/ hiking

Weekend in the Mountains

It's been a while, again. First off, it's Facebook's fault. That's right, I joined Facebook and I can't seem to stop checking in every day to update my "status" message and see how many friends my friend Lauren has. But, that's not the purpose of this post. Discussion on the insanely silly endeavor of Facebook will surely follow, maybe after Thanksgiving.

Anyway, Brenda has been working crazy hours again, and it all came to a head over the last couple-few weeks, and finally ended this past Thursday, when the show she was building some suits for opened at the University of Colorado. And it turns out that the guy who she was working for has a condo in the mountains that was going unused this weekend, so we loaded up the truck and moved to Keystone... resort that is; snowbarders, movie stars...

Brenda & I (and Hooper) had not been in the mountains in the winter yet since moving to Colorado, and it was fantastic. So far this year, old man winter has not really visited the near mountains but that's ok with us since we're not skiers or snowboarders. But this gave us a chance to experience a typical Colorado mountain resort town at the beginning of the high season, and it was certainly entertaining for us.

With Hooper settled in the condo, we headed out into the village to find some lunch. As we walked through "town" (Keystone resort is home to several fabricated centers of Starbucks and clothiers and liquor stores situated maze-like, Disney-style, around the lifts) we started to absorb the amalgam of skier/snowboarder fashion/lingo/gait/attitude. At one point Brenda said "uh, yeah, we've definitely entered a foreign world", and I could only laugh and agree. I have been soaking up some of the lingo just from listening to office conversations about ski conditions (apparently the amount of base is important, and for some, a nice run of groomers is awesome, but that definitely outs you as a skier and the boarders will, like, totally frown on you), and I caught some glimpses of the fashions in the sale circulars every week last year, but it wasn't until we walked through a living breathing throng of True Believers that I really came to grips with the odd, different, and let's face it, totally cool world of alpine sports.

There's a certain swagger that the snowboarders have; it almost seems like they're fully conscious of the outlandishly baggy nylon clothes they're wearing, emblazoned with obviously targeted graphics that they've paid a lot of money for, but don't care (and to those of you that truly don't care, I salute you; especially those that can't really afford all that shit.

The skiers, then: they have this cool way of slinging their skis over one shoulder and hooking their arms over the end of the skis, backing that up with a swagger all their own, a more muted swagger that seems to say "we were her first, assholes, don't fuck with us (but boy, it sure does seem like you guys are having a simpler, cooler time of things)".

I was struck by the sense that this was one big party that I had no idea was going on (god dammit); at every bar (of which there were several), there were racks out front where people would leave their boards or skis, after a hard day of sliding down the slopes. My initial reaction was to look for some sort of locking mechanism, but there was none; these people were leaving their high priced equipment at the door, unlocked! This did not compute for this northeasterner. Inside, people sat around and ate and drank in the gear they wore all day as they careened down mountains on slippery planks of various sizes with no brakes. I felt inadequate. I ordered a beer. Here's what we woke up to, out the front door of our place:

Keystone condo view

Brenda, Hooper and I made the best of our abilities by going on a couple of short hikes, punctuated with Hooper discovering his love of snow (or perhaps re-discovering; Hooper was a stray from Utah and we figure he was born around early February of 2007, so he's probably no stranger to snow, but who knows?).

We left early on Sunday, took a scenic way home along the Peak-to-peak Highway, and got home in time to enjoy an early dinner at Zolo Grill, one of our favorite restaurants in Boulder. All in all, a great way to spend Brenda's first free weekend in a long time.