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If you have family bring em, including the dog! Bringing the kiddos the cousins, aunts & uncles, grand-folks and yes, even in-laws;) for a ski/board week can be a great way to reconnect. Hot tubs, scenery, fresh air and having everyone off on the slopes all day makes for great evenings together. Heck even those sometimes challenging teens seem to lose a little attitude when they gain a little altitude:)
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The next night I have dinner with the store crew and my first cocktail in a bar. A grasshopper of course and one was enough I guess. Cuz Whoa! Iím in a Land Rover with three of my co-ed work buddies driving across a plain of snow glowing in starlight for what seems like an hour. Utterly amazed we can drive off the highway like this Iím a little curious about freezing to death if we get stuck. I have no idea where we are, but destination? Hot springs! We pull up alongside a few other cars and hop out stopping to stare in awe of the universe above. I hear a burbling creek, the ticking of a hot engine cooling fast and the stars confirm we donít need the flashlights we didnít bring. As we crunch down the bank I can start to see heads drifting in and out of swirling clouds of steam. Then whole people wading out to get dressed and OMG! the girls are not wearing bathing suits!!
And then OMG neither are my gal buddies from work and that's a big surprise for this high school kid! Time to rip my clothes off and get in the creek quick cuz this is blowing my mind. My excitement is tempered by stumbling barefoot in the snow over ice encrusted rocks at the creeks edge and the shock of putting my chilly feet into some pretty hot damn water. Working my body out of life sucking cold air down into this mother earth heated, skin wrinkling creek eases a sigh out of me once my earlobes dip the surface. And oh what fun! I can move around the creek through an infinite range of temperatures from melted snow to egg poachiní until I find just the right hotness.
Surreal and ethereal time has us debating how long weíd been soaking. We notice weíre the last ones in the creek and reckon it must be at least 1:00AM. Hmmmm. No towels. I shake my head and hear the sound of ice clinking. Reaching up to touch my surfer long hair I find dreadlocks of ice. My imagination then pictures a thin film of ice coating my skin by the time I make it back to the car. Well body heat prevails after all and Iím still warm and toasty five minutes back down the car tracks when the car heater kicks in.
The skiing? More firsts. Surviving the Stingray ride increased my sense of invincibility enough to huck myself off the cornice for the first time. I hook up with the best skier in our group, the Boss of course, and fall in a few yards behind him trying to stay in his tracks and mirror his every move. My skiing ability and confidence increase exponentially.
Day three and weíre done. One of the gals offers me a seat in her bland sedan so I bail on the Vette and jump in. Riding along all warm and comfy enough for my brain to work, I ponder about how much Iíve been changed by this trip to the mountain and sure Iíve read this somewhere, thatís what mountains do.
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