This was the first leg of the” Greatest Escape”. Denver was the hub where I acclimated to the elevation at 1 mile high by spending a pleasant extra day with the kids. Early on day three I headed west. Did lunch at “Mickey D’s” where anyone can get a WiFi connection. I polished up my plans by revisiting Google Maps and other Internet sites. Powderhorn had just received a 16” powder dump! Could this be a great opening omen?
I scurried out, by-passed Sunshine (No powder and after all, I had skied there once before), and wound my to Powderhorn. It was in mesa territory. The peaks were not peaks, but flattened table tops. I had no reciprocal privileges so I opted for a half day ticket. And I skied intensively in an effort to make to best with the time I had. The sun blazed brightly – just another day of western heaven, It’s a nice family area. No great bar or lounge, no village at the base, and no lodging so certainly no ski-in/out.
I met some great people: A school administrator had taken a personal day to catch this late season gift, and I chatted with some locals who spotted my fleece which sported the Xtreme Team logo and markings. They teased about my age, and questioned just how extreme the Xtreme could really be. I assured them it is a marketing ploy intended to lure our students and swell our numbers back home at the BSC. But deep down I wanted to challenge them, Come on. Put your skies where your mouths are. Come, ski with me! Them again I glad they didn’t. They were young and looked in shape. Plus I didn’t have my western legs with me yet.
I continued west “dining” behind the wheel as my next target was in southern Utah. I crossed the state line and continued on pas t sunset, which I normally don’t do. But the scenery was flat and monotonous and I had miles to go before I could sleep. I pulled into a Motel 6 using my senior rate through my frequent patron ID on their web site. $33, back up to the door, don’t unpack, quick shower, good z’s, AM shower, free coffee, automatic checkout and on the road at sunrise, It’s my “Great Escapade Shuffle”. I got it down to a science.
I was close to Moab. Gotta return to cycle in this mecca of mountain biking someday. My son speaks highly of it. I loved the scenic drive. And I can’t by-pass any historical markers.
McDonald’s for breakfast and WiFi, Called home (Or should I be more accurate by saying my wife’s office), get the expected whining because she has to work while I carouse about, and continue south.
Stopped for Beaver, UT for direction confirmation which pointed me straight up to Eagle Point (formerly Elk Meadow formerly ). Fell in love with the place. It;s my kinda area.
Its only open on the weekends, so I planned my visit for a Thursday. To my delight, Thurs are free days. That’s right! FREE! An promotional program initiated by the new owners to entice visitors on what I would envision is their slowest day. Well, thanks boys. I’m mighty grateful.
I chatted with the people at the front desk I tried to connect with the manager and ski school, but had no luck. It was close to noon so I was anxious to hit the slopes. Loved it!
The vertical drop is 1,500 feet – nice. There are two distinct but connected areas. The adult lift takes you to a summit where a cat can speed you to double black runs and thick woods. SO thick that I wouldn’t call ‘m glades. Fun, but be ever mindful of jacket rips or worse yet cheek rips, Goggles are a must. They are all pines with those gnarlly, nasty, low-hanging boughs. But still, it’s worth it.
Later, mindful of the axion, “Ski it all” I forced myself away from the adult area to look about the blue/green runs. What I discovered was one of the vest teaching runs ever, A gentle consistent slope, nicely groomed speckled with funky slope art and titillating terrain features sure to draw any child. And there are even units that with a bit of shuffling could stretch the imagination as to be “ski-in/out housing. Or proceed to the base area and catch a regular shuttle that loops the village and could conveniently drop a family off for lunch or a mid-day beak and even a nap! What a great family destination!
There are several odd piste gates for “legalized” adventure. There is a Yurt hut open to an organized over night experience. . The Village is sloop side, a collection of fine condos and private homes, no log “mansions” for rent. The dining room is first class with an accompanying bar and lounge.
I tried to convince my family to no avail as yet. Too far, no snow making, Not challenging enough. It What a bunch of whiners! It’s their loss. It’s only a weekend. WRONG! Zion and Arches National Parks are a short shuttle away, and each is worth a week’s investment to say nothing of a comprehension one day overview.
And then there;s Brianhead, another delightful area just one canyon away, Open all week, well-groomed 1500 feet in vertical, Base lodges, suitable bar with live music on key nights.
Well my first leg was topped off with eye-candy 3.5 hour drive to Las Vegas. A reserved seat for a super intensive 2 day seminar or erecting a log home from scratch. But that’s another story. A short hiatus from my “Greatest Escape” (leg #1 done) …
Come, Ski With Me! (leg #2)