This Thanksgiving instead of eating mounds of turkey and passing out in a food coma, Ashley and I decided to head west for a little mini vacation in Colorado. So, without any reservations or concrete plans (other than we wanted to ski/snowboard) we hopped in the car and trekked the 10 hours and 671 miles west through the scenic landscape of Nebraska. If you’ve never driven through the state of Nebraska, you’re not missing much. It’s not exactly the most exciting terrain to drive through. So, to pass time Ashley taught me the letter game. I’m not exactly sure what the rules are to this ridiculous game, but something about finding letters A-Z on road signs or semi trucks without using a letter from the same sign or semi twice. I think that’s how it’s supposed to be played. However, my unfamiliarity probably stems from the fact that I when was a kid my parents would never have dreamed of taking my brother and sister and I on such a long road trip. Mainly because they wouldn’t have wanted to deal with us asking them ten thousand times “are we there yet?” But also because they wouldn’t have wanted to clean up the double homicide that undoubtedly would have occurred in the back seat. I can’t say I blame them. But I digress.
As we made our way to the edge of Lincoln we ended up calling a few friends and making some loose plans. We decided to go skiing in Steamboat since they just opened up a couple trails and had some early season deals. But we tried to leave a majority of our schedule open. We ended up getting into Denver a little after 2:30 a.m. and we decided to crash at my buddy’s place. In the morning we got up and made the three-hour drive to Steamboat to check into our motel (yes, you read that right, motel).
The Rabbit Ear’s Motel was not exactly the Westin, but I don’t think they rent by the hour either. And the place does feature a cool retro neon sign. Plus, as an added bonus, the rooms are clean and they have cable so for the price it was not a bad place to stay. After arriving at the hotel we dropped our things and headed straight for the slopes. Since it was the day after opening day there were only a few runs open which is to be expected when you are skiing or snowboarding in Colorado in the month of November. But, overall it was pretty fun.
After skiing for several hours and closing down the ski lift, we headed back our place to change and eat some Thanksgiving dinner. Well, I should say we headed to a local sports bar for a Thanksgiving Day dinner special. I suppose there’s a little bit of a difference. Ashley opted for the turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans and pumpkin pie. I, on the other hand, am not a huge fan of turkey so I chose chicken wings and a couple pints of Guinness instead. What can I say, chicken’s the new turkey.
In the morning we hit the slopes and in the afternoon we watched some football at a bar and met a cool local bartender who was nice enough to buy us a couple of beers. It was a great way to spend Black Friday. It sure as hell beat waiting in line at Best Buy or Target to save a $30 on a bunch of stuff you don’t need. Not that I’ve ever done that before or anything.
On Saturday we woke up fairly early and went for a hike at Fish Creek Falls. We attempted to hike the six miles from Fish Creek Falls to Long Lake. But our traction was less than ideal so we had to turn back at the half way point. Ash and I had fallen at least four times as the trails were snow-covered and ice packed, but the views toward the top were pretty surreal.
It took us a couple of hours to hike back down to the base which was a lot longer than we had anticipated. Let’s just say walking up the mountain was lot easier than walking down. But looking back I’m glad we attempted it. We just needed some better footwear.
That afternoon we made the three-hour trek back to Denver to have dinner and drinks with some friends near Wash Park. It was fun catching up, but I probably didn’t need to play 10 rounds of flippy cup. Because in the morning I felt like death and did not want to drive the 10 hours back. All I really wanted to do was lay on the couch and watch football. But, with a throbbing headache and some bumps and bruises, we reluctantly loaded up the car and headed home. It was a fun little impromptu vacation and I’m already jonesing to get back to Colorado to do some more snowboarding.