On Sunday, March 6, the end of a four-day weekend that had already included Telluride, Silverton, Purgatory, and Hesperus (and four hotels in four nights), we drove north from Durango to the town of Silverton. It’s a cool little place, a former silver-mining outpost, and if you turn right on East 14th Street, you’ll end up at the Kendall Mountain Recreation Area, which, during winter months, has a chairlift cranking and a couple dudes hanging out in the ticket “office.”
And, on that particular Sunday, a dad and his two boys wrapping up a pretty monumental Ski All Colorado weekend.
I got a text from my good friend, Mike, a couple weeks ago. He was on one of his crazy bike-ride adventure races (you’ll get to know him better in a few posts). He’d probably been up for 72 hours straight and had pedaled uphill both ways from Tijuana with a donkey riding shotgun or something like that. I don’t know. Anyway, he was on his bike and he was down around Durango. I can’t remember the message exchange verbatim, of course, but I think it went something like this:
Mike: Hey, did you ski Hesperus?
Let’s straighten this out right away: As far as I’m concerned, it’s Purgatory. That’s the name that always sparked my skier’s interest growing up, and, now that I’ve finally been there, that’s the name I’ll use going forward thank you very much. Sort of like I’ll always call Mile High, Mile High, no matter who pays top dollar to put their name on it.
Okay, so, Purgatory …