A Most Hysterical Story on the Slopes of Snowmass Ski Resort
by G. Kunkel
(This article was originally published on Yahoo! Voices on 12/3/2010)
My parents don’t ski anymore but we have a treasure trove of memories. It was sometime in the mid-1990s. My sister and I took a break from our jobs and went on a Christmas ski vacation with our parents out to Aspen Snowmass. We all piled into my SUV in Boulder and then headed west on Interstate 70.
The snow conditions were perfect during our entire vacation. One morning it was cold and snowing steadily so we bundled up in our warmest ski outfits and face masks and then headed out to the ski slopes. We skied a few warm-up runs and then headed to our favorite section of Snowmass – the wide long groomers of Elk Camp.
Once at the top, we headed down the Sandy Park trail. My mom and dad skied ahead while my sister and I lingered and skied into the deep powder in the trees by the trail. We lost sight of dad in the snow but caught glimpses of our mother in her dark colored ski clothing.
After playing in the powder, my sister and I decided we better catch up to our parents. We took off down the trail and soon spotted our father further down the trail. He was with another skier who suddenly left and took off down the ski trail.
As we approached our father, he was by himself and laughing hysterically. We inquired what was so funny as my mother skied up to the group. He said he was skiing along and saw our mother stopped ahead in her dark ski clothing. He skied up to her and stopped. After admiring the local scenery, he turned to mom and said “It sure is pretty here isn’t it sweetie?” There was a short pause and then a very male voice replied “yeah”. The skier then quickly took off.
We laughed until we nearly fell down. My father complained that it was very hard to pick out our mother because of her dark ski clothing. That evening he spent hours taking her shopping for new ski outfits in Aspen and Snowmass over her protests. He made sure she picked out ski outfits she liked and that he could easily recognize. My father hates shopping for clothes.
Sometime during that vacation we called my older brother and told him about our father trying to pick up strange men on the slopes of Snowmass. We had another chuckle at my father’s expense.
Alas, the ski vacation ended and February rolled in. In was Valentine’s Day and my mother sent our father out to retrieve the daily mail. He came back into their house with the mail – very fragrant mail. My father quickly located the perfume-drenched envelope and opened it. The Valentine’s Day card inside had the simple message “I miss you” and was signed “Sweetie”. A quick check of the postage cancellation on the envelope quickly pointed to my brother as the sender.
We’ve laughed about that story and many others over the years. To the mysterious “Sweetie” on that fateful day on the Sandy Park trail – sorry about the mixup. It wasn’t anything you did. My mother did get some expensive new ski suits out of it.
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