Peaches Prattlings

{February 28, 2021}   A new resort…to me. Vail!

What a weekend! Friday…Breck. Saturday…Beaver Creek…Today…Vail! I do lead a charmed life, I admit that!

I got up leisurely, no pressure to go out there and ski all day, just when I get there. I got dressed, made myself a sandwich for lunch and headed out the door, about 9am. It was about a 30 minute drive, such a change from yesterday, almost no snow on the roads, it was as if someone had a giant hand dryer and poof! And gorgeous, as always!

I got there and drove around Vail Village looking for parking, finally decided on the parking garage, which, turned out great, covered parking with ski gear! Not freezing sitting on your car trying to get dressed? Possibly no snow under your feet in case you happen to step down before you get your boot on? I’m good with that!

I followed everyone else through the parking lot, out to Vail Village. What a charming place this is. It’s a charming, adorable alpine village, like walking through some of those towns in Europe with PSM. You get that Winter Holiday feel all around. It’s hotels, restaurants, and shops, lost of shops, of course! Not just clothing, but, as you can imagine, ski and snowboard equipment and accessories. It reminded me of Keystone, but the streets were more narrow, like a European town or city, whereas Keystone’s lanes are much wider, just as charming!

Headed through Vail Village to the gondola line. That line…well, that was a long line, but it moved. When it’s your turn to get into one of the gondola cars, you put your skis in one of the holders outside the car and only take your poles in with you. As I’m standing there waiting for my turn, I get to look around. It’s a beautiful place, the slopes coming down to bottom were wide and bright. I could see on one of the slopes that there were a lot of moguls, which I discovered as a kid, were not my thing. Moguls are those bumpy places on a slope, a lot of people enjoy skiing them, I don’t happen to be one of them.

What I did notice throughout Vail, on the runs that I did, a bunch of the blue squares and most of the black diamonds were all moguls. I knew what I would be avoiding! I got out of the gondola and walked over to the first lift line, put on my skis and up, up, up, and away I went! I got off the lift and looked for green dots, which, I believe we talked about, is what I tend to do on mountains I have never been on, just to get a feel for it. And today, I stuck to mostly the green dots, threw in a few of the blue squares, but the green circles were just fine for me!

One thing I found that they had, in abundance, at Vail, were catwalks, which is a narrow trail connecting one slope to another or going all the way down the mountain. What vail has… are flat catwalks! Oh no! I tend to ski with my poles in one hand, but…I am ever so grateful to have ski poles when I end up on a catwalk! Oh my! Now…if you can get enough momentum when you get going, you can sail through a flat catwalk, but…if you stop at the bottom of one hill, to take in the splendor and a picture, and lose your momentum…there is a lot of walking, using the poles to try to push, skating, and a few four letter words. Let’s just say, I know why professional skiers are so skinny! O M G! I was sweating! I wasn’t sure if I had enough layers on when I left the house, since it was -2! Nope, I was fine! I had to unzip my jacket and take off my gloves just to get a breeze going! And…I didn’t make that mistake again!

This is that first time I realize that you cannot lose your momentum!!!

Between the gondola ride up and the catwalks, my first run took me almost an hour to get down! I did learn my lesson though and the rest of the day, there was swooshing and swishing to my hearts content. The cool thing with the catwalks was that if you chose to do a run going down, you could go for a piece, then take a catwalk and start the process over again.

I went up in a chair, then skied a short distance and got on another chair that went up, then skied down, the went up and it was like that for about four hours, at least, non-stop, it was great. I remember going up and up and up on one chair and as I’m looking down, it’s mostly moguls and steep slopes and I’m thinking not my bag, and as we get to the top, I look to my left and see black diamond and double black diamond signs, uh oh, what did I get myself in to? I would go down if that’s the case, it might take me a while, but I’ll do it. Then…a sigh of relief, I looked to the left and there were my green circles and blue dots, whew!

I skied a few more runs, somehow made it to the bottom to where I needed to be and it was like everyone was having the same thought, they were done. So, I kicked off my skis, well, not kicked, and walked through Vail Village a bit, I got a zipper pull, a t-shirt on sale, and a sticker for my helmet, not very exciting, and this was all in one store, I was good to go!

I headed to the parking lot, found the car, got out of my boots and ski pants, and away we went! Headed back to the house for a hot, hot, hot shower, some dinner, work, and chill. Not a bad day. I’ve been to Vail and I really liked it, I know I’ll go back! But I think tomorrow, might be a day off from skiing, we’ll see!

Apparently I got enough sleep last night because I was up about 6am, so I settled in to work, I had some playing to do too!

I think I told you I made some reservations at some resorts so I can ski while I’m here and today’s reservation is Breckenridge. I worked until about 1230p, got dressed, loaded up the car, and headed out the door. I have to thank AM and NM for letting me stay here, it’s been so great to be in a house, be able to keep my stuff in the house and just walk into the garage to load up, instead of having to gather everything and head out of the hotel. Being in the hotel isn’t that bad, honest, this is just really nice. There is a closet right inside the house from the garage, I don’t have to lug everything from the room, down the stairs, out the door, find the car in the parking lot, just nice.

It’s also nice staying about 30 minutes from the resort, and when you stay so close, you don’t worry about how long you’re going to be there, even when I stay in Golden, I don’t mind the 1.5 hour drive. And I think I told you, since I have the pass, I don’t feel like I have to stay all day, and I’m at that age as well, I can go for a few hours and I’m good.

The drive to the resort was nice, it was a crisp, clear day, good visibility and always fabulously scenic. So much better than my drive here Wednesday night/Thursday morning. I got to the resort, found a decent spot in the usual lot not far from the gondola, paid for parking, walked to the shuttle and away we went. I got on the gondola and headed up the mountain to the lifts.

All the Vail Resorts are doing their best to abide by social distancing, there are mandatory mask signs everywhere, the gondolas and chair lifts have seating suggestions, people even putting their own stickers on things and for the lifts, I didn’t realize, but if you stand with your skis touching someone else’s skis, that’s about 6 feet, I hadn’t thought about that, well, unless it’s a kid, then it’s a little shorter!

The lift lines were a little long, but they moved and when you talked to people on line, it moves faster. It’s fun to look at what people are wearing, the kids and their colorful and fun ski or snowboard outfits, the helmet covers, and then…the group of 8 in front of me, all wearing different furry ski/snowboard outfits. Let’s see, there was an elephant, crocodile, engaged couple, both unicorns, hers said ‘Future Mrs. Somebody’ and his said ‘FiancĂ©’, they were quite the gathering.

Up, up, up, and away we went. As I said, the day was clear and crisp, the slopes, as always, never crowded, and there was fresh powder from the Wednesday/Thursday snowstorm, it was wonderful! There was swishing, swooshing, and more swishing. I lost track of the number of runs I did, I just went until I was a bit peckish, I grabbed a chai latte and a fabulous piece of coffee cake, it was heavenly!


One more run for me. Up I went and swished and swooshed my way down and realized I was done, so I wrapped up my skis and headed for the gondola line and oh my word, the line for the gondola was ridiculous! They even came up to move us into a more formal line, helping up avoid getting hit by any skiers, happy for that! It didn’t wrap around like that when I headed up for my last run. It is what it is.

As I was waiting on the line, a woman and her daughter walked by and I asked if they wanted to stand in line with me, mom was ever so thankful, she was done, and she was carrying her skis, boots, and her daughter’s skis. Very nice people, mom and I got on really well, it turns out we had a lot in common, and her daughter was a five year old cutie! At one point, I offered to help her and carry something and her daughter told me I could carry her skis, thanks! Bottom line, it made the line move faster and that’s what matters.

I got to the bottom, headed for the shuttle, got to the car, took off my boots, ahhh, back to the house, shower, a little more work to round out the week, dinner, and chill. Sounds like a pretty good day to me! Looking forward to tomorrow!

{January 24, 2021}   Hello Breck…What a Day!

Today was my last day of skiing and I decided on Breckenridge and I was not disappointed. To be honest, like Keystone, I have never been disappointed in skiing at Breckenridge.

It was 25 when I left Golden and 23 when I got to Breckenridge, but crisp and clear, so not terrible. You can tell that it snowed over the last few days, you could see snow on some of the mountains as I drove. Breckenridge was looking good! I found a parking lot and started to get set up for my day. The nice thing was that there was no snow in the parking lot where I parked, so I could step on the ground to get my boots on without fear of wet feet! Yeah!

I struggled, not as much as yesterday, but struggled buckling my boots. Funny enough, one of the women in the jeep that pulled in next to me was having the same issues. Oh boy, as much as it sucks, it’s nice to know someone else is experiencing the same thing! We chatted for a minute and then I was off and running, well, not running, there is no running in ski boots, at least not for me!

I took the gondola up to the first level and got off and went to stand in the very long lift line. The line went a little up the hill, so I trudged up with everyone else and inched my way down with everyone else, finally deciding to put my skis on when I got to flat land, I watched a lot of people standing sideways inching towards the flat spots. Up and up and up we went.

The slopes were wide open and smooth, there was some ice in a few places, they haven’t had a lot of snow over the past few months, but it didn’t get in the way. The ice wasn’t like East Coast ice, that was a plus. The music was on shuffle, never knowing what was coming up next. I swished and swished and swished, even a few straightaways. One of the runs I even shouted “I’m so happy!” and I was. It was such a great feeling!

I took a video of me swishing and swooshing down the hill, I completely forgot my GoPro, duh. One of these days I’ll get it set up and remember to take it with me, grrr. Let’s just say…my hand was mighty cold after 2 minutes and 33 seconds!

Eventually, I made it to the bottom, I can’t tell you how many runs I completed, but it was great, it even started snowing at some point, from the top of the mountain, it seemed as if there was low visibility, but it cleared up as you make your way down, still snowing, but easy to navigate. At the bottom, I used the facilities, had some lunch and decided it was time to go.

Part of me wanted to keep going because it’s my last day in Denver, but my body was telling me something else. Heart vs body, hmmm…body wins! I picked up my skis and headed to the gondola and headed back down to the bottom and towards the shuttle back to the parking lot.

It seems that a lot of people had the same idea, the same people I was ‘getting ready’ with at the car were at their cars to get disassembled, so to speak, at the same time, what are the odds? Granted, if you live in Denver and know you can ski many, many, many days during the season, even if you have to drive 2 hours, it’s worth it to go for just a few hours. It was the same for us when we lived in Hawai’i and would go snorkeling or to the beach, just to go to the beach, we’d go for one to two hours and go home, fair point.

Got ready to drive, headed out, got on the highway and then…what was supposed to be an hour and a half drive…red lights, no movement. I was already on the road about 45 minutes, maybe an hour and I looked at GPS, because of an accident on the highway, the delay was 1 hour and 4 minutes, really? It took me two solid hours to get back to the hotel. I was done! On with the pj’s! Figure out food and talk to you.

Tomorrow is my 12 hour drive back to PSM and two fur babies! And I’m already trying to figure out when I can come back to Denver to get some more skiing in before the end of the season. Hmmm… Despite the traffic, a great day, thank you Breck! Overall, three great days of skiing, fabulous visits with friends and a fabulous trip. Thank you Keystone, Breckenridge, Denver, and Colorado, I heart you!

et cetera