Monday, April 14, 2008

the Empty Chair Lift in our Yard of Snow

463 inches = 1176 centimeters = 38.5 feet = 11.7 meters = snowfall in Vail to date – this is BIG TIME snow for us – not sure where it ranks but it must be somewhere in the top of biggest snow years for us

April 11 = 25 degrees = 13 inches fresh = the best powder days ever in April – this is 13” + 6” from Thursday, April 10th + 6” from Wednesday, April 9th + 10” from Tuesday, April 8th – we had a big cold snowy week! After skiing just a few runs on this unsuspecting Friday, I walked into the office with the biggest grin, Tessa was headed out the door with skis almost immediately after seeing the “grin”. She came back with the same ear to ear grin – a good day.

April 12 & 13 – the Best weekend ever skiing with the family – Tessa and I skied down to Minturn 2 times on Saturday, the first time, just us, skiing some of the best powder ever through evenly spaced Aspen trees, the second time was with our two oldest kids (8 & 6) – smiles all around – skiing to Minturn is nothing “extreme” but it is a demanding back country run (meaning if you get hurt, tough luck you better take responsibility for your own actions – nobody to sue for all of you litigious folks) that leads from Vail Mountain almost to our house. Now for you folks that are saying we shouldn’t be taking our kids down something like this, get a life and take the training wheels off. They skied great and were asking to ski it again!

It takes lots of time and patience to get your kids to ski. Many folks that we know have thrown their kids in some type of ski school or club. We haven’t really ever put them in any of the ski clubs being that they: one – do not want to be and two – they enjoy skiing with us and we are taking the time to go with them. If you love to ski and have the love and respect for the mountains, spend the time with your kids, bite your tongue on the slow learning curve and enjoy the time. We all know that time just flies and I am just so happy to have spent this time teaching our kids and watching their love for the mountains grow.

April 13 = 45+ degrees = closing day = sunny, best closing day ever – We skied with the entire family including our 3 year old all the way down the mountain from the very top! At the bottom of the mountain, we enjoyed one of my best beers (a homebrew Swedish Lager) while the kids ate ice cream and we all sat in the sun watching the closing days activities. This moment was such a nice, kick back, relaxing time going over old memories of past closing days.

Closing day is literally a holiday / funeral here at ski resorts. I do not know how to fully convey the idea but it is a little bit like Christmas and maybe the funeral that your best friend would want you to have for them – a celebration for life. Everybody is happy and sad at the same time and are all partying in our own way and sharing time together. The talk of all the locals is of the closing days we have witnessed and will hope to witness. . The happiness of a beautiful day changing to sadness knowing that the season is finished BUT changing back to hope with the fact that we will be riding the lifts in less then 7 months.

A beautiful moment that I witnessed on closing day – a Grandpa, a Grandma, kids and grandkids on top of the mountain at closing time. It just happened to be that this family grew up in Vail and one of the kids used to race with the U.S. ski team. This is what I’m talking about, sharing time with the family and celebration of life. It is a moment that I will be looking forward to in the future – sharing a last run of the season with our grandkids (it makes my eyes water as I’m listening to Jack Johnson playing the guitar on my speakers in the background).

Sidenote 2
Funny thing here living in the mountains – you better like snow because we have snow this year from November and I don’t think we will see our yard here at 8,000 feet until May this year

I love my wife and kids and especially happy that they enjoy the lifestyle that I crave. Living in the mountain is by no means a picnic but I wouldn’t give it up for anything. Picture this, today, Monday, April 14, the thermometer is creeping up from 20 degrees this morning with the full on sun just creeping over the mountains to our little valley. Not a cloud in our blue sky (blue really is not the right word – it is such a deep blue that it almost has a “purplish” hint to it) – it will be just an incredible day. I am working today but I can guarantee that around lunch time will be spent outside playing somewhere.

Ps – sorry to everybody, we got a little bit behind on work this past week – again it was a holiday week here in Vail :-) we are hoping to get caught up on everything this week