Consolation Prize

I'm sure many of you know that the week before Christmas was a rough one on the Denver area. Particularly on the airport, and anyone trying to travel Wednesday-Friday while the airport was shutdown. I unfortunately was part of that group, having a Thursday morning flight. Luckily my flight was cancelled the night before and I never had to make the 100 plus mile drive to the airport. Of course rescheduling flights during one of, if not the, busiest travel times of the year is no small feat. It was very difficult to get through to my airline, in fact I never even got into their hold system, I always got "all of our carrier circuits are busy", meaning there was not even an open line for me to be put on hold! So I went with plan B, try and find a totally new flight. I was successful in finding a flight on Christmas day out of my local airport (20 miles away) for almost the same money. I even eventually managed to get through to my original airline and get a full refund. Of course this meant a change to my vacation schedule, and I was now in Colorado for 4 more days than expected. What to do? Well after working Thursday and Friday, ski of course.

It was my sort of consolation prize, and the slopes were wonderfully uncrowded. I even was able to hike up the ridge above Mongolia Bowl and get some fresh tracks in at Vail on Saturday. The lack of crowds meant virtually no lift lines, in fact even at Vail I rarely had a wait over 1 minute the entire time. Sunday my friend Drew (also "stuck" in town from the Denver storms) went to Beaver Creek with me and once again we had no lift lines. There was also a brief morning snow squall through the area that dropped 4 inches or so on the slopes. The winds drifted much of it between the moguls and there were some great soft turns in the Rose Bowl as a result. It may not have been what was orginally planned for the weekend before Christmas, but it was a heck of a lot better than all the poor passengers who had to spend all of their time sleeping on cots and suitcases in the Denver airport, and for that I am lucky!

Christmas Day did not go quite as smoothly as I had hoped. Unfortunately the plane I was supposed to be on had mechanical problems in Chicago and was going to need to be replaced. It was going to take them 4 hours to get a suitable aircraft, and my lateness was expanded. When the flight finally took off it was smooth, and after all was said and done I landed over 106 hours later than my original flight at almost 7pm. I met my parents at the airport and headed home for a late Christmas Dinner and then we opened presents. The rest of the week was nice, my mom was off work and my nephew off school. Tuesday my aunt was off work too and we all got to hang out and check out post Christmas sales. Thursday my nephew, sister and her boyfriend and I all went to see Night at the Museum. We all really enjoyed it, it was funny and really cool to see the "history come alive". Friday I headed down to the city and got together with some of my friends that I hadn't seen for a while. I stayed at my friend Mike's house and Saturday we and a few other friends all got to hang out again. Then it was one last dinner out with the family and off to bed for the Sunday morning flight. New Year's Day it was business as usual, skiing at Beaver Creek. While Denver was hammered with snow, we were ignored and conditions were a little thin in places including rocks, stumps, logs and dirt patches in some areas. Now that traveling is done for a while, hopefully the snow will start to fly soon again in the mountains!