Sunday, March 06, 2016

Day 2: Vail

A couple of people wanted to ski in Vail, and the rest of us were more than happy to hang out at the bottom of the mountain drinking and eating on the patio at Garfunkel's.

After many hours I got bored (the only sober one) and took Sylvia on a walk down a trail that looked promising. Brought the Sony F828, for the first real photo expedition since arriving in Colorado.
A few laced gummi bears also marked the first time I've tried to do any "serious" photography with a buzz on.

The bridge was actually well-traveled by every skier who came down the trails and wanted to take the gondola back up.
The fenced field photo is a personal favorite, but won't rate printing because of all the footprints in the snow.
Imagine it with a clean pristine coating of smooth new snow.

At 3:30pm they stop charging too much $$ for the gondola, so we finally went up to the top.
Unlike down in town, it was biting freaking cold with a windchill factor of holy crap.
I was able to tolerate photography for less than 10 minutes, then went inside the lodge to warm up before riding back down.
Skiers must be hardcore to put up with open chair lifts at altitude.

After a few hours dicking around in bars, shops, etc, it was time to cross the mountains on an hour+ drive back to home base in Breckenridge.
As the only sober member of our party--with bonus points for years of experience driving in upstate NY during winter--I was soon tapped to take over.
Within minutes it started to snow heavily with serious winds. Conditions went from "dark" to "OMG 30mph is way too fast". Got some brownie points for keeping my cool in a bad situation, and also for putting up with the panic of seriously baked passengers with grace. Our rented 2016 Lincoln Navigator with 4-wheel drive was the right tool for the job, and I fell in love with it.
Used most of our "Squirty-Juice", AKA windshield washer fluid.
The convenient stores in CO have that stuff right out front on pallets, because it's as critical as gasoline for getting around.

Went shopping for groceries, back to the rental house, and got myself rather well fucked up.