We had a great time meeting up with Carl & JoAnna at the Dillon Dam Brewery at the beginning of the trip, and stayed with them at their lovely flat in Denver on the last night. In between, there was lots of skiing and snowboarding with Larry & Jean at Keystone and Breckenridge! And on the last day we were able to hook up with Swede, a Sigma Nu frat brother of mine from CMU!
Started off with another fantastic meal at Winona's, this time breakfast. Highly recommended. The we wandered a bit, got a belt at a cool store - Urbane. Then we were off to Fish Creek Falls for a hike! The trail was hard packed snow, if you stepped off the trodden path you go down a foot or so into soft powder. The falls were completely iced over! So Steve did not hike just to the base of the falls (which is where I stopped) but went halfway up the falls' icy face! It is magical with powdery mounds over tinkling ice streams.
Picked up a few groceries and we are home for the evening, probably check out more Olympic coverage :)
Sunday we drove into town in time to see the end of the Winter Carnival on the main street that was covered in snow, in addition to it snowing. Kids going over jumps on skis pulled by horses, guys 'riding' shovels pulled by horses and a small town parade with high school marching band on skis/snowshoes, local businesses in wagons pulled by horses or snowcats, pulling people on skis hanging onto ropes! Very unique and fun to watch!!
Afterwards we waited to get lunch at Winona's. Fabulous, definitely worth the wait. The we headed over to Howelson Hill to watch the last 2 rounds of ski jumpers! I was lukewarm on standing in the cold to watch, but I'm glad we did - very fun to watch, and seem like a great group of guys that really support each other.
Grocery shopping rounded out our afternoon. That night we headed to Mc Knight's Irish Pub for dinner. Yummy - great celery root/fennel soup, grilled veggie sandwich, mac & cheese. Oh, and Guinness, of course!
That night the tv and Internet and hot water heater all were out. Not thrilled with this place. But it's not terrible.
Monday we hit the mountain. Powder!!!! It was really snowing pretty much all day, so the visibility was very poor - it was hard to see whether the run was smooth or choppy, shallow or steep... So I got tired pretty fast.
We stuck to the right side of Steamboat, where it was impossible to get lost, or wander onto a double black run. Lunch on the mountain was baked potatoes with veggie chili at the Rendezvous Saddle. Good stuff.
That night we stayed home and cooked and watched Olympic coverage. We found out that Steve's cousins decided not to come - they were going to drive from CA and the roads were just too treacherous. So they went to Lake Tahoe instead where there have been a few big dumps of snow, finally.
Tuesday we shuttled to the mountain and in the morning it was overcast and a bit snowy but there were patches of sun mid day - just a fantastic long day of boarding :) Powder or corduroy and fun tree runs for Steve to get stuck in! Quick lunch was had at Rendezvous Saddle when I tried the portobello sandwich - also very good!
That night we went out to grab some Mexican. By this time it was snowing pretty hard again. Ended up at the Cantina. Pretty good food, no complaints on the margaritas!
Today we will take a break from snowboarding. My legs are feeling it, and I want to be able to hit the mountain Thursday and Friday! It's supposed to snow pretty steadily on the mountain through Friday, so visibility will probably be a challenge. But it will be a blast :) and it is so gorgeous!!
We had a bit of an adventure getting here - we had booked a flight starting in the tiny airport near our house, CLD, and they canceled the flight to LAX. So we were driven up, luckily he had a van as we had snowboards!
Got up there with ease - an accomplishment considering how the traffic can be! - and hung out in the United lounge til the flight. Posh! Now I get why people like to be members!! Flight to DEN uneventful. Oh, Steve beat me at cribbage :)
After a 45 minute wait for luggage and 40 minute bus/wait for the car we were on the road. The car guy said good luck getting to Steamboat - it will take you. 6 hours because it is snowing!!! Ugh.
The I-70 wasn't bad, tho it was a parking lot going east. The 9 at Silverthorne was ok, a bit of snow and ice but not terrible. The last 60 mile on US40 was very slow and slippery - all either hard packed snow or ice. Saw a number of cars that slid off the road into snow banks (all were being helped out). Oh, and did I mention there was a blizzard going on? Steve did a fantastic job driving, especially considering he didn't grow up in snow.
Finally got here, checked in, popped in a Mexican restaurant 2 minutes before the kitchen closed (yummy!) and collapsed.
Still snowing, and expected to continue through tomorrow afternoon. Good news for snowboarding but not good news for Steve's cousins that were going to join us, driving from Sacramento. TBD whether they will risk the trek.
Today we will get our bearings, explore the town and grocery shop!