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Keeping the Chaos Fun

12 Feb , 2014,
Heidi Kumm
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Plans are great. They give you a purpose in life and expectations for your future. We all makes plans and usually have high hopes for things to go as planned. Some times they do. Other times…not so much. Reality happens, life gets in the way, roads ice over…

When plans to awry things get interesting. More often than not you can react one of two ways – work yourself into a quivering mass of anger or readjust your expectations and enjoy. This past weekend I watched a lot of people lose their cool over things they had no control over, all while I did what I could to take a step back and find some fun in the chaos.

Feeling the Loveland Love!

On Saturday we attempted to throw together an impromptu foursome to put two buy one, get one lift ticket coupons to good use. We failed miserably. We ended up with a threesome then forgot to read the fine print that said these coupons only worked Sunday-Thursday at Loveland. Of course we figured this out at the ticket window so our $30 day become a $40 day, then a $50 day. Oops.

The credit card wasn’t happy with us but we made the most of it – we forked over the money then headed for the non-existent lift lines. Our third person was Sean, a rather experienced “I <3 Loveland” skier who was able to take us directly to the bowls with the powder. The snow was incredible. There was so much and it was so deep! And…there was no one around! If this is what Loveland is like on a regular basis we just might need to get more than one season pass next year!

Had we gotten upset about missing our fourth person or skipping over the fine print we would have missed out an amazing afternoon in the snow. I am so glad I didn’t get angry about the extra pricey lift ticket or less than ideal visibility…had I focused on any of that it would have completely overshadowed the sheer awesome that my day became!

Extending the Weekend, by Accident

I have gotten a little selfish with all of this powder and Saturday just wasn’t enough for me. I wanted more! So Sunday morning I headed west again, this time with Jeremy and carefully read buy one, get one tickets. We were headed up to Loveland to hunt down more powder stashes.

A quick trip into the mountains followed by lap after lap of powdery snowboarding and an easy drive home sounds boring, right? Who wants a boring Sunday? The traffic heading into the mountains wasn’t bad, at first. About the time we crossed into the land of no reception/no radio stations the traffic slowed to a crawl. Jeremy went into nap mode while I dug out an old CD case from high school.

As the minutes ticked by we gave up on Loveland and headed for Keystone where season passes would lessen to financial blow of getting to ride only a few short hours. We spent our time riding the fluffy trees, hiking to terrain and waiting in lift lines. More than once we listened to people around us complain – about the lines, the lack of sunshine, how hard it was to ski powder, the traffic…on and on. I kid you not. People were complaining about the lack of sun during one of the best powder weeks we have had in years!

Hiking to the South Bowl of Keystone

We left Keystone before close with high hopes of getting back into Denver at a reasonable time…despite the fact we watched traffic crawl out of Summit County on our way in at 11am. These high hopes were smushed a bit when it took us 1.5 hours just to travel the 7 miles into Dillon. Yup, we could have very easily run faster than that! People were getting angry, losing their cool and acting like complete jerks…especially after the main interstate officially shut down.

The number of people sharing one-finger waves while inconsiderately cutting each other off or obnoxiously stopping in the middle of busy intersections was astonishing. We are all stuck here, there is no easy way home, calm down! We decided to stop contributing to the chaos and got off the road to meet Heather, Will and Steve for dinner. We spent our sweet time eating, sharing photos, making up words and watching the traffic inch along. By 8pm they had reopened I-70 but no one was going anywhere fast so we decided to continue making the most of the situation and went bowling.

It has been a long times since I have gone bowling! I did not win, but I did not lose…I also did not break 100, but that’s a minor detail! We were surprised to find Lakeside Bowl nearly empty – why was everyone so willing to idle on the highway when there was a bowling alley with the Olympics and 80’s music playing?! Things may have gotten a little crazy when the guys decided it was about the speed of the ball, not the pins! We blamed the music for our awesome!

Hours later people were still sitting on the highway and CDOT had officially shut I-70 back down. We had missed our window to be one of the cars sitting on the highway hoping we had enough gas to make the now 5-8 hour drive back to Denver. We did have other routes back to Denver but that would mean hours on icy, snow-covered, unfamiliar roads. Call me a pansy but that did not appeal to me at all! We decided not to risk more lives and stay in Summit County. It was late and our only option was to crash in the car while cuddling our snowboards or harass friends in the area. We went the friend route and I spent the night on a not-so-comfortable-but-very-warm couch.

Saturday = “we just ran 12 miles, no hiking!”
Sunday = “have you ran today? no? okay, let’s hike!”

As soon as the sun was up we headed back east…where a full day of work awaited. The roads were still icy and it took about 3 hours to make it back. Not ideal but far better than the chaos that was the night before. I could at least see where the ice was and traffic wasn’t bumper to bumper. I eventually made it into work, at 11am. Next time I get stuck in Summit County I’m calling in and strapping the snowboard back on!

My weekend didn’t go as planned…at all. But we did what we could to make the most of it. We played hard after a long run and called it cross training, I hugged trees as they dumped fresh snow down my back, I turned in a set of car keys I found buried in the snow, we happily invited strangers onto our lift, I ate cookie sandwiches for breakfast while singing along to NOW 5, I broke 70 in both games of bowling and I rocked the socks off the leggings + ski socks + skate shoes look for a full 26 hours.

It was not a perfect weekend and I probably owe the environment big time for all the gas I wasted in traffic but it was so much fun. I only wish that all the people who lost their cool in traffic, online at CDOT and with their family/friends could have taken a second to enjoy their time in a very welcoming mountain town! They probably could have learned a thing or two about themselves…


  1. Meghan @ Cake ‘n’ Knife February 12, 2014 at 9:16 am Reply

    Your pictures are awesome, looks like so much fun!! I am jealous! I am FINALLY getting up to the mountains this weekend to try out my new board…. eek so excited!

    • Heidi Nicole February 12, 2014 at 9:58 am Reply

      It is so much fun…and totally worth the chaos if you can let go and enjoy it! Plus, with all the powder crashing hurts less, trust me, I know! 😉

      Where are you headed?

  2. Meghan @ Cake ‘n’ Knife February 12, 2014 at 10:33 am Reply

    We are heading to our condo in Fraser so we will be hitting Winter Park over the weekend 🙂

    • Heidi Nicole February 12, 2014 at 11:38 am Reply

      I’ve never stayed up there but it looks really cute! We’ve done WP/MJ a few times, you’ll have a blast!

  3. Kate February 12, 2014 at 12:19 pm Reply

    Sun? Who needs sun on a powder weekend like that? Glad you didn’t let circumstances get you down. I missed the weekend of amazing snow due to a family emergency back in Oregon but I’ll be at Keystone this weekend…hope people aren’t so cranky! 🙂

    • Heidi Nicole February 12, 2014 at 2:56 pm Reply

      Yea, no kidding! You have to have a little cloud cover for the snow to fall! Silly people!

      Have fun up there this coming weekend — there will definitely be plenty of snow to frolic in!

  4. Natalie @ Free Range Human February 13, 2014 at 8:10 pm Reply

    I am very jealous of all that powder! I’m glad it was worth it! I can’t believe traffic was that bad. Well, yes, actually I can since I’m familiar with I-70. This is why we won’t get to move until retirement. Stories like this scare John off of Denver so badly!

    • Heidi Nicole February 14, 2014 at 10:05 am Reply

      Eh. It just kind of is…and the weather was a huge factor here. Usually if you’re conscious of the weather/time of day/etc and plan ahead its bearable. In the beginning of the day the closures were because of avalanche risk/blasting — had a friend a few hundred feet from a blasted avy that covered the road ahead of him.

      Its crazy how snow can be so much fun…and so scary!

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