On the Hill: Mashed potatoes with gravy, please | AspenTimes.com

On the Hill: Mashed potatoes with gravy, please

Chad Abraham
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” Anyone want gravy with their mashed potatoes?

My daughter and I headed up to Buttermilk on Tuesday after a storm dumped a couple of inches. The resulting menagerie of snow conditions ” powder, crust, grass poking through, brown slop at the bottom ” was a learning experience for both of us in spring-skiing conditions.

The brown coloration was dust that came from Arizona, or maybe it was from the Colorado Plateau, or Mongolia, which has happened before. Wherever its origins, the dirt seemed a dreary reminder of how tough things are.

The slopes are empty, the offest offseason in awhile is approaching, and my spring break was spent in the Midwest for a family emergency. I know, I know: Lighten up, Francis.

Right. Well, the snow is very good up top, and it was snowing hard as I wrote this; my kid took me down the dragon run through the trees, between Westward Ho and Homestead Road, which was exhilarating. Simultaneous (or are they subsequent?) thoughts occurred as I marveled at her development as a skier and worried about her hitting a tree. The age-old conundrum of wanting to protect them at all costs vs. letting them explore their environment. With a helmet, of course.

In my day (I’m now old enough, I think, to use the lecture-beginner), hardly anyone wore helmets, and do you know what happened? Lots of skiers ended up dead or suffered traumatic brain injuries, and helmets grew in popularity. This is common sense. But writing such obviousness doesn’t make sense. Nor does this tangent.

My vague point: It’s both stressful and wonderful to ski with a child.

After lunch and a few rounds of snow monster on Panda Peak, we headed home satisfied, safe and glad to be out of the house for a few hours. The rest was gravy.


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