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Sat. Dec. 24- Fri. Dec. 30

Saturday- The water is frozen again and once the hose defrosted we still did not have hot water. Bob got the water flowing again, and added water to the tank. The temp was 7 degrees this morning, but quickly warmed up to the 30’s.

We needed a few items at Walmart, so we ran north to Frisco. The place was not the mad house we expected. The cashier said that it would get really busy once the ski resorts closed for the day.

We returned to the motor home, ate lunch, and I made the dessert for the pot luck dinner tomorrow. Then we defrosted the freezer. Once we cleaned out all the ice and returned the food to the freezer, we discovered we had a whole shelf empty! We should not have let the ice build up so much.

I baked cookies to take to the mountain with me tomorrow and we watched some Christmas movies.

Here is a picture of the dogs, dressed for Christmas. They were hoping that if they looked cute, they would get an extra treat at the office!

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Sunday- This is one Christmas I will not soon forget! Bob stayed home and I drove to GSA. Bob was signed up to carve Turkey and Ham this afternoon for the pot luck supper so he would not be able to pick me up this afternoon. I was assigned to the Peak 9 hut from 8:30 to 10, then again from 1-2. Since the snow conditions are really good, I decided to ski over to Peak 9. While on the cross cut, there was a fox who decided that he wanted me to feed him. When I made it plain that I wasn’t going to, he meandered off! All this occurred while I was alone on the trail, poling across from Peak 8 to Peak 9. Fortunately I had my poles in case he decided to get too close! This city girl is not really used to wild animals…

I took the Quick Silver lift up to the hut, and unlocked it. A British woman stopped and asked me how to tighten her boots. Since her buckles were identical to mine, it was a very easy fix. Then at about 9:15, the Quicksilver lift broke down! The Quick, is the beginner 6 pack, and is a very important lift, as it is  the only way to get out of the lower mountain on Peak 9 and the only lift to the beginner area. Since my relief could not get to the top of the lift. I ended up staying at the Peak 9 hut until 11:15. That was okay, since there was no one skiing right there. Mike, the team leader, called me to say that when the Ski Patrol arrived, I was to help them with evacuating the lift. If people spend more than 20 minutes on a stopped  lift, they are compensated with a free lift ticket.

So I sat in the hut, playing games on my cell phone. At about 10, I looked up and Ski Patrol members were descending upon the lift. So I walked over to join them. Once the lift maintenance workers had the lift running, they could not stop it. So 4  Ski Patrol members lined up on the sides to ‘body snatch’ anyone who fell, so that they could be out of the way of the next people who were getting off the lift. Then several more ski patrol members, and I told people we were sorry for the inconvenience and handed them the lift ticket voucher. That was fun, as people were surprised and happy to receive the tickets.

I continued at the top of the Quick until it was decided that it would not open until 12:30 –1PM. So Mike told me to go to lunch. Vail Resorts gave us a free lunch today. It was roast beef ( they called it prime rib, but it was roast beef) with mash potatoes, gravy, cauliflower and broccoli, and pecan pie for dessert. That was very nice of them and the meal was pretty good. We were supposed to meet at the Maggie and all eat together, but since the lift was closed and we were needed, each of us grabbed the meal and ate out on the Beaver Run plaza. By this time it was sunny and in the 30’s, so it was nice.

As soon as I finished lunch, Mike called me to work the ‘bathing beach” . Huh? Breck has a lot of ‘nic-names’ for slopes, so I had to figure out where the heck that was! Basically, I needed to be where the turn off for the Beaver Run lift was to let people know that the Quicksilver lift was still closed, so that they did not go to the bottom and have to walk back up.  They had a ‘1089’, which is the call for a fight, at the bottom of the Quicksilver. One of the GSA’s was at the bottom and a man was really upset that he was going to have to walk up. The ski school was using snowmobiles to take the students up the hill, and he wanted a ride. The school instructors are not allowed to take anyone, except students who have signed a waiver, up the hill on the snowmobiles, due to legal reasons, incase something happened. This guy was not taking no for an answer. A second GSA arrived and stood next to the first, and the guy backed down, so the 1089 was cancelled. So much for Christmas cheer! Actually, most people were very nice, but there is always has to be a jerk. During the day, each of us were yelled at by someone. Mine was a lady who was a beginner skier. She was upset that she had passed the “A lift” that she should have taken to stay on the green slopes and would have had to walk back up the hill to take it. Like I could do anything to help her!

So, anyway, I stayed on the ‘ beach’ telling people that the lift was still closed, until 1:25 when they re-opened the lift. By this time I was hot, tired and thirsty. So I went in the Copper Pot grill and drank some water. Then I took the Beaver Run lift up to the top of Peak 9. I stayed at the map for about 15 minutes answering questions, then started down Cashier. A relatively short way down the slope I noticed a family –mom, dad and a little boy having problems. So I stopped to ask if I could help. The mom said yes, how could they get to Bonanza, the easiest blue. They could not from where they were. So I called in a 1030, which is basically a taxi ride down the mountain. Oops, called it in wrong. I was looking at this British family, and did not think to note that we were just below ‘tower 16’ of the Beaver Run lift. Ski Patrol was not happy with me, as I said just below the ‘slow skiing netting’ Oh well! I won’t make that mistake again. The patroller arrived and we put 5 year old Jacob on the ski mobile with him, while mom, dad and I skied down. Actually, when Jacob was settled, I took off and raced down to the top of the Quick. I took off my skis, and waited for them to arrive, Then I walked Jacob over to the lift, while his dad followed. Mom skied to the bottom. I motioned to the lift attendant that we were ‘downloading’ the dad and Jacob, while keeping them out of the way of the lift. The attendant gave directions and I got Jacob to the lift so that he and dad could sit down on the lift. Of course, things never work like they are supposed to! Dad dropped his skis,while holding Jacobs skis and trying to get Jacob settled on the lift. The lift attendant tried to get the skis to the dad, but it did not work. So now I had to get the skis to the bottom. I tried calling the bottom of the lift, but no one answered. Mike asked me if I felt comfortable skiing down while carrying the skis. I told him no. But Mahjan was at the hut, so I took his place and he skied down with the skis, giving them to the lift attendant, who was waiting at the bottom with the dad. That little episode turned out okay.

So I skied down Silverthorne and took the Quicksilver up. When I reached the top, I heard a ski patrol call, so I went down to between towers 11 and 12. It was a gal, named Denise, who is a nurse! So I crossed my skis above her to let other skiers know there was an injury, and waited while ski patrol got her settled on the sled, then skied behind them down the hill to keep skiers from running into them .I hopped on the Quicksilver to ride back up, as we were having our 3 PM meeting at the Peak 9 hut. The lift was stopped several times, as it is a beginner lift, and people tend to fall at the top. At about 3:10, Mike called me to check to see if I was going to make the meeting. At this point, I was on the second chair from the top, stopped. So I told him maybe, maybe not, as I was on the second chair from the top. So he called back that they would ski down and have the meeting under my chair. I told him that was a plan! ( we were kidding of course).Then the lift started and I arrived for the meeting. We did find out that the lift problem was computer software,. He also told us to be careful when telling the ski patrol where we were. At least I had the right run and the right mountain. Some of the new people did not and there were problems with all day today.

Mike told us to ski until 3:45, the catch the Superconnect back to Peak 8. So I started back down the hill and a ski instructor signaled to me. He was a snowboard instructor and his student had broken her wrist. So I had to call that 1050 in. I stayed until the ski patrol arrived, there were 4 of them, with a snowmobile and a sled, so they did not need me. I hopped on the Superconnect and went to the locker room.

I raced to the motor home, changed clothes and took what I was to carry to the pot luck dinner. Bob had taken the dishes, silverware, and glasses with him. I was to carry the wine and dessert.

We sat with Craig and Terilu and a mother and her grown son, who is a snowboarder, staying in his motor home in the park. This is the first time we had met them. Dinner was terrific, as all pot lucks are. ..but I developed an upset tummy, so we returned and I laid down. Bob and the dogs joined me and we all fell asleep.

Monday-  I was off to the Rec. Center this morning, returned and did some stuff around the motor home. Before lunch, we went to the hot tub, took showers, returned and ate lunch. Bob walked dogs,and I was so sleepy, I laid down on the bed and took a  2 1/2 hour nap. Bob and the dogs joined me, so we were all really tired!

We ran over to City Market and picked up a few items for our casserole for dinner and a DVD from Redbox. I started the casserole and noticed we did not have any diced tomatoes. So I used some stewed ones, that I was chopping when I noticed some ‘green pieces” in the tomatoes. Oh no! Turned out they were green bell pepper. I can’t believe we had even bought something with green peppers. It was not on the front of the can, just in the ingredients.  Most everyone knows that Bob is very allergic to bell pepper. So there went the casserole, as I had been chopping and throwing the tomato/pepper mix into the ground beef/onion/corn/ chilies in the electric skillet. So we had to punt for dinner and I put the rest of the meal into containers for me to have for lunch.

We went to watch the DVD- it was the latest Harry Potter. Unfortunately, we thought it was part 1, but it was part 2. We have not seen part 1, so we have to try again. Watched a new Closer and Rosali and Iles instead of taping them.

Tuesday-  I dropped Bob off at the bus and went to City Market to return the DVD. WOW, you can tell the town is busy. The shelves were empty, with boxes to be unloaded sitting in front of them! Plus I was able to get a parking place!

I returned to Tiger Run and stopped at the Activity Center to do some aerobic activity. I returned to the motor home and worked on the article for 4 hours. Yippee, I am finally down to putting in the references ( I have 32 footnotes) and doing the test questions. Then print and read it, making corrections. Then have Bob proof it. Hopefully I will be able to send it off to my editor on Friday! I am really sick of this article,especially since it  is a 4 CEU course, so it is very long….

At 12:30 I picked up Craig and Terilu for our trip to Frisco to play Mahjongg. There were two tables of players and each of us were able to win a game. Bob called as we were packing up the set, so we headed south to pick him up. Traffic was awful, in both directions. Bob called to say Park Avenue ( Rt. 9) was completely stopped so he was going to walk out to Main Street. We picked him up and I turned left to take French street to Ridge. We drove farther south to the Uniform Shop for Terilu and Craig to find out if more pieces of the uniform had arrived. They were able to replace some pieces, but Terilu still does not have any red pants. They had given her some black pants, so she is still going to wear them.

Bob said it was busy at Breck, but he did not have an interesting stories. We returned to the motor home, walked dogs, ate dinner and watched TV.

Wednesday- Still no snow.! We were hoping for some snow overnight. At least we have had more snow than Buffalo NY which has only had 3” for the year, according to the Today Show! The temps remain low enough for the resort to make snow, so the conditions are decent, but we only have 42% of the mountain open. The issue, is that  pretty soon Breck is going to use up their water allotment and will not be able to make anymore snow.  There is one big reservoir for the mountain snowmaking, that the local resorts use, and they have a gallon allotment. Breck is almost to their max and will have to stop making snow when they hit the magic number. Then it is up to Mother Nature to take over, and she seems to be stingy this year! At the motorhome, Bob has registered  21.5” for the year. ( he keeps track of this on a spreadsheet. Hey, I am married to an engineer. He gets into that kind of thing). 21 inches sounds like a lot, but this is powdery snow, which packs down, so that really is not a lot of snow. Denver has had a lot more than we have had, here in the mountains. Last year at this time we had feet of snow! A different year!

I went to the Rec Center. What a difference from Monday. I felt much better. I was so tired on Monday, that exercising was a struggle. I really needed that 2 1/2 hour nap I had on Monday. Bob is still haggling with Amerigas, our propane provider about a credit that we have still not received. He is also haggling with the health insurance company about his visits to the Urgent Care in ABQ Sept.-Oct. We had to pay the entire amount, and are still waiting for our payment. They did not like the super-bill that we sent in for the re-imbursement. Then we have some coupons for free movies on Comcast, and he is trying to get them set up. I had bought an earpiece for our radios that we use on the mountain doing the GSA. When it arrived, the picture and the earphone did not match, and it has a bar across the earpiece, which means it does not fit under my helmet, so I had to work that out.  So it was a cell phone morning! We are having some wild winds today. The prediction is for gusts up to 85 mph,, and we have had on really bad one, in addition to some milder ones.

After lunch we drove over the Keystone to see the Chocolate Village. This village took over 3000 hours to complete, by two chefs. It is very well done, even the train and gondola are made of chocolate. There is also a chocolate waterfall, which does not show up in the pictures.  009-1

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Everything that you see is made of Belgium chocolate, except the greenery. The green trees are real trees but the white one is chocolate, and was turning.

From there we went to the City Market in Dillon, which is at least twice the size of the one in Breck. The shelves had food on them, not like the City Market in Breck. We had to return a box of printer cartridges because we bought the wrong size at Office Max. Then on to Bath and Body Works, as I needed some shower gel. We drove up I-70 to Frisco, stopping at Safeway to pick up sale items there. Then back to the motor home. Whew, I really do not like shopping in crowds! Traffic leaving the mountain was still bumper to bumper. Thank goodness there is a traffic light about 1/4 mile south on Rt. 9, which gives us a break to make the left turn to Tiger Run.

Friday- Bob’s GSA day. I dropped him off at the bus stop and went to the Rec Center. After, I returned to the motor home and finished the article, turning it in to my editor. The was the longest one that I have written as it is a 4 CEU course, over 10,000 words with 68 references and 28 footnotes. Plus 40 test questions!  Whew, was I glad to be done. Bob had proofed it for me yesterday. Then I researched and updated another article and turned it in to the editor. One more update to do, then I have to start the next 4 CEU course!

I walked the dogs, ate lunch then headed over to Mahjongg. There were two tables of us.. Bob said that the mountain was busy. He only skied one run. He also found two lost children(actually it is lost parents as the kids know where they are!).

I picked up Bob up at the gondola base, then waded our way through the heavy traffic, taking back roads to return to the motor home. We ate dinner, watched TV and went to bed. Thank goodness the wind had been less today, although we are expecting heavy winds again tomorrow. The temp was in the 40’s and 35 when we went to bed.

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