The other day when Julie and I were buying our season ski passes at Winter Park, one of the clerks said that the early snow had been the best they'd had in years. "It's, like, February conditions out there!" she enthused. And it's true that we have enjoyed pretty steady snow since before Thanksgiving. Happily, too, the wind hasn't been bad, so it's easy to see the number of inches based on the buildup on the railings enclosing the decks.
It's incredibly peaceful at the Lodge right now. About the only sound I hear when I cross from one building to the other is the crunch of my boots in the snow and the tinnitus in my ears. We're muddling about doing a lot of catch-up right now from the full house we had at Thanksgiving.
Reservations are sparse until the week before Christmas, when we will be jumping. However, between now and then, we expect reservations to pick up, courtesy of an incredible deal being offered by Winter Park: a two-night stay will net guests two free lift tickets at the area, and steep discounts for additional lift tickets. I expect that we will be getting a lot of last-minute reservations. Just remember: mid-week is the best time to ski, if you can play hooky from work.
The snow right now will make it worthwhile. Last year at this time, we were still seeing dead grass peeping through the snow in the pasture; not this year. The snow's already deep enough to hide virtually all the vegetation--though the horses dig down to it quite happily.
Last night when I was driving back to the Lodge from Denver at 10 p.m., the wind was whipping up snow as I drove over Berthoud Pass. But my headlights illuminated the snow-covered evergreens rising on either side of the road. Because of the darkness, they looked almost two-dimensional: a painted backdrop for a stage play about the perfect Colorado vacation.
Or the perfect place to live. It was good to get home. And I didn't even mind shoveling off the decks this morning.