By JB Bissell

One Sentence at a Time

Month: November 2015

The Rules

Skiing at every Colorado downhill operation in a single season really doesn’t have to be all that big of a challenge. There are plenty of people who notch more than enough days to cover the lot. In other words, I want you to know that I don’t consider myself some sort of hero taking on a seemingly impossible task that will culminate with the morning talk show circuit.

Let’s face it, all I’m really doing with this self-guided snow odyssey is giving the boys and myself a great excuse to have … yep … the best ski season ever.

But I do want it to be more than that. Like I said earlier, I want to operate outside of ordinary. I don’t want to just pull the boys out of school for as many days as it takes. I don’t want every trip to include ski-in/ski-out accommodations and a hot bowl of chili at the end of the day. I want it to be a little uncomfortable (at times). I want it to be more adventure-like. So I’ve established a couple rules — and might add or delete as the winter rolls on.

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Have An Adventure

You probably guessed that there’s actually more to this Colorado ski odyssey than just “I love to ski.” And you’re right. In the pie piece of my life labeled “recreation,” I like to believe I operate somewhere in the fringe of adventure. Don’t get me wrong, I’d never call myself an adventurer. I’m not scouring Snake Island for hidden loot or hiking the length of the Amazon River or charting a course to the South Pole. But I have been scuba diving with bull sharks and backpacking along the Colorado Trail for more miles than are comfortable.

I’ve also taken a couple pretty serious survival courses, and in addition to the fire-making, shelter-building, and map-reading skills I learned, I discovered — oh, on about day four — that I simply don’t like to be away from, and out of contact with, Michelle and the boys for long stretches of time.

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Craft Brewing

I had a chance to speak with a handful of Colorado’s craft brewers to learn a bit about how and why they got started, and what it takes to keep going.

Craft Sector Blueprint

Cartagena, Colombia

A trip to Colombia had always been on my list. I’m not exactly sure why. I’d like to say it was all because I studied Gabriel García Márquez in grad school. But it probably had just as much to do with watching Scarface at an early and impressionable age. Whatever. It doesn’t really matter. What does is that the place made an impression all its own on me.


Downslope Distilling

Want to write about booze again? Yes, I do.

Downslope Distilling

Park City, Utah

A youth lacrosse tournament in a cool mountain town? You bet.

Park City

Azure Furniture

If you live in Colorado, you know all about pine beetles. If you’ve visited Colorado recently, you probably noticed big swaths of dead pine trees mucking up our otherwise beautiful mountainsides. That’s thanks to the pine beetles. All that dead wood has to go somewhere, so the Azure Furniture Company started making it into cool, unique furniture.

Azure Furniture

Women’s Bean Project

CompanyWeek is a solid local website that focuses on businesses around Colorado. How are they doing? What are their issues? What do they need? A while back I got to cover the Women’s Bean Project for them.

Bacon? Yes, Please.

Right after the spirits story appeared on Confluence Denver, the editor asked if I’d like to cover Tender Belly, a local high-end bacon (and other pork products) distributer. And that was pretty much the best back-to-back freelance stretch of my professional career.

Tender Belly

Spirits — The Drinking Kind

Confluence Denver is a cool, weekly e-pub that highlights the people and organizations around town who are helping the city move forward and continue to be the only place in the world I want to live.

When the Confluence folks asked me if I wanted to write about some local spirit makers … well, I almost dropped my cocktail.

Denver Distillers


Honestly, I wasn’t all that excited to go to Cancun. Everybody goes there. But you know what, there’s a reason everybody goes. It really is gorgeous. And it really is a good time.


New Orleans

This is a story I did 18 months or so after Katrina, when it was time to get people going back to the Big Easy to have some fun.

New Orleans

Best Ski Season Ever

The goal is to carve turns, bounce down the bumps, and hopefully glide through some fresh powder at every Colorado ski hill over the course of the upcoming 2015/2016 season. Before you start checking them off in your head, yes, every ski hill in Colorado. And yes, I have thought about that one. More on this later.


The main reason is simple: I love to ski. It’s my spiritual place. A day on the slopes — hell, even just a couple hours — is time away from thinking about anything else. Bombing down Resolution Bowl means I’m not worried about a work deadline. And I can’t be contemplating family finances while navigating the Chutes. Whether you’re on a green cruiser or a double-black-if-I-fall-here-I’m-in-big-trouble trail, you have to be fully in the moment. And that’s peace.

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