21 April 2009

COLORADO COLLEEN: Ski Season Ends (at many but not all Colorado resorts)

We got in 22 days of skiing this season, and we figure that's respectable for two adults with full time jobs in Denver.
Our Colorado Pass has the tagline: "It's why you live here."
Well, at least part of the reason why we live here.

Too busy soaking up the last runs of the season to take photos of the closing day festivities on the mountain. Such a scene! Picture--if you will-- a happening beach party, only instead of flat sandy beaches, imagine the slopes of a snowy mountain.
Girls in bikinis and skis. Barebacked young men on snowboards.

Last Sunday, Vail buzzed with skiers and riders in hats and wigs, capes and boas, leis and Mardi Gras beads, costumed as cats or Vikings or Paul Revere. Men in women’s clothing. Women in men’s clothing. Ski poles wrapped with flowers. Lederhosen and Alpine hats. Cowboy hats. Rhinestones and sequins. Vintage, one-piece ski jumpsuits. It’s all part of closing day on Vail—a celebration of another spectacular ski/ride season come to a close in Colorado, at many but not all resorts.

At the base of Golden Peak, Vail served up a free bbq to the crowd assembled to watch the World Pond Skimming Championship. Each year, a pool of competitive pond skimmers--many of them costumed--make a run straight down a slope and off a ramp, hitting the pond with their skis or snowboard, attempting to glide across a fairly narrow, shallow pond. Yes, it’s a bit crazy and involves great personal risk--sort of like skiing, in general. It’s a hoot to watch these free spirited pondskimmers with the gumption to make a leap of faith—and most often crash and splash into the pond. Some do make it all the way across, to the roaring approval of the crowd.

I’m not entering this competition any time soon, though in 1990, I did join the Boulder Polar Bear Club on New Year's Day. The actually cut out a portion of ice from the Boulder Reservoir, and people--crazy people--jump in. To make it official, if I remember correctly, Polar Bears must stay in the water for 60 seconds. I was younger, and it was a good hangover cure. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Saying goodbye to the mountain seemed especially sad this year, yet I’m accepting the fact that all things have their due seasons. On to gardening, bicycling to the lake to read, swimming laps at the neighborhood pool, grooving to outdoor concerts, dining al fresco in the secret garden, driving with the top down, enjoying fireworks and fountains, and sleeping with the windows open—even as a door closes.


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