Out of the hours that make up our daily journey around the sun, one thought has yet to leave the back of mind, in times of stress . FLORIDA! Nothing helps more than cranking up the radio to reggae, and visualizing my sun burnt face on the white sands that would be my home. Lucky would be an understatement to describe the beautiful opportunity to move to the sunshine state. I think its destiny to be honest. God knows what I need, like that old Rolling Stones song, you don’t always get what you want, but you find you get what you need, and I could count on all extremities and some contemplating the wants that had been omitted.
My mother had gotten some killer deal on a piece of property that even Donal Trump would be turning in his grave for. Hopefully the house will be finished late September, a perfect time to pack up and leave the dreadful state of Texas. Not like there are no beautiful places in Texas itself, but I had long overstayed my welcome, and a change in atmosphere sounds pretty enticing. Especially if the air we breath wasn’t going to contaminated with cancerous fumes that can be seen spewing in the sky from all four cardinal directions. We’re all super thrilled to be moving though, the sun the surf, the active community in which we will be living, it’ll do us all some good.
I don’t plan to over stay my welcome in that state either. A man has to make his own mark on his heart, to fulfill his innermost desires. A wise man had once stated that there are three types of men or women in this world. The adventurer, the romantic or lover, and the writer. You were practically a living god if you were lucky enough to attribute to all three classifications, I’d like to say I am a writer and an adventurer, but lets face it, my writing skills aren’t so advanced. Im lucky enough to squeeze out something as simple as a single sentence, I do fancy wordplay and poetry, but thats as far as my literary skills will take me. Still, that inner adventurer is in me. I had jotted it down and toyed with an idea for quite some time; to move to Colorado, but it wasn’t up until two months ago that I had really taken the idea seriously and start working my way towards that. Great men and woman had shared the secret that for a man or woman to achieve great things he must first visualize what you want, and secondly to act as if you had already had it. In this case its Colorado. I had gotten the first step down. Its just the second one. How do you go about feeling the emotion of having what you want before you have it? How do you know how you feel? There is only one way to really know and thats to achieve what you want, and that is my plan.
I had already spoken to a few friends about accompanying me on my journey to Colorado and that part is still not set in stone (we arent in high school anymore, and some of us have jobs). I do know that someone will be joining me. I had gotten estimates on the total cost of my trip and it shouldn’t be anywhere over two grand for the whole shabang, from travel expenses to hotel fees and car rentals. Let us not forget about the occasional stop into your local dispensary. It was really all adding up and I could really taste the air, and see the snow capped mountains. Still the anxiousness is bursting inside of me. I cannot wait to see myself living in that wildly diverse state, where the four seasons actually shine though, unlike Texas, where its hot as Hades year round. Still, I’m going to miss my parents, and feel a little guilty for not staying at their hip. I just have to remind myself how important this is to me.
We had traveled there a few times when I was young. Denver, Aspen, Breckinridge, all those cities in the winter were magical, Denver was a foggy memory because I was so young. I vaguely remember sitting in our one bedroom hotel room with the outdated brown carpet and dull wallpaper. Still, it had sown the seed of what would later be my dream. Breckinridge was the most memorable of all our Colorado trips. We had rented a huge three story luxury home that only Jared Letto and the likes could afford to own. It had a kitchen that was the size of our current home. A living room that had enormous glass panels that revealed the great Rockies and a moose head that overlooked the fireplace. The very bottom section of the house had a bar, with another living room, a pool table, and a few sleeping quarters that would house all of the little degenerates that accompanied us (we were good kids). It had two Jacuzzis, the lower level one having a path deterring away from it that would lead directly to a ski gondola. It really was paradise. We had a slew of adults and kids that tallied up to what I’d imagine to be twenty-five or more. The noise that we generated would have been enough to trigger an avalanche had we been any closer to a slope.
A four mile long road had stretched further up into the neighborhood, each housing a mansion that seemed to get bigger with every passing street, but as a kid, real-estate wasn’t much of a concern, we had focused on using the snow by the road to make a ramp for a circular sled designed to glide across the powder with considerable ease and launch ourselves into a five foot snow bank only to come up with snow overflowing from our turtlenecks and Colombia jackets. Luckily no one had gotten injured. Although to all that are experienced with skiing you would know the brackets that separate a bunny slope from an all out shit show. The double black diamonds where the brutes of the slopes, the real deal, fitted with 90 degree angeles and moguls that would render ones knees caps fanito. Matched with blinding snowfall and interconnected trails, its to no surprise that you could easily lose your way and go from a bunny slope to mount doom in a matter of moments, and I had done that myself if not worse. I had known something was going wrong when the trail map I had overlooked seemed to be a little different from what I was experiencing.
A tavern was suppose to be halfway down the mountain where skiers could take a break from the slopes and fill up on local ale and bison burgers, but it seemed as if I had missed the mark. I stopped, overlooked the map, and over looked it again. I had no clue where I was. Completely lost, separated from our crowd. Only to be surrounded by skiers that whizzed by in the blink of an eye. I was fear struck. “where in the hell was I” I thought. There was only one way to go really, and that was down.
The rankings go as such. A bunny slope, which is where most of your beginner would start off, really set for a younger age group and slops that were no steeper than a city street in Austin. Then the trail got a little more difficult, advancing to green circles, a little steeper, a few snow banks on the side and trees that bordered most of the path. Blue Square which is where I would find myself most of the time. A nice mediocre trail that had it fair share of twist, turns, and little hills, generally fun paths to ride down. Black Diamonds, and Double black diamonds, trails that harbored your moguls and beast of ski slopes, trees at every corner and haphazard mounds that seemed to sneak up on you when you last expected it. If I’m not mistaken they had an extra symbol on the maps that only a man with accessibility to a helicopter and Shaun White status could get to. A double black diamond was steep enough for me though.
I had rode my way down a fair share of blue squares only to stop at each crossing intersection tooverlook the map and make sure I was going the correct direction towards the base of the mountain where I would randevu with the rest of the group. I had calculated my location and decided to keep moving to what I thought was the easiest route, avoiding black and double black diamonds when I could.
It was about 2:30 P.M and I had been on the mountain all day. I hadn’t eaten since breakfast, which consisted of a eggs, sausage, bacon, and biscuits, by this time I had used up every last drop of caloric energy my body had and it was finally getting to me. I was getting impatient, I was starving, and the paranoia of coming across a difficult trail was daunting, that was the last thing I needed right now. According to the map I was more than halfway down the mountain, still the snow didn’t seem to give up, partially blinding me as I skied onward.
I had came across an old familiar trail a few miles back that I had ran with one of my buddies Daniel the day before and I knew the base was coming up ahead. Home free at last. But as soon as I had that immediate sense of comfort, it was accompanied by a hollowing sense of regret. I somehow how managed to put myself at the mouth of a double black diamond. The edge of the slope was HUGE, stretching some good 400 yards. If you have ever seen or been inside of an infinity pool, you know that familiar illusion that it just drops off, well in this case, it was no illusion. The edge just dropped. Plummeting you down a 75 degree angle, around all sorts of little landmine like moguls and hills on the way down. The only bright side was that the left second of the slope was the only side that had trees, the right side almost literally dropped off at a 90 degree angle overlooking houses and a trail that were apart of the neighborhood we were staying at for the week. I could have just parishes that way? Diving down a slope that was no greater than the slope I was about to run down, because there was no way I was going to carry poles and skies some mile back to the last fork I had came across. I was just going to have to man up and ride this one out the best I could. Some things are just inevitable in life I presume.
I slowly and carefully crept my way towards the edge of the slope looking at what would soon be my fate. I could see the base of the mountain from where I was standing. Not much further to go, just a mile or two of life challenging terrain where I would hopefully find myself grubbing down on a fresh basket of fish and chips. This was it. I had came as far as I could with ease, the hands have been drawn, my cards were my fate. I turned my skis parallel with my torso, kept my knees bent, and my body tight, I had really launched myself down the hell of a mountain. To keep yourself in control of you speed you have to carve back and forth, left to right, keeping your body tight and low. I had done what I had learned on the blue squares and was doing just fine, pacing myself, but I could see the moguls not much further in front of me, and I had never attempted to ski them. I had no proper technique, no proper etiquette. I would soon find myself ski-less and tumbling down the side of the mountain. The moguls had came up on me soon enough where I attempted to perform like I had seen on the winter olympics , but it was easier seen than done. I hit the first hill where my balance was immediately shot, sending my left leg in the air to compensate for the sudden change in my equilibrium, that was a mistake, because now I had one foot on the ground, traveling near twenty miles per hour and approaching the second mogul as soon as the rear of my right ski was leaving the first mogul. The combination sent me flying in the air landing on my side, sending my skies to unknown parts of the universe and hit my head (wearing earbuds). I had rolled for a good forty feet before I came to a halt. Laying in shame, legs twisted, ears throbbing and skis…well where ever the hell they had gone. I had at least passed the moguls and that was the hardest part. The rest was manageable. Steep. But nothing compared to the difficulty of those fucking bumps. I picked myself off, brushed the snow from my jacket and beanie, and collected my skies. I took it very slow down the remainder of the slope, clenching my sides from the pain till I had gotten to the bottom of the mountain where id explain what had happened to Daniel. I wouldn’t had expected anything less than to be greeted with laughter as I dragged myself up the path, to the Jacuzzi where the rest of the kids where taking their skis off. Despite the wild ride, I hadn’t arrived any later than the rest of them.
I really wouldn’t change a thing about my experiences in Colorado. Between me loosing control on a black diamond or getting crossed at thirty-five miles per hour by another skier. Those memories are with me forever, cherished. They have a life long impression on me. Never underestimate or take for granted the times that you spend with your family and friends, they make you who you are, and ill be back soon enough, hopefully more prepared to have my ass kicked by some slope. Either way. Colorado stays in my heart, and I hope to live out my dream.