Sunday, March 31, 2024

Out Like a Lamb

Fresh tracks.

For some dumb reason, it's been hard for me to do much writing lately. At least anything beyond personal note taking. I've gotten a couple of hundred words written a few times, but nothing has really inspired or formed any kind of a hook for me to take off on. I've also been in more of an about state of things, which might create some fodder, but also increases my lack of patience for organizing my thoughts, but here I am giving it the old "college try".

March has been a busy/fast month as most months feel to be lately. It started with a ski trip to Colorado with my kids. This was the fifth year we've taken a trip, and this year didn't disappoint. We did one day at Arapahoe Basin, followed by a day off while a snowstorm moved through the mountains and then skied a second day at Breckenridge in several inches of pristine powder. 

The last couple of years skiing in Colorado, I'm finding I really need that first day to adjust to the altitude. The base of most of the hills is between 8,000 feet and 9,000 feet above sea level with peaks near 12,000. It's a bit of a difference from the ~700 feet above sea level where I spend most of my existence right now. Pausing to fully exhale and catch a fresh breath is a common occurrence. Also, I find that falling or doing things that get the heartrate up takes extra time to recover from. In some senses it's rather frustrating as I do have cardio as a regular part of my routine and I feel like I used to handle such situations better, but I guess it is what it is and won't keep me from going. 

Another interesting thing is that I'm now the slow skier of three of us. I tend to like to casually work my way down the hills, but also admit that I'm maybe a little more tentative than I should be when it comes to hitting powder moguls, etc. for the reasons listed above. It's not that I lag far behind, but it feels I'm a little less in the middle of the pack; especially when I eat it, which I try to minimize. Still, I did have a couple of falls. 

My most notable fall was after our late morning break/snack at Breck. I was feeling pretty spry after a cup of coffee and upped the intensity. I decided to follow my son on some tree-edges. I came out of one path into a mogul that gave me a little air (proud of my paper-thin vertical) but put me into the side of another mogul. What's the term? Arse over elbow? Anyway, after picking up myself, my skis and my dignity I met my kids at the mid-hill lift. Apparently, I was wearing a fair amount of powder on myself, queueing my kids into what happened. Oh well. I survived but pulled back a smidge the rest of the day. The only other time I seem to struggle is towards the end of the day when the edges get a little tricky to pick up and the terrain starts getting a little suspect after being heavily skied.

Outside of the skiing, we took the aforementioned off day to visit a hot spring and do some soaking in pools/tubs of various temperatures. The water was a little sulphur-y, fitting as the place was called Hot Sulphur Springs, but was nice to take some time and relax. We made it there early enough in the day that we had had our fill once the apr├Ęs ski folks started to show up and were able to make our way back to the condo in plenty of time. This was our second year staying in a ski condo. While convenient, I think most are in need of updates. However, we had a 100-foot walk to the chairlift at Breck from the condo and that's hard to beat for skiing. 

That is one of the neat parts about Breckenridge though. Ski access is well integrated with the town with several lifts and a gondola at your service. The ski area is also huge, uncompassing several peaks and there is terrain for everyone. The tops of the lifts can be a little crowded, but there's plenty of space once you get down the hill a little bit. The only thing I'll be more concious of next trip is cost. I held off buying passes too long and ended up paying the window price. If you buy early, as in the fall before, you can get very steep discounts (>50%). Check out if thinking of getting a better deal. 

I will mention that one of the reasons I didn't jump on the Epic Pass is I don't really like the idea of being tied into a single set of ski areas in travel planning. There are a lot of ski areas that maybe don't get the marketing the Vail resorts or Ikon resorts get that I'd like to be able to see before my body decides I'm done (which hopefully won't be for a couple decades :-) ).  Ski holiday's are definitely an area where a little bit of planning can go a long way for us wannabe deal finders. 

The next year may be interesting as my son will be off to college. We are starting to hone in on the where and it will likely be a little bit of a drive. Mixing that with family holiday planning, etc. could make the trip tricky. I'd really like to get out to Utah or California but will have to see. California is tricky as the snow can be hit or miss and is a little more expensive to get to. 

Arrowhead GC, Myrtle Beach, SC

After skiing and a couple of working weeks, I then embarked on another adventure. This time to lower altitude and sunny weather in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It was my first time attending an annual golf outing organized by one of my football coaching friends. This was also a lot of fun and very much a "dude" trip filled with way more golf than I'm accustomed to playing (99 holes in 4 days!), card games and other harmless shenanigans.

Honestly, I played awful. That combined with a little Minnesota stoic underreporting of my handicap allowed me to bring up the rear in the tournament portion of the trip. Still, I won a little money by way of having a great partner in a team round. I flew home with plenty of sun and sore shoulders. 

You would think I'd be golfed-out but now I'm just wanting to hit balls and adjust my golf bag for my nine-hole league play this season. I even added a new pushcart as my birthday gift to me. It even has a cup holder :-P 

Thus, I'm looking forward to the Minnesota golf season to start. Unfortunately, it snowed for three days after getting home and has stayed cool. Most of it has melted though and I'm guessing the driving ranges and such will be opening soon.

To round out the month was my birthday. A good chill day to relax with dinner at Fireside Foundry and relaxing watching a little TV on Peacock. I had thoughts of going out but found myself tired and wanting to just chill. 

And here we are on Easter Sunday, March going out like a lamb and with a lamb. Enjoying more quiet and waiting for what April holds.

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