During the last five or so ski seasons, Steamboat has become our home-away-from-home mountain. There’s not much I don’t love about both the community and the hill. And Michelle has some fairly deep family roots there. As in, her grandfather’s grandfather founded the place. As in (part two), the family home Uncle Jim so generously allows us to occupy was one of the first buildings constructed back when the town was just getting started. (Seriously, you should see the early pictures of the house with nothing around it for miles.)
So, you may be thinking I married into the family for the ski accommodations. That’s only half the story. There were Broncos season tickets involved, too. But we’ll stick to the skiing here.
For a split second, I thought catastrophe had caught up to us. Dade was doing a 360 off a bridge that exits from the Westside Glades at Echo Mountain. When he first said he was going to do it, I knew catching the handrail with his ski tips was a potential problem, but I didn’t say anything. I didn’t want the ramifications of all that to creep into his psyche. (No need to call social services; when he proposes truly boneheaded ideas, I’m the first to say, “Seriously?” with my best bewildered dad-face.)
After a three-week interlude to accommodate teenage social calendars, a Broncos’ Super Bowl victory, and a Texas hog hunt, our handwritten schedule indicated it was time for “Aspen Weekend #1.” With four gonzo mountains up around Hunter’s old neck of the woods, we were going to need two weekends, and February 20 to 21 was going to be the first.
Right up until it wasn’t.