Describing my recent week of Rocky Mountain highs will be a joyful experience for me. I certainly hope it will be joyful for you as well. They don’t call me the Active Travel Pro for nothing, ya know! But this trip was not work…far from it, unless you consider that my quad muscles were screaming for rest the entire week. Giggle.
Our Cincinnati Ski Club typically schedules three ski weeks per year for club members. Vail mountain in Colorado was the very first REAL mountain I ever skied back in the day (I don’t count Snow Trails in Ohio), so I was thrilled they offered it to us this year. We left on February 28th for 7 nights, 6 days of skiing, flying into Denver with United non-stop. While I was one of the few whose luggage arrived promptly, there were many unhappy folks with ski equipment all over the country. United has a terrible track record for lost bags…please heed that warning if you are booking a flight any time soon!
Fast forward to the morning after, and this girl was already “Rocky Mountain high” with the excitement of hitting the back bowls and fresh snow. Following the tracks of my good friend and roomy Gretchen, (who is much more accomplished and experienced than I in this sport), I fell in love all over again with this amazing ski area. Our condo was a short walk from the Lionshead gondola (Landmark Towers…I highly recommend) and just below us was the rental shop. I rented three different high performance skis, and definitely skied most confidently on the Atomic Century 156. It was awesome, as we could leave the skis outside the shop overnight, ask for a wax or tuning any time, and the staff totally rocked all week! www.vailskibase.com
Here’s a little DEMO ski report: The two other skis I tried were nice. A Volkl Charisma 156 was the first day, and while it was really stable at high speeds, I didn’t really care for the narrowness under my boot. With the wide tip, I kept getting them crossed while working in the moguls, so I only skied them the first day. After my Atomic had a failure of the rear part of the binding mid-week (runaway ski and a butt slide down the hill about a quarter mile to find it in the woods!!!), I finished with a Blizzard Samba 152. Although it was a little bit chattery on the packed steep downhill, I became accustomed and was almost happy with it by the end of the second (and last) day.
The week truly flew by, much as I did down that mountain! At times you would consider me “out of control”, but how does a 60 year old who has not tracked very much “real” mountain ski time get better, if she doesn’t push to the edge of the limit? That’s how I roll, my friends. And after nearly two feet of snow fell that week, I would say that I am a MUCH better powder and tree skier than I was at the beginning of the week. And OMG, it’s AMAZING to ski in the fluffy stuff through the trees in a white-out! And yes, I wore a helmet faithfully. You should, too.
A few of us were curious about the marijuana industry in Colorado, so we took a cab to Eagle-Vail where there are several businesses dedicated to the dispensing of both medical and recreational herbs. Some of us intended to buy, others were simply curious. The name of the place was Native Roots. We chose them because they had an AD in the paper saying they offered a free limo, but alas, they discontinued this.
Colorado residents pay a lesser tax, and you must show a driver’s license to enter. NO smoking on site is allowed. And you should also know that you cannot partake within a US National Forest, which all of Vail Mountain is. I occasionally smelled it while skiing or on a lift, but there it surely less than back in the 70’s when I first visited! If you never have smelled it being smoked, it’s a bit like a skunk smell. Yeah, that’s not a very good way to encourage you to try it, is it? Grin.
Without going into great detail, I will share some observations and notes with you, as I suspect you may also be curious! There is a sign in the waiting room with Rules and Regulations. On the wall was wallpaper with many of the slang and official names for marijuana. We learned that the Sativa strains are the more “active”, and the Indigo a bit more “in da couch”. There were pamphlets and business cards of Doctors who specialized in it, and there were charts showing all the medical benefits to the human body.
Our sales person shared his own experiences with the different types, as he pulled out a tray with about 8 small jars with huge buds in them. The lids told the name and type, and you could just pick it up and sniff. I found it hugely helpful to know that the sales staff are given “homework” each week of two different samples. There were quite a few food items for sale (lollypops included!), and a nice display of beautiful glass pipes of various kinds.
As we walked into the dispensary room, there was a red carpet kind of roped line for recreational users, and on either side was a medicinal counter for ONLY those with a medical prescription. I am not entirely sure, but assumed that these strains may be slightly different, or at least there may be more strains to choose. On this day at 3:30 pm with good snow on the mountain, our group of 6 was the only group in there for a little while.
As an organic, whole food lover, I must say I was a bit taken aback by the labels. There were tons of chemical-sounding ingredients listed as “fertilizer”. But I researched a bit, and this company does use very high quality ingredients for the food items. Here’s a link so you can learn more.
As a small business owner, I do not have to worry about drug testing in Ohio, as did some of my companions. So yes, I bought two different varieties to try, although I could not even come close to finishing the two joints I bought, even with the help of a couple of friends. These strains are very strong, and two hits are all you need! Silly me…I should have thought that through a bit better. At $15 per cigarette, which came in this really cool cigar-like plastic container with a label on the lid, I considered it well worth the science experiment. At Vail prices, that’s just a couple of glasses of wine! Grin again.
Funny après ski story. One night we went into Vail Village for some music, and found a young man playing guitar and taking requests. He had a very wide range of music, so I requested a little John Denver. Perfect, right? Well, one of my condo mates didn’t think so! He reacted a bit violently, yelling “Noooo! I’d rather die!” But I got my wish, and I was a happy girl. Happiness is a John Denver song while in Colorado enjoying a “Rocky Mountain High”. As I like to say now and then when I am excited about something, “Booya”!
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