Steamboat is so much fun! Heather planned everything. She chose a great condo with Pioneer Ridge that overlooked the mountain and had a free shuttle that took us to the gondola in about 5 minutes. The clouds dropped 17 inches of snow in the first few days of February allowing us to ski in 35F weather and great snow. Our group was small this year with only 5 people total (some years we’ve had as many as 12), but not all years can be the same. So, we had 5 people in a condo with 4 bathrooms and seven beds that over looked the ski mountain and left us marveling at sunsets.
Regardless of the group size, we still had a lot of fun. This is one of my favorite groups of people, a group where you can be exactly who you are and are fully and wonderfully accepted, though you might be teased a bit. We all laugh at each other and ourselves and enjoy every minute.
So, we got to spend time together on the slopes and at the Winter Carnival, which had all sorts of craziness for spectators to enjoy. We especially liked the fire show, the flaming man, the fiery ski jumpers jumping through a ring of fire, and the record breaking fireworks. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a spectacular show of fireworks. They were higher, and bigger, and louder than any I had previously seen. Fireworks in the mountains are always my favorite. I love hearing the “BOOM” ricochet on the peaks. Following the spectacular show of lights, we found the Old Town Pub, where we ate chicken wings, fried pickles, and French fries and drank the beer offerings to our hearts’ content. They had a live Americano-style band in from Boulder that night. We listened and danced and had an awesome time. I even had someone call me a tall drink of water. Oh yeah. That’s right.
Because the shuttles only ran until 10p, we then took the free town bus to a place close to our condo. We had to wait a bit for it to arrive, so Justin and I took advantage of the hot dog stand next to the bus station. Yum. I just wanted the basics: mustard, ketchup, and relish. Before I could eat the whole thing, I the bus arrived, and we smashed ourselves in with who knows how many other people, hoping no one got sick from the heat or whatever they’d been doing that night. We rode (what seemed like) forever, and finally got off, at which point, I ate the rest of my hotdog. Yum.
We slept in the next day, before cleaning up, and packing out. A few of us went downtown for the tri-pull parade (every float had to be pulling at least three people on skis or snowboards – the full rugby team was the best). I especially liked the Jeep on tracks. Where can I get one of those anyway?
Then, we all went our separate ways. Justin and I decided to find a snowshoe trail to try out our new snowshoes. We found ourselves hiking through the snow on the 2B Fox Curve Loop. There were just enough other people and dogs on the trail to make it fun without being a distraction to our hike. We went through wide open snow-covered meadows, over streams and brooks, and through tight trees. Cross-country skiers, Nordic skiers, skate skiers, and snowshoers were all on the trail. The snow scene was beautiful and the trail was a moderate 4-mile, 2-hour adventure.
After our adventure, we started heading home. We didn’t realize that we’d taken a wrong turn until it was too late to turn back and ended up eating in a little Chinese restaurant in Granby, CO. It all turned out great because we missed a lot of the traffic on I-70 returning to Denver from skiing in the corridor. And so ended the latest meeting of friends on Team Epic (as we like to refer to ourselves). Until next time…