The other day, intravenously hooked up to my coffee machine while typing away at the computer and making phone calls, I looked outside and stopped mid type. Here I was tooting my Aspen Real Life horn and, other than skinning up Buttermilk with Muki, I hadn’t skied down Aspen mountain yet. What was wrong with me?
Racing up to Aspen I couldn’t stand myself. Had I forgotten that I moved here to stay young by playing in the great outdoors throughout the day…and night? NEVER!
I clunked through town in my ski boots, along with all of the other skiers/boarders coming and going from the hill. Collapsing into the empty Silver Queen Gondola I listened to DJ Naka G’s mix on the world’s first solar powered music system. “You’ve heard of elevator music, well this is elevated music,” DJ Naka G said smiling into the camera for a promotional video. What another great way to bond skiers together by offering a chance for them to take off their headphones and listen collectively to the music playing, or even better, share their own music in the provided docking station.
FROM VERMONT TO ASPEN:
Zoning out in the fifteen minutes that it takes for the gondola to travel 3,000 vertical feet, I thought of my father who instilled the love of skiing into our souls when my sister’s and I were still toddling. He was our ski commandant, marching into our room, in our Stratton, Vermont ski house, to wake us up at the freezing crack of dawn, regardless of how miserable the weather was. Back then, it wasn’t always a love affair between me and my skis, for when we weren’t on the mountain, ski school was horribly boring, and I often wished I could stay home in my pajamas and launch off of bunk beds. Occasionally, on extra cold days where our breath frosted our nasal hair, my father indulged us by pulling us out of ski school to race around in our ski boots in the lodge while he and my mother listened to the Stratton Mountain Boys yodel away on stage.
My most cherished days were the ones where we skied together as a family, except for when I was traumatized, like the time they lost me in Stowe, Vermont. I was five years old and I slid around on my skis at the base of the mountain, asking anyone and everyone if they had seen an old man with white hair, my father was twenty-one years older than my mother. Finally a nice, young man took me in and gave me cocoa until my parents found me, about five hours later. Why it took them so long to find me is their best kept secret. I’m thinking that they subconsciously, or consciously, found it quite convenient to not have a little thing bombing after them in a snowplow wedge screaming, “Wait for MEEEEE.”
I got off the gondola, breathed in the views that I never tire of, and snapped on my skis. Life was good…no GREAT, my dimmer was no longer on dull. I raced down the mountain with my legs burning and my adrenaline flowing, gaining as much momentum as possible, never stopping until I hockey stopped in front of Brevitt, spraying he and his friends. “Sick,” they all said in unison, and that it was!