Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Ski Country Colorado, USA (12/23/04 - 2/13/05)

“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or the darkness of selfishness. This is the judgment. Life's most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?” –Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (1/15/29 – 4/4/69)

Happy New Year and Happy King Day!

I am well and the snow out here is AWESOME!!! The mountains in this area of Colorado have received well over 3 feet of it a couple of weeks ago. I’ve hit 4 of the 5 mountains my free pass is good for so far (Arapaho Basin, Keystone, Vail and Breckenridge). Since Beaver Creek, the 5th mountain is on the other side of Vail I’m not sure I’ll make it there. It’s the furthest away, and Vail is just so enticing it’s hard to drive past it on my way to an unknown… I’ve spent several hours with a huge smile on my face while careening all over Vail’s legendary back bowls. Life is sweet!

Heidi, Arapaho Basin, Colorado Posted by Picasa

Please forgive the long radio silence, but as usual, things got pretty hectic again. Internet access from Playa Langosta, Costa Rica (where we were working on the Pacific leatherback sea turtle conservation project) was pretty much limited to work related emails. I thought I would be able to email from Roatan, Honduras in November, but most spots were charging $14 an hour. So I figured I’d get in touch some time in December once I was stateside again. I guess I should have known better.

Between landing in San Francisco on December 2nd and landing a job here at Keystone Ski Resort on December 23rd I’ve traversed the country by plane and car visiting friends and family in 7 cities and driving through 11 states. As you might imagine, being on the move like I was didn’t lend itself to staying connected… However, I have finally settled into my apartment and had the phone line activated. The only excuse I’ll have now is that if there’s fresh snow I’ll be snowboarding down one of the 5 local mountains every hour that I am not at work!

Mel & Friends, Keystone, Colorado Posted by Picasa

I’m now on a Cingular pre-paid plan because I am tired of Sprint fleecing me. I finally saved all of my bills and caught them trying to get me for $129! That may not seem like a lot of money, but multiply that by the number of times I simply paid without investigating! Who knows how much they’ve bilked me for in the last few years! It took a lot of documentation, emails and phone calls, but after a couple of weeks of persistence, they finally gave me a credit for the fraudulent amount. I felt like I won something for all the “little people” constantly doing battle with inconsiderate corporations. All that to say that the best time to call is when I have unlimited minutes (after 9pm my time during the week, and on weekends). If you call any other time and I don’t pick up, leave a voice message and/or text message me to find out the best number at which to reach me.

LEAPNow wants me to lead a trip to Fiji, Australia and New Zealand (FANZ) starting in March (www.leapnow.org). What would I do with myself between December and March? We’re talking prime snowboarding months, so I loaded up Harriet and we drove out here to Colorado. I landed a pretty decent gig as an attendant at the Keystone Fitness Center (www.rockresorts.com). It’s inside, my hours are such that I can spend at least a half day on the mountain every day, and I get to use the fitness center (2 hot tubs, a steam room, weights, a dry sauna, swimming pool, etc.) free of charge, so I can’t complain too much.

We ended our 2.5 month trip scuba diving in Roatan. I went for advanced certification this time and was blown away by the huge moray eel we saw during the wreck dive, the “strings of pearls” and the octopus we saw during the night dive, and just the general feeling of being able to fly as an explorer in another world. The FANZ trip also ends with us scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef, so it’s just one aspect of the upcoming trip that I’m looking forward to.


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6:59 AM  

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