Driving 5-6 hours from Denver, we reached Crested Butte around 630p and just in time to watch the Jets game. Our first stop was “Talk of the Town” where AAS’s friend Koeppe (Kep) works and just hung around to watch the game. Hunger set in and we decided on some sushi for dinner so Lobar, an underground hipster-style club that looked like it was uprooted right from the Brooklyn trend scene, was our choice. They had live Jazz music and the atmosphere was a good one. Some sushi to the dome and talks of strategy for the coming couple of days leading into X Games made the night.
We partied down so hard in Denver that Daniel and I were pretty much wastes of space. The altitude is no joke here either people. Even running back and forth across the street from Lobar to Talk (where the game was on) really took its toll on me. It felt like I had smoked a pack of cigs and this was not the case. Today’s indoctrination to 12,000 ft and Rocky Mountain powder is going to be an interesting one.. The size of this mountain is immense and slightly intimidating considering that I have only played on kiddy hills on the east coast, well except for Okemo in VT.
We are basing out of Kep’s place right now before leaving tomorrow morning for Aspen. Bags laid out all over the house, people and beds laid out all over the house; I could not be more excited for this day! I woke up just as the sun was peeking over Crested Butte South and watched it for a while so today is going to be a good day. Another sunrise, another new experience, and more fun with truly exceptional people AND its “bluebird” outside. Google it.
I read Seth Godin’s “Linchpin” the entire flight thanks to My Friend Katie so the flight was an easy and productive one. But upon final descent into Denver, I had a flashback to the descent into Bagram AB Afghanistan while looking out the window. At twilight, the terrain in the immediate flight path resembled everything that Bagram descent did. Same dim, sporadic lights littering the ground, the mountains in the distance, and just enough light to barely see the incoming ground. All this tied together to throw me right back into the window of the EC130 over a combat zone. I felt compelled to measure DME to reference points and watch for muzzle flashes or possible missile launches in case I had to call the pilot for maneuvers. This has never happened to me before out of the hundred civilian flights I have been on, but everything just came back to me as I looked out the window. I’m not crazy…I might be…up for debate.I rolled into Denver Airport around 6 and was greeted by a bearded version of Daniel from AAS. After a double-take, we laughed, gave each other a big hug, loaded up our gear and proceeded into town to meet up with some of his friends for dinner. We popped into a cool local tavern to meet A-ron and Willow for beers, volcano burgers, and beers. After the meal ended we went back to A-ron’s house to start the night off. Some Jameson, trampoline action, PBRs, and more Jameson got us going while Immortal Technique on Pandora set the vibe.
I love hanging around with Daniel and Amy’s friends because everyone I meet just seems genuinely interested in people, so that includes me. Everyone of them has been some welcoming in giving me access to their core group which I love. It always feels like I have been along for the ride the entire time with them, not like I’m the third, fifth, seventh wheel. We joked about the two-story bottle of lotion that A-ron had on his side table, we joked about how their dog was a slut for beer and would paw at my bottle every time she wanted a taste. We joked and went around the horn with James until he was only half of his former self. We joked… Read more…
Can you tell I’m excited? Well I am. I’m going to be popping my powder cherry in a couple of days and I can NOT be more excited. It’s all I have been thinking about this week so I would like to apologize if I seemed a little out of it or nodded in agreement too much as I was somewhere else. Dreaming of getting blasted in the face with real Rocky Mountain snow. I packed too much stuff, but I have no idea what’s ahead of me. Multiple days of riding, going out at night, Denver, Crested Butte, Aspen, and X Games. This is going to absolutely make my winter. This and if the Jets win the Super Bowl bc NYC will be rocking.
Brand new “too white” boots? check (these might get spray painted while I’m there.)
Brand new Burton Custom V Rocker never been ridden? check
Blue plaid goretex pants? yup!
Grey goretex pants so I don’t get made fun of the whole trip? check
Helmet? Like I would forget this with how I ride, si!
Goggles, hats, gloves, socks, undies? check times 5
Health insurance card? of course
Boner? Since I booked my ticket, check. Cialis commercial recommends calling a doc after four hours, it’s been 13 days!
Tomorrow just needs to get here. I didn’t sleep well last night and then had a rough counseling session today so I haven’t had my head in the game. It’s time to sleep this day away, my eyes have been heavy for hours. Please let there be sleep in my future.
BOOMTOWN!! This is my first trip out west for real powder on a real mountain. To be honest I am slightly intimidated, especially since I didn’t get to snowboard all last season because of a knee injury I sustained trying to skate in a pool that Tony Hawk skated in. He doesn’t get knee injuries, but I do. He’s a professional and the godfather of the sport, I just think I look good carrying a skateboard.Eight days ago I booked my ticket and now I am starting to get butterflies. Not because I am truly nervous, but because this is my first time being out in real deal snow conditions. Its my first Winter X Games too! it’s my first time hanging out with Adaptive Action Sports (AAS) since they formally asked me to join the AAS team. A lot of firsts here and this anxious excitement is starting to really get me pumped. I haven’t felt like this in a long time. I don’t even know what to compare it to. Kind of like looking down out of a small airplane that you are about to hurl yourself out of. That’s what I would liken it to. Not the jump itself, but the anticipation before you plummet 14,000 feet towards Oahu’s North Shore. I think I really hit the nail on the head with that one.
I don’t know what to expect, but I do know that I am ready for whatever lies ahead. I am ready to mark some of Colorado and the Rocky Mountains off my life map. I ready to get the ball rolling with AAS and connect them with the more than 40,000 wounded service members linked to these wars. I know that this year is shaping up to be the greatest of my life and its only 18 days into 2011. I never would have guessed that my 31st year would already be on track to being the most incredible 365 I have ever had. I know it’s too early to speculate, but something tells me this feeling is real. Read more…