Brandon O'Brien

Travel and Adventure Journal

I wanted a place to journal all my travels and adventures around the world. I always enjoy going back and reflecting on my past travels and getting to relive them through my words and photos.

You're reading posts I wrote in March 2006. Return home.

Spring Break Skiing in Colorado

Sunday, March 19, 2006 @ 12:00 PM in General Travel

This year for spring break, instead of doing the whole beach thing, I went out to Colorado with my family to visit my Aunt and to go skiing out at Keystone.

Before I left for break I had to find a bag to put my skis and poles in. I went to Rusted Moon Outfitters in Broadripple but they were already sold out for the season. They recommended that I try Play it Again Sports. Sure enough, I went over there and found a used bag for $15. It wasn't anything fancy but it got my skis out and back. I left Indy around 8:00pm Monday for Denver. I flew on Frontier Airlines where they had the LCD screens on the seat backs and you could watch your progress live. I listened to Armin van Buuren and read Backpacker Magazine. About 2 hours later I arrived at Denver.

My family was already out there (they flew in a few hours earlier and went to my Aunts house). I called my dad when I got in and he came and picked me up. My aunt had made some really good pasta with meatballs and sausage and I warmed some of that up when I got to her place then went to bed.

The next morning we woke up and ate a quick breakfast and headed out towards Keystone. The drive took about 2 hours but it was awesome. The drive started just outside of Denver and took us up into the mountains. We got up to Keystone around 1:00 I believe and stopped at a rental place so my brother and sister could pick up some skis. We had been planning on skiing Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday but the people at the rental place informed us that there would be no Night Skiing on Tuesday. So we just went to the condo early and hung around for a while then ate some dinner. You could see the slopes from our window and we were almost within walking distance to the slopes (it was a tough walk in ski boots). After dinner we went to bed a little early so we could wake up right away and go skiing.

We woke up on Wednesday and it was a little cloudy, but we geared up and headed out to the slopes where we stayed on Peak 1 the whole day getting used to the really long runs (one of them was 3.5 miles long and took a good 15-20 minutes to get down). We skiied until about noon when we went back to the condo for lunch. By that time it had really started to snow hard and we couldn't even see the mountains from our window. We waited around for a little while for the snow to let up a bit. I had a New Castle Brown Ale before I took off for the slopes again to help warm me up a bit. My brother, sister and I skiied for the rest of the day until we came back for dinner. My mom made some Chicken Casserole and broccoli for dinner. After eating my brother and sister were too tired to go skiing at night, so I took off around 6:00 and pretty much had the slopes to myself until 8:00 when I came back in. I had another beer and went off to bed so I could get up and take some pictures because the weather said it was supposed to be great on Thursday.

After waking up the next morning and seeing just how awesome it was outside, I got my snow suit on, got my camera and headed out alone to the mountains. My sister was going to try and get my mom off the bunny slopes and my brother wanted to stick to some of the terrain park areas on peak 1.

I made my way up to the top of Peak 1 and started taking photos. The blue run I took to peak 2 was pretty neat. It was a lot harder (read more fun) than the ones that we were doing the previous day. To get all the way over to peak 3 I had to go up and down peak 1, then up and down peak 2, and finally up peak 3. The sky was an intense blue and I was snapping pics the whole time. It was probably some of the most fun skiing I've ever had. The views were incredible and the runs were challenging, but not too difficult where I couldn't do them.

After I got to peak 3, I headed back to peak 1 where I was going to meet up with my brother and sister again. When I finally got back, it was about 11:30 so we just decided to go back for some lunch. My dad had smoked some pork back home and they brought it with them so we could have pork sandwiches for lunch. They were really good and my brother and sister and I headed back out to the slopes. We went all over peak 1 but stuck mostly to the terrain park areas where we were taking some crazy jumps and having fun. We tried doing some skiing through the trees but my skis were just too long (186cm) and it wasn't working too well.

After getting a few more good hours of skiing in, we went back for some dinner. We went to a place called the Old Dillon Inn that my dad had found out about when he saw the menu in a magazine or something. The food was alright but a little expensive. When we finished eating we put our boots back on for some night skiing. We knew that our ski trip was almost coming to an end because we had to leave for Denver again on Friday afternoon.

The night skiing was awesome on Thursday night. There wasn't any snow blowing and the temperature was at the perfect level. We stuck mostly to a run called the Spring Dipper because it wasn't too crowded and there was a nice mix of steep fast runs as well as relaxing sections. We skiied until about 8:30 that night and then went in so we could get up early and get to ski for a few hours in the morning.

We got up early once again and packed up all of our suitcases and got into our ski gear because we had to be out of the condo by 10:00. We had a good time skiing for a few hours and then met up with our parents to head back to Denver where we were going to have dinner with our Aunt.

When we got back to my Aunt's house we all talked for a while since we didn't really have much time to on Monday when we all arrived. I was able to check teh internets for the first time in almost a week but the only thing in my inbox was spam.

We left for dinner around 5:30 and went to a really nice European restaurant. One of my dads business buddies was there and we all sat at the bar and talked for a good hour or so. When it came time to order, I ended up getting the Veal Parmesean with french onion soup which was really really good. After all was said and done, we ended up leaving the restaurant around 10:30 and made our way back home.

When we got back, we all went to bed because we had to catch our flights back home in the morning. My parents had to drive to an airport that was about an hour and a half away so they left around 10:00 in the morning. My aunt was going to drop me off at the Denver airport so we left her place around 11:00 and had some breakfast. I got to the airport pretty early because my flight didn't leave until 2:55. I sat there and edited some of the photos i took on my laptop until my battery died. About an hour and a half later I boarded the plane and headed back to Indy and then drove back to Purdue.

Overall the whole vacation was awesome. I'm definitely going to try to get back out there this summer for some backpacking. I also decided that one of these days I'm going to move out there. There's just so much to do out there with all the mountains. You can go mountain biking, rock climbing, skiing, rafting, etc, etc.

Tags: old blog

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