When we left last week, it was actually full on darkness before dawn, still. The sky only beginning to grey at the edges as we took off. We flew west - away from the sunrise, but at some point it caught up with us. Somewhere before Texas we passed the farthest west I had ever been... by the time we landed in Houston for our layover I was already in a part of the country I had never seen.
I did not take this picture while looking out. I can't look out of planes; my stomach drops out and there is some hand-flapping and panic that happens that no one wants to deal with.
Not that there wasn't hand-flapping and panic anyway.
I told you, I don't like planes. Aren't you so glad Jason sat next to me? I sure am.
I took three photos out the window of the plane without actually looking. I was not in a window seat.
I'm proud of myself.
We landed in Houston, where we pretty much boarded our next plane quite quickly, and then were off to Denver. Denver, which is a very cold place, or at least it is in the middle of January.
My first glimpse of the Rocky Mountains, while we drove along in the Denver area's otherwise mostly flat plateau.
After time spent acquiring ski stuff, our friend Sarah, and food... we finally headed into the mountains. You know, just as the snow started to fall in earnest.
The drive was slow, but constant. Sarah knows snow and ice, having grown up in the Northeast, and was our trusty driver. Jason mostly slept, since he had worked overnight, THEN boarded a plane and had to be awake essentially all day. Justin was our navigator, and I was the little squealy panicking thing in the back who kept thanking Sarah for not driving us off a cliff.
We stopped to take a moment to hit up bathrooms, stare at the 5-cent coffee sign inside the gas station (without actually buying said 5-cent coffee... it just seemed suspicious somehow), and stare at the snow coming down.
Once that was finished, back in the car to finish the journey, which Google Maps seemed to think would take about two-and-a-half hours in ideal conditions, and which I believe took something like 3-and-a-half hours for us. Maybe more than that; I wasn't entirely aware of what time it was at any given moment all day, other than "time to board a plane", "time to get off the plane", and "time to drive into a snowstorm".
At some point, ragged and ready to collapse in a heap, we turned into the gateway to Beaver Creek, drove in a winding way up the little road past all these beautiful houses and condos, and finally pulled into a driveway.
We were here.
We were also exhausted.
Our bags and bags of food were emptied, hamburgers were eaten, stuff was tossed in bedrooms, and at some point we all sort of collapsed into our various beds. Jason and I stayed in a room with two sets of bunk beds, sleeping below our friend Justin, with Ted and Corey in their respective bunks as well. It was a very... close situation.
It reminded me a lot of dorms in college.
Or it reminded me of that the next morning, after I woke up. At first all it made me think was zzzzzz...
Well, that's day one at least. A lot of running and catching things, driving and groceries, delicious food and sleeping in the end.
I work tonight, until close. It is not the most excited for work I have ever been, but eh, they pay me to be there, and that is a beautiful and glorious thing.
Still, looking at the photos I took to decide which ones to post over the next few days makes me think I'll spend my entire shift daydreaming about Colorado and the mountains.
Well, at least it'll keep me cheerful, right?