Carnes: It was one of THOSE days |

Carnes: It was one of THOSE days

It was the kind of day that brought many of us here in the first place.

Not the slightest hint of blue sky, at least 8 inches of fresh white gold — much more in spots — the snow continuing to fall, temps in the low 20s, guests totals seemingly only in the hundreds, and just the two of us, skiing wherever we wanted with cell phones turned off and smiles turned on.

Corny, sure, but nearing the end of our fourth decade in Happy Valley provides us with more than enough experience to know full well how rare these opportunities actually occur.

Put simply, you make the best of it whenever you get the chance, right? 

We spent the day talking about how great the conditions were, and how lucky we are. We talked snow, we talked turns, no politics, no frivolous debates, not even a single discussion about the latest emails received from certain Vail Daily readers who apparently have issues understanding the English language (a few laughs of course, but nothing to dwell upon).

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The day began with an hour of shoveling and blowing snow at home, which helped warm the legs for turning (I kept reminding myself), and enjoying the never-ending snowfall that kept replacing each cleared path as quickly as I could clear it. 

Well, actually, the morning began with a bowl of Cap’n Crunch and two cups of coffee while flipping through news channels, but most days start along similar lines.

Anyway, we made it to the mountain around 10, relatively early for us, as we don’t care nearly as much about making first tracks as we did back in the ’80s.

Age does that.

Besides, unveiling untracked stashes on days like this is not hard to find after a few decades of searching and knowing where to look.

Run after run, from Rose Bowl to Bachelor Gulch, each time we loaded a lift the conversation followed the same path: “Holy (use your imagination) that was perfect snow! Let’s do that one again!”

An entire afternoon of sweet powder, rhythmic turns and sporadic face shots — not exactly a day at the office, if you catch my (snow) drift.

We kept reminding each other that this is one of the many reasons we came here so long ago, well, that and running businesses, raising three boys, establishing ourselves in the community, annoying a few weekly in the Vail Daily, entertaining a few more (those last two apply to me only, not my bride), etc. 

Stopping for a quick one at the “New and Improved” Coyote (Jeff & crew did an amazing remodel job), we headed home and straight into the hot tub, where we found ourselves catching snowflakes on our tongues like Charlie Brown and Lucy (or perhaps it was Linus and Sally … my memory is starting to work like a George Santos claim).

There was so much snow, I had to shovel again for another half hour or so after the hot tub, but hey, trust me, that’s not a complaint.

These types of days, whether gray or blue sky, don’t happen enough anymore, as life continues to get in the way. They’re why so many of us were drawn here in the first place, and don’t happen very often, but that is what makes it so special when they do.

Good for the mind, good for the body, and highly recommended for couples, or even if you’re single and just with a good friend or small group of friends.

Gray days and powder versus Blue Sky days and soft corduroy carving, I’ll take a little of both, please.

And enjoy both equally.

Richard Carnes, of Avon, writes weekly. He can be reached at

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