Thursday, February 14, 2008
Alex drove me into the bay area and dropped me off at Ricky's house. I won't be seeing him for a couple weeks. After a lonely afternoon listening to new music I just downloaded from the film There Will Be Blood Ricky came home and we got some dinner with Nolan. The next afternoon we flew out to Denver. Dad and Lindsey flew into Denver from Chicago and had already gotten the rental car. Our cousin Brett picked us up and we headed up the mountain. In On the Road Kerouac and his buddies spent a lot of time in Denver; I remember his description of his first time into the west sitting in the back of a pick up truck and breaking out of the confines of Iowa. It is like the air overflowed with oxygen and the crisp stars were so many that they lit up the sky like tiny flames. Denver felt, to me, like any American city. So much has changed since Jack's time. The air was cold and the mountains formed a wall in the distance. We drove into the storm in the night. We were meeting dad and Lindsey at the cabin. Walls of snow surrounded our car, the wind shook the steel frame, and I felt sheltered. As we drove along, some divine lights peered around the corner of the jagged rocks -- a rock quarry in the middle of the mountains swirling in the snow. Colorado is as I imagined.
We got to the cabin, unpacked, Lindsey and I snuggled up in the bed and chatted in the warmth until we lost consciousness. We rushed in the morning to get skis, to prepare for the blizzard snow hill and its negative temperatures, and to fuel our bodies. I felt too hot then too cold, there were moments when millimeters of skin exposed felt susceptible to frostbite. My joints got cold and sore in the weather. We quit early.
Lindsey and I giggled and got into our bathing suits and went outside in the winter weather and slipped into the pool. We shivered in the water, not being cold but perceiving the snow that surrounded us, we felt it was the appropriate thing to do. We squealed with delight and pretend coldness and dared each other to get out into the freezing air and plop into the hot tub. Finally, we hopped in, and so did the rest of the resort, and we found ourselves surrounded by middle-aged wonks who sounded, to us, like the teacher from the peanuts. We got out, showered, went out to eat, said goodbye to Brett and then slipped our sore bodies into bed awaiting the sustained activity that was to come with the dawn.
Morning came and it was sunny. What Brett called a blue bird day. For comparison's sake, yesterday was a dirty city pigeon day. My legs felt warm and Lindsey and I were set to explore. We found the perfect run: it was long and slow and beautiful. We spent some time skiing through the trees, finding little bumps and getting a few inches of air. Lindsey and I then decided to go tubing. These tobaggon-like ruts in the snow held the tubes as you slid down. Lindsey, inevitably, got involved in snowball fights with the workers there, flirting and taking names. I laughed till my cheeks hurt, assuredly getting taken for a ride with her antics. The boys were from Chicago, she is to meet up with them again, never I'm sure.
We spent the evening the the hot tub as before, this time with young college boys with big muscles. Lindsey sat coyly and smiled. We went out to eat and had beer and buffalo, then stumbled home and fell asleep.
We left the resort the next morning after some cheesy snapshots and memorabilia, drove out of the mountains and across the plains to Boulder, where Brett lives. Ate in a hippie sandwich place with Brett and his girlfriend, gave them back their borrowed clothes and some leftover food and headed for the airport.
A nice, safe, family trip with only fond memories.