Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Day 11

Forecasted rain was trying to dampen our stay in Colorado, but with amateur meteorology ( and some luck we found the only dry spot in the state to spend the day, Arapahoe Basin. Now, do consider that Alex and I are primarily snowboarders so it was rather surreal that the only ski resort still open in Colorado would also be the only place without incessant torrential rain in a 200-mile radius. The drive in was cold and wet all the way through Colorado Springs, South Park (of Comedy Central fame), Breckenridge, and Keystone, but a mile or so from A-basin parking lot the clouds parted and glimmers of sunshine even peaked through.
The Basin in June

Me, flashing those pearly whites. Stoked to be boardin'!

It was almost hot at times near the top of the mountain. A-Bay ran two lifts, in succession, for a two ride trip to the peak of the resort. It snowed 2 inches the night before so the landscape sans the extremely rocky spines was blanketed. The basin had a pretty fun terrain park as well, but the soft conditions made it slow for hitting all the features in a line. We filmed for several hours but secured only a couple of shots as we had not rode in a month and were just getting back in the rhythm. We got a lot of turnin' and burnin' in on the mash potato-like snow. I took a pretty gnarly fall clipping hardway 180 onto a 30-foot double barrell down rail with a big gap up and slid the rest of that sucker on my ribs (I realize most of you don't have any clue what that means, but I'll try and post a video since we captured it on film.) Overall, the day was incredible, as is any day of boarding, especially in early June.

After our summer session, we made some ramen at a picnic table at the resort's base are. While enjoying our welcomed nourishment, a man of about 50 approached us saying "158." "heh?" I responded. "158 days on snow this year." We proceeded to talk to the man for about 20 minutes about his life as a painter (houses not canvases) in Vail, his multiple DUI arrests (during this conversation he downed a Coors Light), his crippling weed addiction, the past winter, and the best trout fishing holes on the drive home. He was a colorful character, one of those people you enjoy meeting from time to time when traveling that gives you a real sense of the local culture. We said goodbye to A-Basin and passed out of this hydrophobic heaven back into the soggy state.

On the ride home we stopped at one of the guy's suggested fishing holes so I could throw a couple casts with my Joe Fly. The recent rain left the Snake River, just above Lake Dillon (outside Breck) at flood stage, and made fishing nearly impossible. On our drive home we summited over Hoosier Pass, where the ground was covered with snow which began during our travel up the mountain.

A few miles from Colorado Springs we spotted the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center, Bradshaw.
We snapped some pictures of the triceratops and the T. Rex, but accidently got a little too close before heading back for dinner.

Mike, Alex, and I all went to Jorge's Mexican Restaurant where we sampled "CO Spring's Best Green Chile."
Cousins forever, but not by choice. Nevko's at Jorge's

After our yummy eats Mike took us to the Penny Arcade where the hippies hang out. We played English football, a simple yet addictive foosball-style game for 1cent and talked to a hippie about his recent entrepreneurial ventures selling wire-wrapped crystals, wild.

Alex checking out the old flip-book peepshow for a dime. I refused such cheap thrills.

We continued our tour of town to "Makeout Mountain" with its apparently romantic vantage point of the city.
We continued on past the lookout to explore much of Cheyenne Canyon on an old dirt road and through several old mining tunnels.
We saw Hellen Hunt Falls (not the actress), and enjoyed a roadside bouldering session sponsored by the Altima's headlights.
Weird Exposure. A metaphor for how Mike is exposed by the climb.

Mikey found my camera after finding me passed out beneath his extensive collection of throw pillows.

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