Tuesday, February 15, 2005

I'm in Denver, I'm in my PJ's

Dave at VailThis past weekend I flew out to Denver to visit with an old friend that I hadn't seen in far too long -- almost nine years. Although he only moved to our area half way through our junior year of high school, we quickly became best of friends and were almost inseparable during high school. College came and we went our separate ways. My early departure from college led me to spend a couple of seasons in Colorado, essentially as a ski bum. Dave came out just before I got serious about life and my relationship with my now wife. Dave has been in Colorado ever since, spending nine seasons in Summit County living to ski and ride bikes, and now finishing up a graduate degree in Denver. Prior to this visit, the last time we got together was at my wedding.

Dave's DigsDave had told me (warned me) that he had an old college buddy living with him who was having some trouble getting through substance abuse and other issues. In addition to interacting with this 'interesting' character, I was fortunate enough to see what must have been a deal gone bad. As Dave and I walked his dog over to his girlfriend's place to get a coffee maker, we saw an SUV racing after an individual on foot. We both kind of ducked behind some parked cars after the vehicle lost the pedestrian and drove around looking for them. We saw that vehicle circling around several times later, and I started to think that I might not make my flight home the next day. Staying with my old buddy certainly saved me a few bucks, but I probably slept less on this trip than any other four night period in my life. I think next time, I'll buck up and spring for both my friend and I to stay elsewhere. But, as I told one of the moms in my playgroup today about some of these stories, we agreed that sometimes experiences like that make you think "my life ain't so bad." And really, it ain't.

Me at VailNow don't get me wrong. I had a great trip. It was great to see an old friend. And while Dave reported to the people who dialed his cell phone every 10 minutes -- his phone was ALWAYS ringing -- that the conditions were mediocre, I thought the skiing was great. Dave's frame of reference is that of someone who until very recently was skiing over 100 days per season and who could pick and choose which days to go on large mountains capable of moving lots and lots of people up the high. My frame of reference lately is bulletproof ice at overcrowded Shawnee mountain in the Poconos.

Friday and Saturday, we skied at Vail. The mountain in overwhelming. There is no way to ski the whole thing in two days. Sunday, Dave stayed in Denver to finish up a school project, so I skied Keystone by myself. I tried to meet up with some of his friends, but failed somehow -- I was a bit late to the appointed meeting place. The neat thing about Sunday though was that I tried telemark skiing. I bought new boots just before going out, because my old boots were giving me such bad boot bang. Guess what, the new ones did the same thing. Although if I'd read the instruction manual that came with them I would have learned that there is a simple, simple way to have at least alleviated the situation if not completely eliminated it. My old boots had four rivets -- two on each side of the ankle -- eliminating the boots ability to pivot around an axis. The new boots have one rivet and one bolt on each side, giving the user the ability to either make the boot very stiff or, by removing the bolts, to make the boot a bit softer. Anyway, after two days of skiing very bumped up terrain, my shins were so torn up and swollen that there was no way they were going to give me a third day. I borrowed Dave's tele gear. Dave prepared me for the fact that I was going to spend a lot of time getting a very up close and personal look at the snow and that I was not going to have a good time. After the first two runs, I considered hanging up the gear and going to rent a snowboard. But being the sadist that I am, I persevered. And by the end of the day, I was dancing my way down the blues and almost enjoying the bumps.

Oh yeah, the title for this post. Dave and I were walking to his girlfriend's house when M and the beasties (may I borrow that, Phil?) called on the cell. I got to speak with all of them. When LuLu and I spoke, here's a piece of what transpired:
LuLu: Guess what, Daddy? I'm at home.
Me: I'm in Denver.
LuLu: I'm in my PJ's.

1 comment:

Philip said...

Of course you can use the term!

Your trip sounds like fun, I'm jealous. Would LOVE to be skiing right now. Love that area.