Sunday, December 03, 2006

Back from the Mountains...

Well I had a good time and got in a couple of days of good skiing. It was brutally cold but I was prepared. The drive up and back wasn't much fun aside from gorgeous scenery. On the way up, it got dark when we were still less than half way, and the further west we got the more ice there was on the road. About half of the way south on US 82, they simply didn't deice the roads at all, which meant I was driving over one continuous ice sheet in my Toyota Corolla with no chains and balding tires. To make matters worse, my windshield washer froze up and as various trucks and cars kept flinging little bits of muddy snow up in the air, the windshield became impossible to see out of. We had to stop a few times to wipe it off with a dirty gym shirt I had sitting in the back.

The way back was better. There was little ice on the roads and it was clear daylight. I had the same windshield problem but finally the washer started working again -- right as we got into Denver. The traffic was horrendous though during the last 70 miles. Apparently this always happens on Sundays with a mass exodus from the ski slopes.

Anyway, here is a picture of how things looked from my hotel room:

You can see the chair lift from the window -- that's how close to the slope we were. Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures from on top of the mountain at 12,000 feet because I wasn't going to take my camera skiing. It's not one of those little thin things that you can stick in a pocket.

I did get some pictures of the scenery on the way back though. Or actually, my colleague Wanjun took the pictures. I told him just to snap away with the hopes that at least a few would be presentable.

Below are a couple of pics showing some of the reddish protruding rock, most of it consisting of cliffs that don't get snow or trees on them. This is near Snowmass/Aspen, and you don't see this kind of thing as much to the east. The red of the rocks combined with the white snow and the dark green trees makes for a beautiful contrast, which unfortunately these pictures can't really do justice to:

Below are some assorted pictures of Glenwood Canyon, which we drove through on I-70 just before turning south on US 82. (Of course this is the way back so we were doing the opposite.) Again, the pictures don't do it justice, you have to be there to believe it: