Winter in the Colorado Rockies…… WTF?
What are doing in the Colorado Rockies in the middle of winter, taking an entry level job you don’t even need? You could have went anywhere for the winter! You were supposed to be warm, sunny, tanned, surfing, fishing, yoga, drinking beer and eating tacos on the beach in Costa Rica for the month of January. You can still go, your commitments are nothing more than verbal, its explainable, kind of. And so it went that first morning in my new winter Colorado home for two hours as I lay in bed, cold, tired, not yet adjusted to the altitude, hungry and wondering WTF I had done.
I had left south Texas 3 days earlier with a plan of arriving at the winter cabin on the Colorado River I would be renting for the next 4 months on Friday 11.30, obtain my bearings and start my job at Beaver Creek Resorts Saturday evening as I had previously committed to. While traveling through Texas the first day I lost my break assist at low RPM/idle which was similar to the problem I had traveling through Kentucky in September. I stopped at two Mercedes dealers in San Antonio that afternoon, no help. I made a corporate decision to continue on to Denver with no brake assist and have a repair shop in Denver address it, traveling into the mountains with faulty brakes wasn’t an option. I arrived in Denver Friday around noon and the shop got on it, identified the problem, sent a runner for the parts and 5 hours later I had brakes. I’m now half a day behind schedule and heading west out of Denver up the mountains driving into what would be the biggest snow storm of the season in the middle of weekend tourist traffic. It snowed heavy off and on and traffic was none stop. I pulled off in Idaho Springs, CO and got a bite to eat, spent the night in the van and purchased tire chains from a local auto parts store when they opened at 8:00 am.
No one said it was going to be easy and come to think of it no one even suggested it was a good idea. The original plan was to spend most of the winter in south Texas and Costa Rica and I scratch that and head for the continental divide for the winter. If you have been following along you know what I do is not for you, or for others, I don’t seek your permission or approval. I’m living my OneLife and believe me when I say I know it’s not for everyone.
How bad was the weather? Avalanche warnings!! Beaver Creek was hosting the World Cup Ski race and Sundays start would be delayed a few hours due to, and I quote, “To Much Snow”. Back on the road and headed to the cabin Near Bond, CO, arrived around noon at the cabin, headed to the resort to fill out my employee paper work and report to work at 4:00 pm to work my 4:00 pm to 1:00 am shift. I was back at my cabin around 2:00 am with a drive in the dark on snowy roads up and over a mountain pass. I was tired, cold, stressed, and hungry. I should be able to sleep until noon I thought…nope up before 7:00 am and wondering WTF am I doing.
After two hours I climbed out of bed, made coffee, took a shower, ate and was feeling a little better. Around 9:00 am the sun climbed above the mountain to my East, came through my window and warmed the back of my neck. I looked out my front window at a view of the Colorado River and surrounding mountains that changed my perspective 180. A view words could not due justice.
The answer to WTF are you doing Tom ended up being simple. This trip was always meant to be about the adventure, the unknown, unplanned, challenges that come with and stepping outside my comfort zone and that was and is exactly what a Colorado Rocky winter had to offer. My commitments, to the apartment rental and the entry level position as a Snow Cat operator where indeed nothing more than verbal however to me they were gold. I would be the best tenant and employee each had ever had as I verbally promised both. I was and am exactly were I was supposed to be… Amor Fati
I wake every day in disbelief at what I have here, what I see and the people I get to spend time with. I’m living in a winter wonderland people spend an entire year dreaming about visiting a few days and work the entire year to afford it and “earn” the “vacation time” to do it. They pay me to be here!!! I can ride the mountain, hike, snowshoe, fish, view wildlife, enjoy the sunny days each and every day. WTF am I doing here? What the fuck took me so long to get here?
The first of April as the season draws close to the end I suspect I will wake one morning and toss and turn for a few hours wondering WTF are you doing again? Are you really going to leave this place?
As always wishUwerehere