April 28th --Skiing in Colorado--

Yesterday I was in a red desert, but today I am in a white mountain. The elevation of 10,800 feet (3292m) is enough for skiing in late April or even in June. Arapahoe Basin is one of the highest ski area in the US. It has only 5 chairs and all are slow. But what is more important is that I can ski today. In addition, I got an off-season discount, $29 for 1 day. I took a chair "Exhibition" to the middle of the mountain. Under the chair, there is a tough slope full of bumps. As the name indicates, everyone on the chair can see a skier going down this slope. I was tempted to go this trail first, but I knew I needed to warm up. I took an easier slope and got on the same chair again. Next time I couldn't control the temptation of trying the Exhibition and found that I had needed to warm up more. It was a shame of me to show a terrible trial. I took a chair to the top and warmed up more. The slopes on the left side of the top mountain had no bumps. I warmed up well and tried the Exhibition again for a revenge. This time, I think I could do it well enough. Contented with the second trial, I switched to a trail with double black diamond on the right side of the mountain. It was so tough that I longed for a lunch break. In the afternoon, I enjoyed a steep trail in woods as well as bumps.

At 16:00, the last chair stopped. I prepared for driving and headed to I-70. On the way, I got to a summit and found a sign say "Continental Divide." This is really cool and the name of the place, Loveland Pass, is also good. Yesterday I drove along the Colorado River which flows to the Pacific Ocean, and from now on, I will drive down along a river flowing to the Atlantic Ocean. When I got to the I-70, I said, "GO EAST, EAST." Yes, a long drive to the east is coming tomorrow.

Denver was just 2 hours drive. I checked in a motel near downtown. I really wanted to have a Chinese cuisine and drove to the downtown. Walking along the main street, I looked for a Chinese restaurant. But it was about 20:30 and almost all restaurants were closed. All I found was McDonald's, Subway and night cafes. McDonald's is the reality of a big city. Big cities are always unkind to a single traveler or even to a single dweller. Yes, 16th street was beautiful with lights, a clock tower, and trees. But what's good for me or a guy eating a hamburger over there. Living alone in a big city is as lonely as living alone in a desert. It reminds me a Japanese song "Tokyo Desert." Anyway, in my opinion, living alone in the nature is much better. You can touch, feel and enjoy the mother land, wind, water, etc. In a big city, you seldom feel a human although there are a lot of people around you. One more reason of my loneliness is that my English is not enough for a good conversation. Of course, I can exchange information, but this is only one function of a language. You need a plenty of silly backgrounds and proper way of saying to attract uppish girls behind counters, blunt guys in gas stands, and silent strangers everywhere... And I know that having this loneliness is a compensation for leaving my family in Japan.

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area

At the top of a trail

Steep trail in woods

Here is the continental divide

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Copyright (C) Tadao Hashimoto