Carnes: All days should be like this; sometimes it is fun to just hang out around here (column) | VailDaily.com

Carnes: All days should be like this; sometimes it is fun to just hang out around here (column)

Richard Carnes
My View

Sometimes it is fun to just hang out around here. It's even better when the valley is packed with ski-racing fans and all the hoopla that goes along with it.

Because I am lazy and don't enjoy riding buses with the peasants, I went with my wife to work up in Beaver Creek at 7 a.m. on Saturday, providing myself with the opportunity to spend an entire day meandering around, acting like a tourist and generally being a nuisance everywhere I went.

My wife told me to just be myself, and after asking her who else could I possibly be, she walked away to work rolling her eyes and muttering to herself.

At 7:30 a.m., Beaver Creek Village is a frozen ghost town, but luckily, there were a few open choices for coffee, making my early hour walkabout a pleasant and beautifully peaceful moment.

A gentle snowfall had begun, and I window-shopped for a bit with the sole purpose of proving to my wife I could do such a thing, but of course she was too busy working in the windowless dungeon of Adult Ski School to notice.

I sat inside Powder 8 for a brief time, watching the crowd build as they all waited impatiently for the lift to start and sipped my mocha while questioning their sanity.

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Viewing through the ripples in the air from the fire pits, it looked like a scene from an '80s Warren Miller film, or perhaps Greg Stump's "Blizzard of Aahhhs" or "The Good, the Rad & the Gnarly."

More than three decades ago, it meant so much to make first tracks. I remember standing in the lift line, oblivious to the temperature, anxiously awaiting my chance to board the Rasta Bahn.

It was a new chair, the first of its kind, and we were excited each time to pull down the bubble and relish in the protected views and pretend warmth it provided.

There's a good reason the bubbles were removed after a few years.

I guess I'm admitting age has its privileges, but I think I mean the exact opposite. Before heading up to the Birds of Prey super-G race, I received a text from KZYR offering me tickets to the Beers of Prey for that afternoon.

It was at this point I was assured it was going to be a good day.

After the race, I had planned to get a few runs in but, considering the dropping temps and American race finishes, was in more of a mood for continued people watching while sampling beer than skiing.

Considering the crowds, I believe the masses agreed with me.

Actual conversation overheard while standing around the finish area: "What do you mean things are getting better? My health insurance is now more than my mortgage."

Curious thought — when the races are in Finland, do they refer to it as the Finnish finish arena?

Anyway, the Beers of Prey were, if anything, cold, as the event was held outside next to the ice rink. I recognized about half the crowd, a good sign, and enjoyed the samples so much my wife was nice enough to drive home.

It was indeed a wonderful day, and now I have completed the first column in a while without mentioning our Washington, D.C., embarrassment.

You're welcome?

Richard Carnes, of Avon, writes weekly. He can be reached at poor@vail.net.