My blood begins to softly boil. My arms spark with exultant ignited energy. My imagination drifts to the peacefulness of the mountain ridges with evergreens on their shoulders. The earthy, yet ethereal space, where I will soon be able to take deep icy breaths with the sun warming my back, the crunch of snow beneath my feet and the feeling of the earth supporting me from below.
It had been a whole week since Rob left for basic training. I felt the need for the earth’s support; to be outside in nature. To find my solace. My head felt impatient/worried, my heart felt left behind and my body felt lost. And when I feel down, as most every human, I seek remedies. My remedies, besides a chat with loved ones are of three things: my yoga mat, days spent completely at one with nature and/or/most likely in combination with the former- TRAVEL. So, this early March trip could not have come at a better time. It was to be my consolation.
We have been making these yearly family ski retreats ever since I can really remember. My Grandfather and Grandmother, Doyle and Theresa, have been awesomely kind to treat our whole big family to a trip to the mountains every year. It has always been a wonderful time together. While all the family commotion is not totally peaceful per say, the company and the laughter we share is always memorable, comforting and joyful.
Plus, how could one not find a slice of solace in a heaven such as Steamboat. The town itself is rather small, as it is home to just some 12,000 people (much of whom only call it home for half of the year). The center of the village is super chill with ski shops, breweries, tapas dining choices and the Yampa river rushing through the center of town. Obviously, a lot of American towns have this similar chillness, but few have the Rocky Mountains, a gorgeous river winding through town and natural hot springs. The landscape is inviting and exactly what I needed.
Skiing for me, is such a great sport, because you really get to be alone with your thoughts, your breath and the movement of your body; much like yoga, just with a lot more gear, money and certain settings required. But, in any event, to get to be alive and moving on the shoulders of giants is an incredible rush.
The highlight of our trip for me, outside of skiing, was the evening that all 15 something of us went out for an evening snowy sleigh ride through the forests along side the Yampa River to a tiny warm barn, filled with warm food and the sounds of the Yampa Valley Boys (Steve Jones and John Fisher).
If this were a novel, and I was some character looking back on this moment in my life, I would write this scene something like this:
The moonlit valley revealed an open pallet of white surrounded by pines. In the distance, just on the edge of sight, an old red barn sat steaming from calefaction. I can almost hear the bustle of laughter and music, the heels of boots and the tugs of strings. There we all sat together, drinking wine, eating warmth, dancing from ear to ear, laughing and rejoicing in a shared singular moment of time.