Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I'm a Lucky Little Snow Bird!

After a slow start this season, we’re finally getting hammered with snow in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. A series of snow storms started last week and should continue through this week. They’ve brought snow to the mountains and to Boulder. We could do without the snow down here in Boulder, as it’s derailed the Hot Tub construction. However, it is very pretty and certainly is helping us get into a holiday mood.

Jesper and I loaded up Strelka (Mushka had to stay at home), donned our Santa hats and headed up Flagstaff Road Saturday morning in a snow storm to cut down our Christmas Tree. The City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) lets people come onto their park land for one weekend in December to help thin the forest by cutting down smaller trees. People are asked to cut down trees around 10 feet tall or less, although they don’t get too picky if you go a little taller. Good thing, because we did! Anyway, the only bummer about the whole setup was that they decided that dogs would not be allowed with you while cutting. This despite the fact that dogs are typically allowed in these areas and that no mention of this ban was made in the information posted on OSMP’s web site. They were trying to manage the higher than anticipated number of participants, but the forest is so big that having a bunch of dogs out there would not have been a problem. However, we sadly left Strelka in the car, where she promptly froze while we sought our tree. We took her out to romp in the snow later that day to make up for it.

Jesper and I tromped around for awhile not finding anything we liked. Most of the trees were scraggly little Charlie Brown trees, but Jesper finally found a beautiful, but tall, Douglas Fir. We debated selecting the tree, since it was probably 11 to 12 feet tall. However, we decided to go for it because it was by far the nicest tree we’d seen.

Holy Moly – that tree was heavy and we had a LONG way back to the car. Getting it up on the roof was quite a chore too. It’s a beauty though, in a natural way that a lot-purchased tree is not. We plan to set it up in the Living Room where the ceiling is really high. I’ll post a picture of it when it’s all decorated.

Since we’re not going to Denmark this year on account of Mushka being so sick, Jesper had a whole mess of vacation days set aside for a long trip to Europe. IBM does not allow him to carry them over. There’s NO WAY we are letting those vacation days vanish, so we’ve been taking off Fridays and Mondays and also plan to take off the whole week between Christmas and New Year’s. What are we doing with all those days off, you might ask? Skiing, of course! All this month of December, and starting on November 30th, we’ve been skiing on Fridays and Mondays to avoid the crowds we’d normally encounter on the weekends. This has left Saturdays and Sundays free for stuff around the house and playing with the dogs. I’ve also had to get some work done over the weekend; work that I would normally do on a Friday or Monday. I’m very fortunate to have that kind of flexibility in my job.

We have lucked out with the latest series of storms on our ski days. Last Friday, Winter Park was slammed with about a foot of snow the night before. We skied there with a friend, Elizabeth, and were extremely fortunate to be there when they opened the Mary Jane side of the resort. Getting first dibs on runs that haven’t had anyone on them all season is wonderful. We went down Mary Jane several times, relishing in the fresh and deep powder. Even after many skiers/boarders had been down, the snow was still deep and soft. There was a lot of hooting and hollering! Whoo Hooo!

Yesterday, we lucked out again! We went to Copper and, although there wasn’t any fresh powder on the runs that were open when we got there, they opened the Sierra Lift at about 1:00 pm. This lift goes up above tree line and allowed access to two black diamond runs opened for the first time this season. Both runs (Gold Digger and Retreat) were super fun, especially since the resort was almost completely empty. After three runs through the powder, the snow wasn’t even close to being tracked out. By then we had done16 runs, which is a lot for one day, so we called it quits and grabbed a celebratory beer at Jacks. Sorry, I have no pictures of us in this wonderful powder at Copper; we were simply having too much fun to stop for photos!

Jesper and I will continue our four day weekend schtick next weekend. I could get used to this! I know I'm a lucky little snow bird!


j (Free) said...

Fifty first try...


No idea if this will go through. Most of my comments seem to bonk for some reason...

I was ill last weekend so I didn't go to the farm to scrounge up a scraggly tree. Millie really wants one to augment her pile of oak leaves...


j (Free) said...

By the way...

I like the choice of pic for your About Me page. A 24 hour race with you wolfing down food and Ensure during a break, nicely streaked with mud.

It captures your spirit, although it does make you look like Pippy Longstocking's wild sister... which, come to think of it, sounds about right.

j (Free)