Riding Out- Colorado Mountains 1/25/14

Breckenridge Mountain

My count down to my winter trip began January 1st and my trip would begin January 21, 2014 and it will be a full week of fun.  This trip is going to be with me, Pat and Julia,  the three amigos are off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of oz.  We booked the first flight out of Boston to Denver, so we were up and moving at 2:15 am to go to Philly and landing in Denver.  As the wait game begins until take off, a guy in a wheel chair passes by us, he notices all of our helmets attached to our bags and says, “hey are you guys going to ride?” and we answer excitedly, “YES!!!!” and he responds, “be careful or you will end up like me in this wheel chair, I broke my tibia snowboarding and I am done riding this season.”  I asked, “will you walk again?? ” and he will but not for a long time of healing.  It was scary to see this at the start of our trip, but his memory will keep me from riding out of control.  Two planes later we arrive in Denver Colorado.  Drink lot’s of water or die, beware of this dehydration danger.  

It’s unusually sunny and warm about 52 degrees, perfect sweatshirt riding weather.  Denver has a weird airport that from a distance looks like a bunch of circus tents and they are famous for the 20 foot horse bronco with red demon eyes.  We pick up the rental Jeep Patriot and we are off to Breckenridge.  It felt like time travel to me, we left early and arrive early, lunch time early.  So we stop for Denver’s best place to eat, at the Denver Chop House.  At the Chop house we have a liquid lunch of  Mojito Cubano’s  and beer, I had the best caesar salad, salmon, white cheddar mashed potatoes.  Finally life back in my face.  

I went to the Boston Ski& Snow Expo, where I won a free trip for 3 nights for up to 4 people at the Wyndham Hotel.  So we will stay in a VIP hotel for free for the first three days and then off to Silverthorne. We end up at the Wyndham Hotel located in the heart of Breckenridge.  This is the most beautiful condo that I have ever stayed in, with a fire place and great kitchen to cook for the next three days, to keep the trip cost down. The hotel/condo is decorated with antique skis, poles and great art work.  Comfy brown leather couches and an awesome antler chandelier.  Very comfortable beds, with the greatest pillows.  First night in Brecken, we ate dinner at Fatty’s Pasta Pizza consisting of a carbohydrate  meal for champions, tomorrow we will burn this off on the mountain.  We will wake up and ride at Breckenridge Mountain for the first day of this great adventure.

The effects of the lack of oxygen hit our group hard, we are all struggling to breathe, and all of us feel like we have headaches.  Every movement takes a lot out of you.  I felt out of it from travel and the extreme altitude.   I needed to sleep with windows open and found myself taking short deep breaths and consuming more water than I ever have, almost 2 gallons of H2O required to survive this clean air city.  

So day two and really the first day of fun.  It’s Wednesday and I woke up to mountains of glory, and once again a perfect temperature, perfect sun.  We chef up a monster breakfast early girly 6 ish in the am and we are off to Arapahoe Basin or A-Basin for short.  We drive to this huge, massive sun mountain with the trails as wide as a football field, with large bowls of pure delight.  I am very intimated by the size of it all.  The lifts go straight into the clouds.  When you are at the top of the mountain, you see this great views and there was not an inch of ice anywhere, unlike New England riding- which almost always icy.  I decide to start on the green trails to see if I can handle this, and we do, now off to the blue trails.  Coming from New England, you will be shocked how big the mountains really are.  We ride and have a great day and hit the bar to have an afternoon drink and to rest  and chug lot’s of water.  We end up meeting a guy named Mark that also works for the mountain too.  He gave us tips and since I forgot my goggles at the condo, he warned me of “snow blindness” caused by the sun and advised me to get goggles.  Snow blindness will hurt your eyes and make you feel as if there was sand in side that you can not get out, like sandpaper to your eyes, painful.  I was able to use his work discount and I saved 50% off the best Electric goggles.  So cool, cause this is the perfect neon yellow that I needed anyways for my snowboard fashion.  Mark also showed us where there is a secret, hidden shelter that only the staff and locals know about.  It is carefully hidden by trees and it is awesome inside.  The shelter is decorated with skis and an old  snowboard with pictures of hot girly’s and pens to sign your name.  I can’t tell you how to get there, but I will show you.  A-Basin is the most beautiful mountain that I have ever seen.  We rode all day and will rest up for Thursday’s riding at Breckenridge.  

Thursday we all sleep in a little bit and since Breckenridge gets so packed on weekends we hit it up Thursday.  The size and vertical elevation had me so scared, almost frozen, all of my three years of riding, right out the gondola door.  It was a perfect day, except my fear.  The first three runs I was so scared that I couldn’t even enjoy riding.  After my few runs of fear, and a quick White Russian from T-Bar on the mountain, I was able to ride in pure harmony and happiness.  I felt so blessed to be here in Denver, that I actually cried, I love this sport so much and that each time I conquer new fears and I am reaching goals that I dreamed of.  I went to 11,000 feet elevation.  Breckenridge had too many people there, crowds on the slopes, beginners and the world’s masses of people who crowd to the epic center of snow.  We check out of this bougie hotel and we are now off to Silverthorne near A-Basin to our economy hotel.  

So Freaky Friday we will ride out at heavens play ground.  We will ride down the Montezuma’s Bowl for the best riding of my life.  Today I looked all around at all of this beauty from this wonderful country.  Out here blue trail, = black diamonds in New England.  As you are riding the lift, higher and higher, it looks as if you were heading to heaven with sun gleaming on my face.  Once again, I cried at the thought of only 3 years ago, that I first tried snowboarding, and to think I now am at A-Basin riding like a champion.  My fear of heights has done a number on me, while I have been here.  My friend Julia has given me the courage to get over my fears and to go out and just have fun.  She is MVP on this trip.  Missing my dog Lola, checked in with my cab company Top Cab& City Cab and fixed a few work crisis via my cell phone.  I am a snowboarder by love, I am a mother and I am Bosslady of the best taxi companies in Boston.  My hard work pays off, that I get to travel and ride as much as possible.  Seven days in Colorado, feels like life time.  Up early girly and too tired to function after 8pm, so unfortunately I do not really have any night life stories to share.  Hit the hot tub and get ready for Saturday’s fun.  

While most people are catching up on there Saturday rest, snowboarders have already ate, drove and hit the slopes. True snowboarders suffer from falls, injuries and financial issues, as a result of loving this fabulous sport of snowboarding.  I wake up every hour or two, just to hydrate myself.  We hit one of the best places to eat in Frisco called The Log Cabin where we start with a Bloody Mary and Julia has her Cramosa and enough food to feed a small village, except we devoured it.  Colorado has the freshest meat and food.  Off to sunny A-Basin.  This will be the day that I master the Montezuma’s Bowl, just jump and launch in to the bowl of death(haha just kidding muah muah).  This is the best place to ride.  Water is key to survival. This mountain is very difficult to master. I have never prayed so much to God to make sure that my group is safe and that we all make it home with no broken bones.  I have felt pure fright and the best high you can ever imagine, the more scared I was, the higher I felt when I mastered that trail.  After riding we hit the best place for dinner in Frisco called Vinny’s, where we had  two bottle’s of wine, the best chicken parm,  and  a five star dinner for Julia’s last Colorado meal.  We had an awesome time, wine sure does make me feel fine.  

Sunday will be the last day of riding with Julia MVP as she has to go home a day earlier than me and Pat. A-Basin is snowboarders best kept secret.  Last day and we found the secret hut, after about three tries.  We put a bunch of my girlygirlswhoride.com stickers in it.  I love this place.   Sunday A-Basin will be the place that I will always remember, because I did my first box three time and not once did I fall like the six people before me.  When doing a box, you have to have speed and fully commit to it and to ride it out!!!  Pat and Julia were so excited to see make it on the box.  I never have seen Pat so proud of his student(me) and how far I have come on this GNU board.  As soon as we are finally acclimated to the oxygen levels and elevation and it’s time to go.   I am actually happy that this our last day of riding, a little home sick.  We are going to do a double blue trail, and we did it.  Weather had been perfect all week, and I got a little tan from being so close to the sun and heaven and clouds.  My snowboard journey will continue for as long as I can, I have taught my friends how to ride and now they are mastering this sport.  Last night with Julia, so we meet up with a college friend of hers in Denver for the last supper.  At dinner we shared lot’s of laughs and the stories of riding in the best city in the world.  We drop Julia off Monday morning and me and Pat just relax and hot tub out, Tuesday back to Boston, Massachusetts. 

I enjoy learning and trying to challenge my self as a rider, love growing my skills and so thankful to blessed with the best life I could have dreamed of.  Always wear your helmets and enjoy the snowboarding experience.  Stay tuned to the next mountain that I explore, see ya on the slope side. Peace to all..

 

Arapahoe Basin

 

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