The drive up | AspenTimes.com
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The drive up

Allyn Harvey

Those of you who didn’t grow up here (most of you) probably remember the drive up. Not the drive up the pass, or the drive up to the summer cottage, but the drive up to that ski resort where you and your parents went skiing each winter. For some, the drive up may have occurred every weekend, leaving, say, Cleveland or Seattle and driving anywhere between 90 minutes and three hours to ski hills with names like Crystal Mountain or Peek ‘n Peak. For others, it may have occurred just a few times each winter. The important thing, however, was that it happened each and every winter.The beginning and end were always the same. Get up early – too early even for a 7- or 8-year-old – pile everything into the station wagon or minivan or SUV and hit the highway. The drive was long and forgettable. But remember how your anticipation would start to grow about 20 minutes out from the parking lot? The hills along the road would steepen. Snow drifts would deepen. You’d open your window and the air would smell cool and sweet. Then you were there. Dad or Mom would pull the car into the open, snow-covered parking lot. Your legs would swing heavily out of the car, but that last wave of sleepiness was swept away by the sight of the slopes. Your parents’ instructions and orders became background noise as you began thinking about your favorite run and how soon you could get there. The drive up was quickly becoming a distant memory, but the wait for your little brother or sister and your parents to get all their gear together seemed like it would never end.Finally, Dad handed you a ticket to put on your jacket. You and the friend you brought along were ready to hit the slopes. Finally you were skiing or snowboarding. The drive up and the wait in the parking lot fade from memory as the chairlift takes you where you wish you could always be.


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