March Madness Runs Into April

End-of-KOTO Street Dance in Telluride:  One of Many Mountain Celebrations to Mark the End-of-the-Season

KOTO Street Dance in Telluride: One of Many Mountain Celebrations to Mark the End-of-the-Season

Wow, what a month it has been. It’s been at least that long since I posted a story on this blog. So what have I been doing? Skiing, of course. Mostly teaching skiing actually, nearly every day up until our closing here in Telluride which took place this past Easter Sunday, April 4th. I’m just now beginning to feel alive again. I say almost since I’m still consuming above-average amounts of caffeine but I know more energetic days lie ahead.

I’m much better than I was earlier in the week when I logged endless hours on my couch, too tired to read but content to watch copious amounts of T.V. in between long stretches of sleep. (I think my cats registered more awake time than I these past days.)  And dare I take inventory of all my eating? I’ve been devouring the scalloped potatoes and chocolate left over from Easter, and by Tuesday afternoon I found myself whipping up a vanilla milkshake and sucking it down from the indented cushions of my couch faster than Oprah could say “We’ll be right back.” When I began to compulsively channel surf between Dancing with the Stars, CNN and Bravo, I worried that I might never feel normal again. But miraculously my cravings for sugar and fat diminished by Wednesday along with my desire to escape profoundly into the boob tube. Last night I even cracked a book, “Abundance: A Novel of Marie Antoinette,” that I can’t wait to get back to tonight. (I find it impossible to read during ski season when evenings mean either falling asleep by 9 or partying until 11.)

I don’t know how so many people pack it up as soon as the mountain closes. They head to Moab, Mexico and the Islands or embark upon adventures such as a rafting trip on the Salt River. These people must be largely motivated by the thrill of switching out ski boots for flip flops. I guess I’m just a softy. I need to recharge.

Anyone that works in the hospitality industry can tell you that March can be insane in the mountains. As a ski instructor, you have to be ON all the time throughout the sunniest and stormiest days of spring break (which this year lasted most of March right up until Easter). It doesn’t matter if your knees are killing you, your quads burn beyond belief or if you don’t have an ounce of gas left in your tank, it’s our job to spread rainbows and sunshine and to make sure that everyone has the best experience ever.

And what a great end-of-season it was here in T-ride. The snow fell generously and often, right up until the end, interspersed with glorious days of warmth and sun. I taught mostly private ski lessons to a terrific array of clients, some of whom promise to be future guests on Travel Fun. I delighted in teaching Josie, a sweetheart of a thirteen-year old, a first-timer that I worked into almost a complete parallel by the end of two days. Her parents, Kevin and Corinna, own Antlers & Anglers, an exclusive service that arranges hunting and fishing trips to alluring destinations around the world. I’m looking forward to having her dad on the program to talk about big game hunting and more. Perhaps an unusual sort of topic for my show, but certainly very interesting nonetheless. I had a blast with twin six-year olds, Max and Carrie, for a week and through this family, I met novelist Martha McPhee. (I also skied with her son Jasper.) Martha has a new book, “Dear Money,” coming out in June. This work showcases the financial world of New York where Martha lives, so it might be a hoot to have her on Travel Fun to talk about the ins and outs of the Big Apple’s high rolling landscape. I’m sure she can provide a few good restaurant recommendations as well. Martha is the daughter of the prolific nonfiction writer John McPhee and the sister of novelist Jenny McPhee. She’s married to poet Mark Svenvold who, along with Martha and the rest of the crew, enjoyed doing a bunch of nice turns in Telluride during one of our best weeks of March.  (In case you’re wondering, Martha and I talked more about skiing than writing.)

My friend Kate Betts, renowned fashion and style editor, was also vacationing in T-ride during this time. We managed to work in a Travel Fun interview together which I’ll soon post here as a podcast. Kate is still a contributing writer for TIME Magazine but we mostly chatted about her recent project, a book about Michelle Obama, entitled “Everyday Icon:  Michelle Obama and The Power of Style.” “It’s really about why style matters,” Kate says.

In the midst of all this activity, I was asked to participate in a photo shoot for SKI Magazine, an undertaking that occupied nearly two day’s of my time both on the snow and in Bootdoctors, the Telluride sport specialist that is the focal point of this piece. Bootdoctors has gained great recognition for fixing people’s alignments (and their skiing!) by adjusting their equipment—mainly ski boots—to compensate for their own physiological imperfections. I was selected certainly not for my skiing prowess or on-camera presence but as a prime example of a knock-kneed woman. I shared the shoot with Don Hannah, longtime Telluride resident, fellow KOTO DJ, all around nice guy and brother to Daryl. Don was chosen to represent your average bow-legged man. This was no glamour shoot, especially since I was so caught up with my work that I hadn’t even thought about having a pedicure for the shots (and Internet footage!), many of which focused on an extensive custom boot-fitting for my feet. To think that my gnarly ski instructor feet are to appear rough-hewn and unpolished in a national magazine by next ski season— quel horreur! Don and I were also documented skiing our worst knock-kneed/bow-legged form on Telluride’s fine slopes. Don nailed my sentiments exactly when he said, “I’ve been reading SKI Magazine since I was a kid and now that I finally get to appear in it, I come across looking like a dork.” Oh well, Lindsey Vonn I am not.

So now it’s time to organize my personal space and to pick up my writer’s life. I’m on my tenth load of laundry this week and am chipping away at my e-mails. Fortunately it will be a slow transition since I have a couple of trips planned to Vail and Aspen before the month is out. You can read about some of my post- season adventures from last year at Skiing and Spa-Going:  Part One in Vail, Colorado and at Aspen Highlights. I’m looking forward to free skiing and not having to instruct or look out for anyone’s well-being but my own. I bet I’ll miss the silly chairlift games and heartwarming connections though.

This is indeed a funny life, trading off between ski instructing and writing. But as much as it’s a juggling act, I can’t imagine giving it up. There’s nothing like balancing out the mental with the physical, especially when you live inthe Rocky Mountains. I wonder what Marie Antoinette would think.

Note that April is full of end-of-the-season activities at Colorado’s top resorts. Aspen Mountain closes this Sunday, April 11 but will reopen the weekends of April 17-18 and 24-25. Beaver Creek closes this Sunday as well, however Vail’s spring fling kicks into high gear April 12 with their Spring Back to Vail.  Search the Internet for lots more great skiing and fun in Colorado through early May.  You’ll find some terrific bargains, too.  Be sure to pack your costumes and most colorful spring attire!

Skiing Bunnies, Mary Dawn and Michael, Hop on the Quad in T-ride on Easter Sunday

Skiing Bunnies, Mary Dawn and Michael, Hop on the Quad in T-ride on Easter Sunday

 

The Crowd Gathers at Gorronno's in Telluride for a Closing Day Concert by Drew Emmitt

The Crowd Gathers at Gorronno's in Telluride for a Closing Day Concert by Drew Emmitt

 
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