With so much anticipation and build-up for this trip, the last thing I expected was to get sick the day before I left. I had been planning this trip to Colorado for weeks, and I wasn't about to give in to a little cold... little did I know this cold had a lot more in store for me.
Sunday November 7th. 6:30am. Ouch. A sleepless night before, I hopped in my new Toyota Highlander (Thanks to my wonderful stepdad Rick Knoop) and hit I-80. Groggy, achy, tired and oxygen deprived, I had to pull over in Wyoming to take a little nap. Upon waking, the winds gusting at the side of my vehicle were vigorous. Cars were being blown all over the road, and that inspired me to wake right up. Another four hours in and I arrived safely at my incredible team manager's home in Fort Collins. Suzanne has been doing so well with Akinz Boardwear, I was stoked to get to see where she does her work, and spend some quality time riding, and goofing around with her. When I arrived she so kindly cooked me chicken noodle soup, and made me lots of tea, to help me get better. However this cold was relentless and had no intention of giving up that easily.
Its always a little awkward to get back on the board for the first time, especially when your wearing new boots. We took a warm up lap, then met up with our buddies Avran and JR. The four of us tore up Keystones' park setup, which was surprisingly legitimate, for being early season. After a few hours, we called it quits and went to the local mexican restaurant for some grub. Still not feeling up to the mark, I drank tea, and ate soup, while Suzanne, and JR had a couple of delicious looking margaritas.
One of my best friends who now lives in Texas was flying into Denver airport that evening, so we took off around 5:30pm to pick her up at 7pm. Courtney landed right on time, and was patiently waiting for us to pick her up at the curb. After snagging her, we drove another hour north back to Fort Collins to spend the night. Suzanne made us another fabulous meal, we watched a couple of movies, and passed out. I should say they passed out, I tossed and turned all night, unable to breathe or find a comfortable position to sleep.
Another early morning, and we took off to Loveland. Before we left town we stopped and grabbed some tea and bagels at one of the local places in FoCo. Two more hours in the car, and we arrived at a winter wonderland. Thanks to Dustin at Loveland Ski Resort, Suzanne and I got tickets and were so happy to shred some fresh snow. Courtney held it down in lodge with all of our stuff, while Suzanne and I took some hot laps. I had almost forgotten what it was like to have a fresh layer of that fluffy white stuff under your board. Singing at the top of our lungs, and having way too much fun we covered pretty much all of the mountain and slashed every available stash of powder. We had to call it quits earlier than we would have liked, but our legs were burning! We met Courtney back in the lodge, I got some more tea, then we hit the road to Breckenridge.
After lunch they dismissed a few of us, and I was happy to get to go back to the house and rest. Upon the arrival of everyone else from the shoot, the mutual consensus was to get in the hot tub. They snapped a few more candid shots of everyone hanging out in the hot tub, then it was time for the night to start. My Roxy rep Nichole Nemmers was turning 30 on this day, so the celebration was on. We ordered chinese food, and everyone else made some drinks. I still didn't feel well, so I pounded tea and orange juice all night. The group decided to go out to Cecilias to celebrate Nicholes' birthday, a few of us hung back... I was ready to get some good sleep and shred Breckenridges' triple line on opening day.
The following day, I finally felt rested, and ready to give Breckenridge 100% of my energy. A good nights' sleep under my belt, I woke to my alarm at 8am, and was out the door by 9am. Tickets were still pretty expensive, but luckily Avran met me at the bottom, and let me use his buddy pass. With some financial support from Nichole as well, I ended up having to pay only $16 to ride all day! I was utterly amazed to hear that Breckenridge Ski Resort gives out FREE breakfast on opening day.
Avran and I took full advantage and had some scrumptious french toast, and coffee. After filling our bellies, we hopped right on Chair 5 and went straight to the triple jump line Breck had to offer. The vibes were good all around, but I have to say we were probably the most stoked people out there. We met up with our friend JR and took some laps, as well as my friend Elise, Melissa, and one of her friends. We rode hard all day, got our air-awareness back and started to throw down some mellow tricks. Man it feels good to be back!
A 5 minute walk down the hill and we were back at his house, where I was crashing again for the night. Once again he cooked some great food, and we watched Cash Cab. He had a demo to attend for a couple of hours, so I entertained myself by swinging back by the other house I had stayed in the previous night. I had left a couple of my belongings there, so I ran in and grabbed them.
After a hot shower, and a fresh change of clothes, I finally felt well-enough to go out for a little bit and experience Breck's night life. The night was very eventful, and full of good memories.
Early the next morning, I awoke to another beautiful day, unfortunately I couldn't find a pass for less than $50 so I decided to hit the road back to Utah. I got on the road at 10:30am, and was dreading another long day in the car. Thankfully, the day flew by, and I was surrounded by stunning scenery. I arrived safely home at 5pm, after making extremely good time through Colorado, and Utah.
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