Colorado

I arrive at Raegan airport a little after 5am. I am flying out to Denver for a weekend snowboard trip to Keystone, Breckenridge, and Vail resorts. At the gate I meet my new group of friends from DCESK8. We are excited to be trading the pavement for powder. We arrive in Denver to a cold misty fog. Barren fields make it feel like we actually landed in Kansas. The drive progresses nicely into a twisting road weaving through the mountains.

After the most breathtaking drive and various stops to stock up for our weekend adventure, we arrive at Breckenridge. We hurriedly change into our snowboard gear in preparation for night snowboarding at Keystone. From 4pm-8pm we enjoy our first taste of Colorado snowboarding. The runs are endless, the trails so wide it doesn’t feel like a trail at all. It is invigorating rushing through the crisp night air. The chairlift rides are quiet and cold as we float through blackness. It is only 6pm but it feels like 2am. The slopes are empty as we race each other hooting and hollering. This is what we live for.

It snows all night and we wake up to a powder day in Breckenridge. A friend who works at Vail recommends I skip Breck and make my way an hour to Vail instead. I try to convince our group that we should take her advice, but they are deadest. After a lengthy walk from our condo to the ticket office, I am ready to hit untouched pow. Instead I stand in a ticket line, then a lift line, then make my way down a groomed flat trail only to stand in another lift line. I feel like I am trapped in a maze trying to navigate anywhere that isn’t crowed with tourists. The upper peaks are closed, and the ones that are open have zero visibility due to the snowstorm.The most exciting part of Saturday is walking down to Breckenridge village for dinner. Margs after margs appear as we enjoy our Après ski wholeheartedly at a Mexican restaurant.

A couple hours later Aaron starts suffering from food poisoning. As the only female out of our group of seven men, I take on mommy duty to drive Aaron to the hospital. It is blizzarding outside, the roads are unplowed, and I am driving 80mph to get to the hospital. Aaron has been whimpering and is slowly losing consciousness. Marc, aka the most annoying person on planet earth is backseat driving. Every glance at my GPS is followed by a “watch the road”. We are 10mins from the hospital and Aaron starts to lose feeling in his hands and body. He starts screaming that he is going into paralysis.

We arrive at the hospital with Aaron in full shock. The hospital staff if way too calm for the insanity that has taken over Aaron. We sufficiently get him checked in and begin the wait. Within an hour he is fine, the shock has subsided, and he is only suffering from dehydration and possible altitude sickness. An oxygen tank and IV seems to have cured him. 3am rolls around and his discharge is right around the corner. Until its 4am and the hospital staff tells us they got busy with another patient. At 6am I make the executive to drive back to Breckenridge to get some sleep while we wait for Aaron to be discharged. I sleep for a solid 45minutes before I get a call to pick him up from the hospital. It’s odd being the designated caretaker of someone I just met, but I am thankful he is ok.

Arriving back at the Airbnb, breakfast is made, and everyone is ready to head to Vail. I am too excited to even care that I didn’t sleep after a full night of being at the hospital. The drive to Vail is insane. The mountains are blanketed in pure white, and I can’t help but oohing and aaahing at every turn. Before we are even on the slopes I am already in love with Vail. The German style town is ridiculously cute, and unlike Breckenridge it feels empty. There is no line at the ticket booth, and we walk right on the gondola. Even though the real powder day was yesterday, there is so much untouched territory left. The sun is out giving us the most perfect blue bird day we could’ve asked for. I am in complete bliss as we shred through powder up to my knees. The day flies by and 4pm comes way too quickly. I am reluctant to leave, but already scheming for a way to come back.

Arriving back in Breckenridge we hit the hottubs and nom out on our last day. I feel infinite as I swim through the misty outdoor pool. I am so eternally thankful for making it on this trip. I feel at peace floating next to snow covered pool chairs. I let myself get lost in time, reminding myself of how special it is to be there right now. Our chill session ends abruptly after the bitchy female hottub attendant realizes I’ve been enjoying the amenities topless. She calls the cops on us and claims we are unruly. We laugh and make the trek back through the snow to the Airbnb.

We head out to the town of Breckenridge for our last night. We find a karaoke bar and wait patiently for our turn to sing obnoxiously. Everyone in the bar is singing along and cheering as if they’re at a live show. I vow to never sing Always Be My Baby by Mariah Carey ever again after watching video footage of my performance. Marc sings Do You Realize by the Flaming Lips. “Do you realize that life goes fast, its hard to make the good things last.” It is the perfect ending to our ski trip.

The drive and flight home are spent reflecting on how thankful I am. Thankful that Aaron only got sick and didn’t break a bone. Thankful to be able to experience the Colorado resorts I had only heard of prior. Thankful for having the opportunity and time to make the trip out west. Landing back in Raegan, I watch the lights from the tiny houses form the veins we call our cities. Everything is beautiful from up above. I let myself get lost again in the peace I feel while traveling. Even if just for a weekend, I feel as though everything is right in the world.