The Drunk Badger & Leisure Seeking Piranhas


The wind swirled at the top of the Colorado Superchair. A snow tornado wobbled down toward us and I was glad not to be a snowboarder, stuck strapping in as that thing approached.

I shot a packet of Emergen-C and washed it down with a swig of water and was off; in a fit of gagging and choking. I’m gonna have to work on that maneuver. With a 23 inch base most of mountain is still closed, but the terrain parks are open and a range of runs are maintained by seemingly constant snow making efforts. It being my second day out, I had expected more snow to have appeared. At the end of a day of riding lifts with mostly locals I can say the consensus is that this is about standard. We don’t even call on Ullr, the German snow god until January. Until then, we build up the muscles we will need to enjoy the true snows.

I have set a couple of objectives for myself over the season. One is to learn to ski backwards. The catch: doing so gracefully. I saw a girl do it off a little jump and it was so perfect and neat and awesome. Once the steep slopes were skidded out and icy I headed over to some flatter green runs to practice form. I was delighted to find that, in fact, I can already ski backwards. The problem is, I look like a drunk badger. Turns out the whole thing with snow sports tricks is to make them look good. Like the folks in the big terrain parks, soaring off of jump after jump, contorting, spinning and just generally PWNING it.

A copy of the Denver Post sat next to me on the bus ride home. I opened its pages and read about the Death Sentence administered to a man in Texas who’d kidnapped, raped and strangled a 7 year old; Egyptian soldiers using live rounds against protesters; the rising costs of keeping police on the clock to counter the protests in our own country; 18 children in China die in a bus accident; Piranahas biting tourists in the Amazon. My god, it’s enough to make you think this is a terrible place to be! I had to put it down and look out the window at the 10 snow clad peaks which gazed off over my head into time and depth untold. I will use the newspaper to start my fire tonight and offer up a prayer for the lives lost.

In living vividly, we do justice by one another.

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