Well, the trip is in the books, and what an adventure it turned out to be. There were so many noteworthy stories that I hope I don’t leave anything out.
We started the trip a day early with nearly 40% of the trip checking into the Drury Inn (Atlanta airport). A festive evening with the Drury’s evening buffet and complimentary drinks was just the thing to get the trip started off right. Jerry and Becca Hicks provided plenty of levity and conversation while Bill Coolidge unwittingly provided the evening entertainment. A check-list which included “bathing suit” was provided to everyone, but this became a game of scavenger hunt for Bill. Bill gave us a play-by-play of the streets of Atlanta as he frantically searched for something not commonly stocked in February. The following morning we had a brisk Drury breakfast and departed for Denver. That evening’s wine and cheese welcoming party was very nice and everyone had a good time.
Alas, altitude sickness struck the Cleeks, so our first planned ski day we were a no-show. So far as I know, we were the only ones affected. This was practically the only time it snowed while skiing. During the week we had fantastic blue skies, excellent snow coverage and great skiing with fantastic friends. The injury bug struck early and often, but I’m happy to report that Suzanne Grueser had a crutch-free trip. Doug Werth proved his knee replacement was a success, but added his shoulder to a future list. Bill Coolidge and Gene Shokes also suffered some rib injuries and provided a bit of controversy for the Board of Directors to iron out at a future meeting. As it stands right now, helping injured ski clubbers to get in and out of their pants is NOT on the list of trip leader responsibilities. Tradition has it that this falls to the injured party’s roommate. What goes on in Breckenridge stays in Breckenridge.
Scott and Penny Kramer provided some quality entertainment. Scott decided Penny was ready for a double-black and off we went to the Imperial lift - the highest chair lift in North America. Penny, undaunted, went straight down the Imperial bowl. Straight-lining it. She did not attempt to make a single turn. Furthermore, she made it clear she would run over anyone that didn’t get out of her way. The rest of us slowly worked our way down, picking up her gear. Kudos to Tom Hale for running her down and applying the brakes. Not to be outdone, Kelly Braden attempted the same maneuver on the next run.
Glen Urey and Randy Dehart were the iron men of the trip. From what I understand they were logging close to 30 miles per day. The only way I came close to that was to include shuttle rides and chair-lifts. As is normal, Scott Kramer continues to be the bump-run King.
Our traditional midweek group meal was somewhat modified to something of an everyone-for-themselves at Mi Casa restaurant. There were some variations, but the largest contingency took over the bar dining area and I thought it turned out wonderfully. I had a great time socializing and we had a full menu to choose from, as opposed to the limited menu available to large groups. We repeated this endeavor on Friday at the Brewery and again it worked out well for everyone to socialize.
Of our non-skiers, Janet Gill seems to have lived large. I heard tales of snowmobiling and dog-sledding. I even heard of an out of dog-sled experience, but I didn’t get that first-hand. I also heard tales of shuttle-trauma where so far as I can tell the object of the game is to throw large amounts of money at the bus driver in order to go 15 miles in under 2 hours. Janet will have to tell this tale, though.
And as is usual with a (me) trip out west, the weather has a cruel sense of humor. I LOVE to ski while it is snowing. But I have a history of battling blizzards to get home after a week of blinding sunshine. This year’s version of great snow started while we were in the hot tub Friday evening and by the time we were working our way downtown to the Brewery, it was downright brutal.
But alas, a darned good week ended on a sour note as our bus showed up with not enough seats and cargo room. I personally want to thank everyone that chipped in to load luggage and come up with the Uber solution. I was profoundly embarrassed to find myself in that situation and have let the vendors know of our displeasure with that turn of events, but somehow with everyone pitching in we made it. And for that I say thank you.
The ski club is presently looking for trip leaders for next year’s trips. I just want to add that while time-consuming, I had a lot of fun. I may have ended up with the best of the best of the best ski clubbers, but everyone was very helpful and hardly anyone caused any unnecessary misery. I am, by nature, somewhat shy and kind of stick with my clique, but this experience had me meeting everyone on the trip and I can’t begin to say how much fun it was getting to know everyone. I had help and advice and good vibes coming from everywhere. Past trip leaders were helping out, and the BOD and really everyone that I asked was willing to chip in and help out. It was an overall great experience.