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Colorado ski trip to the Beav and Vail with Spence

April 10, 2013

My best buddy since age five called a few months ago and invited me to go skiing with he and his doctor friends from Wilmington NC.  I readily agreed as I had had zero ski trips this season and how’s guy supposed to get by in life with zero ski trips I ask you?  I booked the flight and the weekend came, off to Colorado from Midway.  A couple of hours after I arrived the Wilmington physician crew arrived.  Solid dudes and a great time goofing around with them.  We spent the night in Boulder with Spencer’s family, my second family since I was 5 years old.  Then off to the mountains in the Volvo they let us use, I got to drive and rocket us up I-70 after the beautiful drive down 39 from Boulder to Golden, right along the foothills and past the former nuclear warhead site, Rocky Flats.  As we rolled up into the mountains I was so excited showing things off and pointing out various mountains and buffalo, they began to give me a hard time as it seems I would point and the car would go in that direction, not inspiring confidence. We got there in one piece thankfully.  The famous Beaver Creek, and Spencer’s awesome cousin Chuck who works at the fabulous Osprey hotel hooked us up with rooms, lift tickets, ski rentals, and food.  The price of the whole shebang was seriously a fraction of what I was expecting.  Kudos to Chuck and his beautiful wife Dawn for treating us so well.  We stayed in a $900/night room for $80… amazing.  The Osprey apparently is the closest hotel to a chairlift in North America and I believe it, steps from the lobby to the Strawberry lift.  Ski valet right there at the door to watch your shoes, skis, etc, making it so easy to ski.  Fun to live like the big dogs for a weekend and not pay big dog prices.  Spencer and I shared what was essentially a honeymoon suite, fireplace, king bed, bathrobes, pretty funny.

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Then we hit the slopes.  A beautiful day of skiing ensued, and I was plenty tired and sore  though it was only about a half day.  I was actually a bit timid and felt rusty and out of shape.  Those feelings faded over the next two days and especially the third day at the stunning Vail Resort.  Incredible skiing, hit Sunspot, Wow, and a favorite bump run of mine off the front, so much fun we did it twice.  What  mountain Vail is, enormous, fantastic conditions most of the time, and plenty of terrain to keep anyone happy.  On a powder day there’s nowhere better I say, you can get fresh tracks all day and for days after if you know where to look.Image

Saturday night we hit the Beaver Creek Chophouse.  I was actually disappointed with my steak and with the service – maybe coming from Chicago I expected too much though I doubt it.   Sunday skiing at Beaver Creek with the three physicians and my lawyer buddy from college and his seven-year old son joined us.  Skied with a bunch of doctors and lawyers, good stuff.

Sunday night got a bit crazy as we went straight to the bar apres ski and didn’t leave for six hours – and then only to wander briefly around town, where the below “mouth wrestling a bear” incident happened.ImageLater this evening we convinced Brian to bust out his guitar and amp he’d brought from Wilmington to jam for us.  He played for hours in the lounge for us, asking each of us in order for requests, and then belting out a tune to us.  Really fun and quite a talented, rock and roll doctor.  Looking forward to seeing him again live in Wilmington next time I visit.  Good stuff.

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And I already told about how fabulous the day at Vail was – terrific conditions, I knew the mountain and my favorite runs, and I was in good shape again, no longer rusty nor fearful, and got such a giant adrenaline rush, a feel good rush, bombing down the slopes, stunning peaks in the background, dancing down the moguls, ripping through the powder, flying down the cattracks.  What a feeling.  I remembered why I love skiing so much.  All of it with my best old buddy and other fantastic people – such a social sport, riding up the lifts, stopping every so often on the way down the hills to chat and laugh.  Wonderful way to spend time.

We headed back to Denver, flying down the freeway through the mountains to make a 5pm dinner reservation at Lola’s Mexican restaurant in Denver.  Great to see Bliss and Jordan, had been ten years since I had last seen them, they look great.  Then I hopped on a bus to DIA, as the rest of the crew went to the Avalanche hockey game.  At DIA, they cancelled my flight (All flights were cancelled), which with a dead phone left me in a bit of a spot, as they weren’t paying for hotels due to it being a weather issue.  I headed back out, and caught a bus to Boulder, and with no phone was unable to let anybody know I was coming.  I sat next to a fascinating fellow who was a former European Union official, how cool is that?  We talked global politics, fun way to pass the time.  I noticed a Whole Foods and a road name, Baseline, which had a good shot of being roughly near the home of Dave and Margie, but I had no clue really with my phone dead.  Whole Foods was closed but the Noodle restaurant was just closing, I barged in and plugged in discretely, and called Spence, and his dad – Spencer was only about ten minutes away, they picked me up, and bam, made it back to the Carney’s home.  Spent the night, up in the morning, flights were all in action so off to the airport we went, managed to get on a 9am flight easily, and back to Chicago, direct flight, and straight into the office for a productive afternoon of work, then home to see my gorgeous baby and beautiful wife who I missed!

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Tahoe ski bachelor party, Tigger on Skis

March 24, 2010
 

Check out the videos:      

Went to a bachelor party out in Tahoe, third ski trip this season, 15 ski days or something ridiculous like that for me this season.  I was impressed by the Tahoe area – apparently they get a ton more snow than Colorado or Utah – though it is generally heavier.  Myself and one other guy got there early on Friday morning and did a hike up Mt Waterhouse and skied down – in a raging blizzard, chains were required to get up the pass.  They don’t require chains for passenger vehicles in Colorado, and I think studs may be illegal – chews up the road too much.  If I’m wrong they don’t enforce it like in California where they pull you over and force you to chain up, have 4wd, or turn around.  No chains no goThe hike up was about an hour and forty-five minutes. And it was worth every minute – one of the greatest runs of my life, if not the greatest. Huge deep untracked powder, giant trees perfectly spaced, big poofy boulder fields, knee to thigh deep bottomless powder.  Spectacular.  Met up with ten-twelve terrific guys at a big home that night, Read the rest of this entry »


Random Clips

September 10, 2009

I haven’t posted in a while and have a hadful of random things to talk about that have occurred the last month or so.

First is this video of my friend Tadd Maudlin, cruising on his sailboat off the coast of Belize, doing a dance that I used to do in college and most likely still do called “the Trimmer”.  I’m very jealous of him – bought a boat and is cruising on it indefinitely with his girlfriend, they are now in the Carribbean off Belize – follow them on their blog at http://lastknownposition.blogspot.com 

Speaking of boats, mine was broken for two long weeks – the motor went out while we were sailing, so we had to sail her into the can with pretty much no wind – super fun and challenging.  Then I tried a zillion differnet things to fix her, all to no avail and making it worse over about ten days.  Called a boat mechanic named Doug Pietz recommended by my boat neighbor.  He met me out on the boat and proceeded to tear into the motor fearlessly – fixing three problems, each of which could have been a major issue on its own, all in the span of under two hours.  A true professional and it was really amazing to watch him work.  I was very impressed with his skill and his pricing and efficiency and fun attitude.  If you need boat engine work done certainly call him at 847 533 9030, he is spectacular.

This past weekend I went to another lake house, also in Michigan and on the shore of Lake Michigan and its spectacular giant sand beaches – they are truly stunning if you have a chance to check out the west coast of the lower peninsula definitely do, they seriously rival many of the great beaches around the world in my opinion in the summer, and also very cool to experience in the wintertime.  Stretches a couple hundred miles up the coast.  Here’s a view from the kitchen:

 View of Lake Michigan from the west coast of Michigan

Took different crew sailing each day of the air and water show including Friday – very fun and gorgeous days.  Check the picture of the enormous American flag on a sailboat we saw. 

At the Air and Water Show in Chicago 2009

At the Air and Water Show in Chicago 2009

Went to Devil’s Lake one Sunday a couple weeks back to rock climb with some climbing friends, great time had by all.  Gorgeous, perfect day and terrific group of climbers. Devil's Lake near Upper Diagonal

This weekend we head to Lake Superior to kayak the Apostle Islands for five days, should be a great trip, sevn of us are going, really looking forward to it.

Went to a Purdue football game last Saturday, very fun to see all my old buddies and wander by my old apartment.   In college I managed to jump a car over the embankment shown below, they seem to have put up posts to stop this in the future.

Scene of trouble back in the day

Scene of trouble back in the day


Everybody Loves a Lake House – Coldwater Michigan

July 9, 2009

Went to a lake house in Michigan last weekend.  Michigan is a beautiful state and has lots of lakes and subsequently lots of lake houses, which I love.  It’s always so relaxing, such great food, fun for everybody.  Swimming, kayaking, waterskiing, tubing, wakeboarding, cruising around on a pontoon boat, partying…  grilling out, people show up and leave whenever, totally laid back and cool.  Read the rest of this entry »


Los Angeles Quick Trip – LAX

July 7, 2009
LAX at Los Angeles Airport

LAX at Los Angeles Airport

Went to LA last Thursday and Friday for a couple work meetings, one in Redondo Beach and then dinner with some others in the fancy shmancy, famed Beverly Hills.  Good meetings, good folks.  I used to live out in Orange County for a consulting project running around eight months, managed to get a hotel on the beach in Newport and learned to surf a little before and after work.  Read the rest of this entry »


Rippin it up in So Ill on the Sandstone

June 24, 2009
Alan rapping off Cranial Implosion (12a) at Jackson Falls, So Ill

Alan rapping off Cranial Implosion (12a) at Jackson Falls, So Ill

Went to Southern Illinois over the weekend to rock climb at Jackson Falls with my friend from the gym, Alan. We had a great time and got on some good routes including some 5.8s to warm up on the east side of the canyon and Cranial Implosion, a 5.12a I’d really like to get at some point. I worked out the crux sequence which I haven’t been able to do before, so that was encouraging. Also got on Lovely Arete again, but it was soaking wet so much more difficult and scarier to do as it was slippery, so no dice. It’s an 11a. Read the rest of this entry »


Canoeing “Le Diable” in Quebec, Mount Tremblant National Park

June 16, 2009

Went to Mount Tremblant National Park in Quebec over the weekend (mid June).  Very beautiful area, big stone cliffs on the two hour drive north from Montreal.  Many ski runs carved through the trees on the mountainsides as we drove north.  The trip was a fairly last minute deal with three buddies, all friends since age five or so.  One of us is a doctor, Spencer, and is in Montreal for the summer learning a new procedure.  Wayne and I flew in to meet him, I met with a couple guys I do some work with in the city, then we were off to the woods and streams and mountains north of the city.  We were late (for our 8pm shuttle to the wilderness) as always seems to be the case when travelling with Spencer, Read the rest of this entry »