Yes, I am the mayor of this, at least according to Foursquare, but we will get to that. Per my typical wanderlust, I decided that waiting an entire week before I headed to New Orleans was too long not to travel. Especially after my original plan to head to the Sierra skiing last week was foiled by record low snowpacks at Northstar and Heavenly. So I decided to do what I do best, and around 2pm in the afternoon I loaded my car up with some essential supplies to last me somewhere between 2-6 days and headed westbound on I-70.
It has been awhile since I road tripped in the dead of winter (for good reason) and it almost took me by surprise when it got dark only a few hours into my journey. Thankfully with some good music and junk food I picked up in Grand Junction, I made it to Annalisa’s house in central Utah just after 10pm, after a quick 8ish hours of driving.
Waking up the next morning I had realised that I had not planned any other portions of the trip and kept going back-and-forth between whether or not I should head further west for a longer trip, or just spend some time wandering locally before heading back towards Colorado. I chose the later and Annalisa and I spend the day meandering the Salt Lake and Happy Valleys. During this time we skipped around the Great Salt Lake and proved the fact that hot wings can kill when Annalisa has a lovely allergic reaction to her super-hot wings. Sadly, my life was threatened when I tired to take photos of her red/swollen face.
After heading back to her house up in the mountains and looking at the stars, I started to plan my adventure back eastbound for the next morning. Right into a blizzard. The morning started out with cleaning about 5″ of snow off my car and the thought of knowing I was going to still have to get over five mountain passes.
In the end the drive over Solider Summit only really got interesting when I wanted to keep my speed up and had to pass in the unplowed middle lane, and with the exception of snow flurries on the state border, the rest of the drive was beautiful (and very windy) until I got just outside Vail. There the holiday traffic started to backup, the snow started going sideways, and I decided to call it a night at our ski house office thing. Ended up being the best decision ever.
I spent the next day in crystal blue skies, -4F temperatures, and 10″ of powder skiing at Vail before finishing my drive home. Ended up being the best cap on a lovely weekend away. When people tell me that vacations need to be both long and planned out, I will point to this as a simple, cheap, fun getaway that made my month.