It wasn't all bunny slopes and hot toddies, but it certainly fits the great vacation category. While Vortex readers were slacking off on the scavenger hunt (ahem), I learned a few gems to pass along lest you be entertaining the thought of a Colorado ski vacation next year:
1. Murphy's Law of Altitude Sickness
That stealth, vile little jaunt into illness when your brain freeze-dries and your body squeezes into an 11,000 feet compression chamber will always happen at the worst possible time. Like on the feet of a rich guy that just funded your stay.
2. Powdered Bull
When the only fresh snow you encounter on your nine hundred mile mecca accumulates on the back of a tourist bull in Texas, it's God's way of telling you a sled in your backyard would have been sufficient.
3. Banjo Man
Nothing beats a serenade outside a ski rental shop. Though the granola-artist plucking his banjo fancies himself a modern-day Merle Haggard/Jack White, his sultry strains mean only one thing: he's circled the drain of viable employment and is now shooting for the Guinness record for most consecutive sour notes. Mr. Urban you are not, sir.
4. Ski beasts....I mean boots. Ski boots.
Spicoli did not try them on both feet. His assurance that they were "wicked" was so on-target, he must have known they'd turn on the very feet filling them, leaving bruises, blisters and toenail collateral in their wake. Wicked indeed.
5. FBIs Most Wanted...Solved.
Southeast Colorado. Look there. Texans burning up the highways to hit the slopes never go this way. It's a vast conspiracy of isolation known to just about everyone taking a left turn in Dalhart, Texas. Everyone but me. Sleek X-files bullet trains carrying alien serum would have been preferable to the three hundred miles of landscape resembling a pubescent boy's first beard.
6. The helmet should have been the first clue
Or perhaps the glossy surface of the 150 foot drop. Cushioning the death-defying reality of tubing down an ice-packed hill, nay...mountain, by nicknaming their lift the "magic carpet" was brilliant. For in Aladdin's world, the vast coinage to take part in the privilege is soon forgotten at a thirty mile per hour backward slide.
7. Lift Lines are directly proportional to the amount of liquid refreshment consumed at the previous meal.
8. Blowing jet-strength hand dryer air into your ski pants is not a legitimate reason for clogging the 30-women-thick-restroom line. My bladder should not have to pay the price for your ski-lift dismount gaffes.
9. With time, everything looks smaller.
Except the 72 ounce steak. Since I was ten, the building, the shooting gallery, the motel's rustler wall mural-everything seems to have shrunk but man's desire for 15 minutes of fame. Visitors to Amarillo's Big Texan Steakhouse who eat the mammoth steak, salad, rolls, baked potato, fried shrimp and drink in one hour get their entire $200 meal for free, served with a heaping dish of car-accident-like voyeurism from tourists all over the southern US. Competitive gluttony, now available on webcast.
10. "Texans are stupid"
It finally happened. Third time cemented it. In a supermarket checkout line, I aligned myself fully with the Lone Star State. The Coloradan I'd once been heard the ignorant, stereotypical backwash about Texas from a grocery checker-a ribald rant that somehow translated Texas heat to the mental capacity of its citizens and I no longer wanted to be a Colorado native. You see, Ms. King Soopers-checkout woman, God gave Colorado stunning scenery so visitors wouldn't notice the self-righteousness so prevalent in your state. Maybe that was once me, but I doubt it. My birth record reads Houston.
I hope everyone had a fantastic week. I did. It's great to be blogging again. If you're bored and so inclined, I found this clip for a visual aid to my ski vacation. Exiting the lift gracefully is probably the hardest part about learning to ski. Thankfully, I didn't have to use the jet-strength hand dryer once.