Sunday, January 23, 2011

Day 10, 11, 12 - Rocky Mountain Redemption

Denver. Four meetings. Four stations. 5 hours of sleep after 5,000 hours of driving (yes, 5,000 - Wikipedia it if you don't believe me). In between meetings, my buddy Kevin was nice enough to chauffeur me around and grab grub with me. Right before my last station visit at 5:45pm, I needed a caffeine pick-me-up. At Starbucks, my agent tells me about a new position that needs a special demo reel by Monday (the day before I leave for Brazil). I didn't have a video camera, camcorder, or any prep as to what to do, so I ended up using my digital camera and trying to think off the cuff.

I hope that leads to a job. Seriously. >) (That symbol, by the way, is the Asian parenthesis happy face. Be sure to use in the future.)

Staying classy. I freestyled later.
That night, Kevin and I headed to the 16th Street Mall in downtown Denver, which is an outdoor mall that's over a mile-long. We ate at Katie Mullen's Irish Pub, which had a classic library ambience - I mean that as a compliment. Nothing like leather-bound books to add class to alcohol consumption.

Honestly, I was still a little frazzled from the previous day's car accident. But come Friday, everything returned to normal - and then some, when I was back on the slopes. I did a half-day at Loveland, which is about 45-minutes west of Denver. Breaking the snowboard out of mothballs was an incredible feeling. Not gonna lie, saying I was rusty riding for the first time in more than 3 years, would be like saying Kanye's tweets are kinda strange. Drastic understatement. Kanye tweets about making good decisions in bike stores. What does that mean?

Here's my first run:


After a little while, I got the feel of the snow again. Albeit, my endurance was atrocious. If there were Viagra for snowboarding, I definitely needed some. My legs were burning pretty quickly. My hamstrings, calves, even thumb(!) cramped up at some point. Honestly, how does a thumb cramp up? As Charles Barkley would say, "That's terrible." Regardless of my terribleness, the day helped quell that urge I had sitting on my futon watching Warren Miller movies so many months ago.

Roasted red pepper bisque if you're curious
On the drive back I stopped by Idaho Springs, which is a quaint little town that's like a 1-20th scale version of Sundance in Utah. It's an old western strip town, and right in the middle is Tommyknockers Brewery. I grabbed a southwestern buffalo burger with guac and pepperjack, and washed it down with a Jack Whacker wheat ale. It was a solid way to finish the day.

Saturday morning I was off to Vail and meet up with my UCSB brethren, Rahul and Bryn Deb. Denver to Vail is normally a 2.5 hour drive, but not this weekend. I left Kevin's place at 6:45am, but because of traffic and road conditions, I didn't get to Vail until 11:30. I decided to ride half day to save some of my quickly depleting dough, and also because my wimpy legs probably couldn't withstand 30 extra minutes of boarding.

More powder than Tony Montana

These two mock my snowboard gear. Bastards.

Riding turned out to be slightly more difficult because my goggles kept fogging up. My visibilty on the slopes was pretty weak. Then after landing in a gigantic pile of powder, I got some snow inside my goggles, which then froze. I futily try to fix the prob, and only end up scratching my lenses. With jacked up goggles, I had to make a couple long runs without eye protection, and the burn was sucky. I'm still dropping Visine several days later (or Walmart's generic counterpart). My bloodshot eyes make me look like an extra from "Half Baked."

Playing in the snow was all that I hoped and more. Slicing up pow pow, chewing up gnar gnar, it was classic. Despite being out of shape (thanks for nothing, Tony Horton), the mountains had a soothing effect on the soul. Just being in the environment was like one of those old Dimetapp commercials, when the whiny kid is sick and his mom feeds him some grape cold syrup, and he becomes instantly healthy. Loveland and Vail were my Dimetapp.


  1. Your visit to the sensuous bakery reminded me of an SNL skit from the 90s where Patrick Stewart owned a similar bakery. Have a blast in Brazil and be on the lookout for the rats colored like Skittles, at least that's what it showed on the Simpsons and that's, of course, where I get ALL my travel tips!

  2. That video from a graduate of SU? I am impressed!