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Saturday Dec. 31 2011 to Friday Jan. 6 2012

Saturday- the winds started howling about 4:30, rocking the motor home. At least we were able to get some sleep. The electric went out at about 5:12 AM. The heat kept running, so Bob got up and turned it off so that it would not run down the batteries. The outside temp was 35, so we knew we wouldn’t freeze. We tried to go back to sleep, which was difficult with the wind sounding like thunder and causing so much intermittent noise. We were able to doze a few times. We finally got up at about 8:15. Bob went outside to check the generator’s fluids. He is supposed to run the generator  for 2 hours every month, and had not done it for December yet, so this was the perfect opportunity. He started the generator heater, then the generator itself. We started the coffee pot and the microwave, and tripped the circuit breaker on the generator. So he had to go out and reset that. It was snowing pretty hard at this point, and the temp had dropped to 22 degrees. Once we started cooking breakfast, the dogs finally climbed out from under the covers on the bed! Their not stupid, they stayed in the warm bed until food called out to them! After breakfast, Bob took them for a very short walk, as the wind was still blowing and it was still snowing, sideways! Shortly after they returned, the snow stopped and the sun came out, but the temp was now 16 degrees. .

The entire valley had the power outage, so Breck was basically closed until the electric came back on. Will find out more about that tomorrow. At 10:30, Steve dropped by to tell us that the front desk says that they were told that the electric would not be back on until 6:30 pm. Our New Years eve party is scheduled for 6 PM. So if the electric is not back on, we will cancel and do it tomorrow evening.

At 10:50, the electric came back on. Eventually the winds died out and it became sunny. At 6 we went over to the activity center for the New Years eve party. It was a desserts and appetizers pot luck. The room, as well as the park, is busier than last year. We sat with Craig, Terilu, Brian and Kathy. Dave and Jeanne had gone to the square dancing dinner and dance. They left early and came back to join us as they said they were not having a great time at the dance. Evidently the caller was not very good. and there were only 4 squares.

We rang in the New Year at 10 PM, watching the ball drop on Times Square. Brian, Kathy, Bob and I were on the clean up committee. We had the place cleaned up and were back at the motor home by 10:20 and in bed by 10:30.

Sunday- Happy New Year!  Today was my GSA day. Brian and Kathy picked me up at 7:10 and we headed up the mountain. No one knew what to expect, crowd wise, as the resort was closed half the day yesterday. Breck had a lot of wind damage. The wind speed reached 126 mph, as recorded at the top of the peak. Hurricane strength is a constant wind speed of 70 mph, but we had wind gusts. In our meeting they talked about yesterday. A tree fell on the Rocky Mountain lift and took down a snow making tower. A heavy metal picnic table went through a window on the top floor of the Vista House Restaurant. Trash cans, signs and poles disappeared. One of the maps, which is electronic, was split in half. Cars in the Airport Road parking lot had their windows blown out. So it was quite a day for them! They said that the guests were pretty patient about the issue, as there was nothing anyone could do. According to our team leaders, the worst part was that there was no coffee anywhere on the mountain. They send down to Daylight Doughnuts for doughnuts for everyone;  they must have wiped out Daylight Doughnuts, as they  ran out of doughnuts! Of course, with no electric they could not fry up anymore! So it was a pretty interesting day. The Team Leaders sent home the GSA’s who had driven up from Denver, and kept the locals for when the resort opened. They were fully open by mid-afternoon. The resort did refund lift tickets and ski school lesson tickets for anyone who requested a refund.

My first assignment was at the top of the Snowflake lift. This is the lift that the Southern Maryland Ski Club( SMSC) will use when they visit in late February. This was my first time doing this assignment. Now my problem was figuring our how to get there. I decided to take the green bus, as it would drop me at the bottom of the lift, and I could check out this lift to report back to the SMSC members on how it was. As I was walking out the locker room door, the bus was pulling away. Okay, plan B!  I took the Colorado lift up and skied down the 4’oclock run. Brrr the lift was cold, as the wind was directly into my face. I cruised down 4’o’clock to the turn off. The turn off is not a run, it is a short cut. It is the one time that we are allowed to go under a rope, as it is the easiest way to get to the top of the Snowflake lift. Unfortunately, there was a big pile of snow in the way. So I had to punt again! I skied down to the Cross Cut run, and skied down it towards Peak 9 to the mid-load station of the Snowflake lift. I arrived where I thought the mid-load was located. Since I have never used this lift and when skiing down Cross Cut, I had never looked closely for the mid-station. There is a lift turn which I thought was the mid-station. Nope, it was closed off, and when I looked closely at it I realized it was not the mid-station as there was no loading or unloading platform. Hmmm, now what! ( Bob thought this was the  mid-load also, as he has never used this lift either). So I figured I would have to ski down to the bottom of the lift. I knew there was an entrance to the Snowflake trail farther down Cross Cut, so I continued down the mountain. I spotted a sign that said Snowflake mid-load, so I turned there. I stayed on the most used trail, and realized that I was headed up hill. Well, that would not work, so I shimmied back down and turned onto a trail that was less used. There was a turn in the trail, and just past the turn,  I could see a closed sign. So I headed toward it. The lift attendant came out of the shack and opened the entrance to the mid-station. He asked me if the gate was open. I told him it was. This was his second day of work and he had not known that the mid-station was open, although that was where he was assigned for the day. So I sat on the lift, and I can happily tell the SMSC members that although it is a double, it is not a slow double. It was a pleasant ride up, through the trees. At the top, I could see that Anita, who I was working with, had just arrived. She had decided to walk up from 4 o’clock, and said she wished she had done what I had done, as she was pretty out of breath! She had also never ridden the Snowflake, either The Snowflake just goes to the condo’s, which is why none of us had ridden it.

The Snowflake lift  was pretty busy. Because this lift comes from the condo’s, it is known for having people who have never skied before, jump on it to get onto the mountain. Luckily, we did not have any of those people. What happens, is if they arrive there, they are actually at the top of a beginner green slope. If they have purchased a ski lesson, we can call the Ski School, and they will come up with a snowmobile and pick them up to deliver them to their lesson. If they have not purchased a ski lesson, they are on their own. If you have never skied, you really, really should take lessons!

Anita and I were scheduled from 8:30 to 10 ( we both arrived at 9). At 10, we called Mike our team leader, to request to stay longer, since the area was so busy. Mike told up to just stay until 10:30. Anita was scheduled for 12:00 at the top of the Super-connect, so she left at 10:20 so she could get lunch before her next duty. I stayed until 10:30. I skied down to Ski Hill Grill, had a potty break, answered some questions and pointed out the beginner slope to several people. I headed up the 5 lift ( I did not want to walk up the hill to the singles entrance to the Colorado Lift.) While in line, I asked a father who had his two small daughters with him,  if he wanted  me to accompany one of his daughters up the double lift. He gratefully said yes. So I rode up with Tracy to the top, and stayed with her until her little sister and father arrived. I skied down Springmeyer. Not far down the slope I noticed a father, mother and three sons having difficulty. The parents had two of the sons, about ages 8 and 10, connected with ‘leashes’, one to each of the parents.( a really stupid thing to do,;you usually only do that with really little kids.) The older son, about 12, could ski on his own. Last year, the two younger sons could ski down Springmeyer, but they had forgotten everything from last year. So the parents were having a difficult time getting them down the slope. I followed them, offering encouragement. When we approached the bottom, I showed the parents the cut off to get to the beginner slope. Springmeyer is an easy intermediate slope.

I went back up the Colorado lift and decided I would do one more run before lunch. I had just gotten about 400 yards down Springmeyer, when a call came out over the radio that the Peak 8 Super-connect had gone down and that all GSA’s on Peak 8 were to report to the SC hut. So I had to fly down the run to the Colorado lift to go back up. When I arrived at the SC hut, most of the GSA’s were already there. When I arrived, Mike asked me would I be comfortable skiing down the Black Double Diamond slope under the SC. I told him, ‘in my dreams!’Okay, that answered his question. ( I will do single black diamond runs, but the slope under the SC is pretty ugly, especially since it is not currently open and has very little snow on it.)

One of the GSA’s, Dave, who works another day but was working extra today, called Mike on the radio. He said “ Dave to Mike”, Mike said “ go ahead Dave” “I see a big group of GSA’s over by the SC hut” we could all hear this so I yelled, “ wave” and everyone turned, laughing,  and waved at Dave in the Vista House! It was a hoot! Mike told him to continue his lunch. About this time they were able to get the lift running via the diesel motor. They evacuated the lift by running it until everyone was off the lift. During this time, Chuck, the Team Leader on Peak 9 today, was calling his GSA’s to get to the bottom of the Super-connect to re-route people until the lift opened back up. He was having a difficult time, as none of his GSA’s were answering!

Mike explained to us that had they had to evacuate the lift, they would have had a Ski Patroller under a chair, with one of us. Then the ski patroller would climb up to the top, put the rope over the cable, and lower the skier to us. Then we would assist the person down the mountain, giving them a free lift ticket and apologizing for the inconvenience. Since I would not have been comfortable on the steeper part of the slope, I would have been sent to another area under the lift. The difference between this lift and the problem lift last Sunday, was that the Quick Silver lift was directly over ski runs. We would have done the same thing, had they had to do an actual evacuation, but it would have been over runs, not over a really steep mountain or over an area that is not a run.  Glad that they got the diesel engine running, although it would have been interesting to be involved. Mike was glad that we all arrived and had been listening to the radio! (Note to self, always make sure you do not have to go to the bathroom before getting on a lift!)

I  did another run down Springmeyer, and stopped for two skiers who had run into each other. A beginner and an expert ,who was going too fast. Neither of them were injured. I ended up picking up skis and poles and showing the beginner how to get back into her skis, as she forgot that you always put on the downhill ski first, to stabilize yourself.

I went back up the Colorado lift and stopped at Vista House for lunch. Rick was sitting alone at a table, so I joined him. Brian and Kathy showed up about 10 minutes later and we had a nice lunch.

After lunch I made another run down Springmeyer,which was uneventful. I rode up Colorado lift with some kids, about 12 years old. We could see a group of GSA’s and Ski Patrollers on Claimjumper. An adult had been skiing down the hill, backwards, and ran into a child. The kid was hit in the neck, but not seriously injured. The adult raced away. The kids on the lift had seen the accident, but could not describe the adult. 

I went to the bottom level of Vista House for our 2:30 meeting. Everyone, except Michael,  arrived.  We teased Dave about not hearing the call to the SC hut for the SC lift problem. He said he waved back! Mike thanked us all for arriving when called. He said that at least  they know that we were all listening to the radio. I am sure that Chuck’s meeting on Peak 9  was much more interesting, as none of them were responding to their radios. We were also told that we should be keeping our radios with us when we are at lunch, and to let our team leader know where we are and what was happening. He said that they do understand that if we have just bought our expensive lunches, that they would not pull us away until we finished eating, but that they do want to know where we are and what we are doing. Part of this is a safety issue. and part is that they want to make sure that people are not just checking in and then not working. The folks on Peak 9 had all gone to lunch at the same time, in different places, and had not kept their radios with them. The radios were safely tucked in their jackets. Michael showed up at the end of the meeting, as he had been helping some guests. Also, the discussion included the fact that since Breck has set up water retainers, all over the mountain, they think that they will be able to make snow all through the entire season!

After the meeting, I skied down to my last assignment, which was on the gondola ramp, answering questions. Brian and Kathy had finished earlier than I did so they were having to wait for me. I was opposite Mike on the ramp. Kathy came down the ramp, and said hi, and walked past me. She turned and yelled, oh yeah, we are giving you a ride home! I said yeah, and Mike yelled, Denise go home! So off I went. Kathy and I high fived at the base of the stairs on the way into the locker room.

While I was ‘working’, Bob was assessing our wind damage. He found our Christmas wreath across the road. Our big mystery is where did our door mat go? The mat is heavy and has openings on it, so it should not have blown away! He has ‘ searched and searched the park, and we guess it went off to see ‘Dorothy and Toto’ in Kansas! We have a lot of damage to the insulation. We lost much of it around the living room slide out and pieces in other parts. He is going to work on getting them replaced as he has time.

Brian and Kathy dropped me off at the motor home. Bob cooked a casserole, we ate dinner, then went to the hot tub and to take showers. Ugh! The shower rooms were mobbed with parents and kids. All the showers and lockers in the ladies and men’s rooms were in use. The hot tub was very busy, but we spend about 20 minutes in  one of them. We both were able to get into the showers, but the place was awful, with ladies clothes all over the place in the ladies room. Hopefully they will all be leaving tomorrow and Tiger Run will get back to normal!

Monday- a quiet day for us. Bob has been puttering around the motor home. I went to the rec center  for my Monday exercise. We ate lunch and took a nap. When I went to look in the  freezer  for something for dinner, I noted water. Uh oh! Bob flicked all switches, but that did not work. The light in the refrigerator was on, so we know there was power. He pulled out the manual and fiddled around with stuff. After dinner, it still had not risen in temperature, so we switched it over to electric, from propane. That did not work either. We see a new refrigerator in our future! It is about 8 years old. We moved everything that would fit, from the freezer to the spare freezer in our basement. We put everything else that would fit into the cooler and packed it with snow. Then we put snow in containers, and put them in the freezer and the refrigerator. We will be calling our Good Sam Extended Warranty in the morning, after we ski. We pulled out the paperwork and checked. It appears to be covered, but then we still have the $500 deductible. We looked up the cost of the refrigerator, and it is $1499-3,000, so we will see how much is actually covered. Friends Wayne and Margie had theirs go out last year, and their warranty company had the refrigerator delivered right to Tiger Run. Hopefully we can have that done also, since it would be a pain to have to take the motor home to Denver!

Tuesday- We were out the door early to the 50+. While I was driving, Bob was calling Good Sam. They said to have an RV tech take a look at the refrigerator. Bob skied with Brian and Craig with the moderate ‘black runs’ group. Kathy and I skied with the slow blues while Terilu skied with the moderate blues, as her legs were hurting from squats yesterday and she did not want to stop frequently. Right now it is east coast conditions!

When we arrived home for lunch, Bob  called an RV tech who had worked on Frank’s motor home about a week ago. He called Bob back and gave him some tasks to do, then told him to call back with the results. Bob did as directed and found some yellow powder somewhere in the back of the refrig. When he called the tech back,  the tech  told him the cooling unit is shot. He told Bob to turn off the unit, as we are just wasting energy. The tech was working at the time, so Bob is to call him in the morning at 9 AM.

We rushed through lunch and ran to Mahjongg. What an interesting day! I won one game and no one else won at all! We came home and cleaned out the refrigerator. Brain brought over two coolers and Craig brought over one. So with our two, we seem to be okay.

Wednesday- I had signed up to work last Wednesday, but they did not need me. So Lori put me on for today. Bob dropped me off at the bus, and I went to work. I was scheduled for Peak 7, but after the meeting Chuck, the lead, told me he had moved me to Peak 8. My first duty was at the Super-connect hut from 8:30 to 10. I arrived and there was a new guy who showed up to be with me. Chuck had not told me, but I was mentoring this guy all day. That was okay, Danny seems like a really nice guy. He was a ski school instructor last year. We ended up staying until 10:30, as the guy who was to replace us was busy and running late. So I did a few runs, then went to my next duty at the Ski Check on Peak 8. It would have been boring, as I mostly dealt with lost poles and gloves. Mid-way through the hour, there was a radio call for a 26 y.o. male who had fallen at the base of the last jump in the terrain park and was unconscious. ( that is a code 1). About a minute later, it became a code zero, when he stopped breathing! I could see all the action from where I was standing, if I leaned forward a bit, which of course I did!  After a couple more minutes the guy was breathing, became conscious, and was oriented x4. That was a success. They still put in an IV and transported him to the hospital for further evaluation.

Naturally, while this was going on, a guy walked up with a dislocated shoulder. Since his color was good and he seemed okay, I had his friends walk him to the FAR ( First Aid Room). I was not about to call for a shoulder during a Code 0!

Things settled down for about 10 minutes, when one of the other GSA’s walked up to just talk to me. Right after he arrived, one of the instructors came up and asked me to call Ski Patrol for a possible concussion. The other GSA was at lunch, and had changed jackets, forgetting to move his radio. So he stayed at the ski check in my place, and I ran over with the instructor and called in the possible concussion. The guy was sitting at a table in front of Ski Hill Grill. Ski Patrol was already off to the right trying to stop a laceration from bleeding all over the place. So another Patroller skied down and came to evaluate the guy.

I returned to my duty, filled in Danny who arrived to relieve me, and went to lunch in Ski Hill Grill. I bought my usual chicken noodle soup, which was very good by the way! While I am eating, I see two ski patrollers wandering around in Ski Hill Grill. I stopped one of the guys and asked what was going on. He noted that I was a GSA and asked if I had called in a laceration. I said no I had done the concussion a while ago. Nope, this was a new call, so I walked around helping to look for the injured person. One of the patrollers found the person, the laceration had dried, but they found a lady whose blood pressure had dropped ( altitude) and they ended up transferring her to the FAR for oxygen and IV fluids. Busy day!

Our meeting was in the Vista House at 2:30 ,so by this time, I went to the top of the Colorado lift and stood by the map until 2:15. Then I skied down to the Vista House for the meeting.

After the meeting, I skied down 4 O’clock to the base of the coaster to do the waivers from 3-3:30. Danny arrived at 3:15, as he was to relieve me at 3:30. Right at 3:30, just as I was ready to leave, after showing Danny what to do, a couple asked to be taken down from the coaster. The husband had hobbled up on crutches, as the wife wanted him to have some fun on their vacation. He had a cast on his right ankle. ( the wife had told him the coaster would take him back down to the bottom) He had ridden the coaster, but was afraid to walk down the hill on the crutches. So I had Danny call in to Ski Patrol. This was his first call, so he was pretty nervous, but did it perfectly. As you can imagine, the ski patrol was not excited about this call, but they were very nice to the guy. Since they had a sled right down by the lift, they just brought it up and had him sit in it, and they took him down to the plaza.

I went by the ski check and asked Chuck if there was anything else for me to do. He sent me home, as it was almost 4 at this point. I rode home with Craig and Terilu.

Meanwhile, Bob had been in touch with the  RV tech. It was going to be too expensive to purchase another refrigerator, so we are getting a new cooling unit for the one we have. We have to pay our deductible and for the RV tech to come to Breckenridge, from Denver, but he is going to do the repair in the motor home at Tiger Run. The bad part is that the repair will be done Saturday Jan 14.

Tonight was our first Wednesday evening wine and cheese. So at 5 pm we headed over to the activity center. As usual, a field of food! We sat with Dave, Jeanne, Dave’s son John, and his friend Steve. Craig and Terilu showed up about 5:30 and Brian showed up a little bit later. Kathy arrived about 6:45. Everyone else left,  including Craig and Terilu , who are leaving in the morning to go to New Mexico to visit their daughter, who is closing on a house on Monday. We will be watching their motor home.

We played Phase 10 with Brian and Kathy until 9:45 ,when Brian won. Everyone else had left, so we ended up locking up the room, after putting our chairs on the table and vacuuming the room.

Thursday- We decided on a quiet morning. I went to the rec center and exercised. We made phone calls and did some other tasks. After lunch, which we had to dig out of the coolers, we went to the library and Walmart. Craig and Terilu postponed their trip to New Mexico, as their daughter’s closing has been delayed.

At 2 PM, we were scheduled to be hosts for the Loosey Goosey party, with Craig and Terilu. We volunteered last year, and signed up early in December, not realizing that this is the biggest Loosey Goosey party of the year! It was catered by Safeway, instead of the usual pot luck. So we assisted with putting up the tables & chairs, and putting out the food. We had a nice time talking with people and working the room. The highlight of the party was when the “Goosey Ladies” got up to sing a “snow” song. They were off key, but it is the thought that counts! When there is a light snow year, they sing in hopes that they can make it snow. It worked two years ago! They sang, to the tune of  the Christmas song, “ Let it snow”. “

I’m dreaming of a white January

Just like the one we had last year

Where the snow keeps falling

And the powder’s calling

For us to ride our skis and boards

I’m dreaming of a white January

With every ski lift that I ride

May the snow start falling, tonight

And may the rest of 2012 be white!

Need I tell you we are all wanting more snow. So then the  ladies  had us ( all 150-175 of us) do the “Snowkie Pokey”. It went:

Put you right mitten in , take your right mitten out, do the snowkie pokie and turn your self about!

Put your right boot in, take your right boot out, do the snowkie pokie and turn your self about!

Put your helmet in, take your helmet out, do the snowkie pokie  and turn your self about! 

You get the idea! 150-175 white haired seniors having a fun time doing a “hokie pokie’ as a “please let it snow dance”! Hopefully, Ullr, the Norwegian god of snow,  will take pity on us and send us some white stuff! ( It is Ullr Fest in Breck starting on Saturday!) Remember the crazy parade last year?

The party ended at 5 PM. We cleaned the tables and put away the chairs. There was a lot of food left over! One of the gals who runs the volunteers thanked Bob and I for working so hard. She pointed out that they know who works hard and who does not! As she was thanking me, I was thinking, piece of cake, she has never worked a Zonta Fashion Show!

Friday- It’s officially ‘wear orange day’ to honor the Bronco’s. So I promptly got up and put on burgundy for my beloved Redskins! When the Bronco’s win, it is all Tim Tebow, when they lose it is a team effort. That is an awful lot to put on a young quarterback. He seems like a nice guy, but the TV Sports announcers are ridiculous!

It’s Bob’s GSA day. It is also Guest Appreciation Day at Breck. The first two weeks of January are ‘college’ weeks, so who knows what today will bring on the mountain. Because of the limited terrain, there has been a lot injuries. Especially since all the schools are out until January 16.

I dropped Bob and John off at the bus stop, and returned to the motor home. I started researching my next article, walked the dogs, ate lunch and went to mahjongg.  There were three tables of us with 10 people. 

Bob was riding up the lift and Lori announced on the radio to the GSA’s not to be worried, those white things in the sky were clouds! Everyone on the lift with him broke out laughing! Can you tell we have had a lot of bright sunny days?

Bob said that at his 2:23 meeting ( Tom has a sense of humor) that Tom drew two lines in the snow and told them that anyone who could moon walk from one line to the other could go home. Bob protested since he was still in ski boots. He got no sympathy!

When he finally made it to the locker room, and was changing boots, a call went out over the radio. About fifty Michigan State students had stripped to their underwear and were skiing down Springmeir. Bob missed it, but Lori called on the radio that she would be right there to watch!

Betty, John’s wife, picked Bob and John up at the gondola base. Bob was walking the dogs and I stopped to say hi while I was driving in from Mahjongg. He had decided that he did not want spaghetti for dinner and he wanted to go out for pizza. I quickly agreed, and called Brian and Kathy ( who had played mahjongg with me). They were in Frisco and were going to dinner there, but Craig and Terilu happily agreed to go with us. We picked them up and went to ‘Fatty’s’ for dinner. We had not been there before, and it was on our list of restaurants to try. It is located in an 1800’s saloon on Ridge street. The food was very good! Terilu and Craig split a large white pizza, Bob had a single meat pizza, and I had the special which was New England Clam Chowder, baked ziti, and garlic bread. I ordered the soup for Bob, since I don’t like clam chowder. I had a taste, and it was very good, with large pieces of clam. The waitress was not sure that there was not bell pepper in the stock( the cook had made it at lunch time and no one knew if there was bell pepper in the stock, so we decided not to chance it) .  Craig ate the rest of it.

 

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