West Vail/Avon.  It was expensive like all our meals here, but it was well worth the extra expense.  It was far above the caliber of the $5 bottle of Gatorade I had at the Two Elks Lodge.  🙂  I had a pasta entree that featured jumbo shrimp, garlic, mushrooms, a cream sauce (not cheese!) and sun-dried tomatos.  Very good.

We’ve had some casualties so far– Kipp sprained his thumb.  Stacy got sunburn and Kipp got a nice extended snow burn on his back.  Nonetheless, everyone is still having great fun. 

My new cell phone camera proved to be useful yesterday.  I took some pictures from the slopes and thanks to Flickr’s upload capability, I was able to upload them live from the slopes.  Here are a couples of pictures:


Mike Newman, Me (in my Rocky Mountain National Park shirt), Stacy

More of our Vail pictures are available on my Flickr site

March 27, 2007 at 12:25 pm 2 comments


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