Claudia and I left Appleton and spent Sunday at my folk's place in Whitelaw (near Manitowoc) and watched the Super Bowl there, as you may note I did blog one post on the game. Anyway we woke up on Monday and finished with the packing and getting ready. We had to make at least two trips to Manitowoc to get miscellaneous items and my aunt had forgotten something she needed.
We left at about 1:00 pm and I took the first shift of driving. I put in my Winter Mix CD and it elicited comment from my father since it started off with Vivaldi's Winter Concerto. However, the CD is a mix and most songs have some connection to winter, but it seems the CD was enjoyed by all with the exception of one song which was skipped frequently. I drove to Des Moines and IIRC it was about 7:30 when I finished and we stopped in a BP, gassed up, and had bio-breaks. My father then took over again it was uneventful with an occasional bio-break stop and he drove through Nebraska. From that point my brother took over and that is when the fun driving began. Towards the western edge of Nebraska we ran into a winter mix of precipitation and throw in some fog to boot it made things hard for my brother. I was sleeping through it all and would wake up for bits of time and saw some sights but I was pretty tired and slept quite a bit when I was not driving or riding shotgun.
We arrived at our cousin's at about 7:00 am MST which translated into about 20 hours of driving. Well we chatted up a bit and then we all slept for a bit, when I woke up I got cleaned up and then we toured the Holy Cross Abbey and its winery. A good thing to as it was Fat Tuesday so we had to attend Ash Wednesday services which we were told were to be at 7:00 am. I tasted two wines and came away buying three bottles one cabernet and two rieslings. Good stuff.
So the day eventually came to an end and we all crashed. Claudia, Davidus, and I woke early and Davidus had some pancakes and coffee made. Claudia and I made it to the Ash Wednesday service on time. Then after some packing and farting around we left for the ski hill. IIRC we did not start skiing until afternoon (we checked into our lodging and spent some time farting around there as well). I tell you, the early breakfast did me no good, I became fatiqued very quickly, no doubt the altitude had something to do with that but the poor breakfast and no lunch helped with that. I went in for some beer and lunch but it was too late. I managed to get back out and ski some more runs but it was tough and my thighs were afire. If you go to a real ski hill make sure you eat a decent breakfast!
The rest of the day was resting, eating, swimming, and hot-tubbing! The hot tub was outside and the temp was about 0 (F) and the hot tub was nice and warm. Spent some time in a sauna too. It all seemed to help as the next day my legs were nowhere near as sore as I thought they would be, I had a very good breakfast and we checked out of the lodge and went skiing again. This time it was before noon and before eleven.
This time the skiing was much better. I was able to ski to the end of the day with an occasional break. I skied to the end of the day. I think even if the altitude was not a problem the longer runs would have still been causing the fatigue and need for breaks. I feel I skied well but did not venture onto challenging blues or any blacks, though there were a couple of these I probably would have attacked if I was not sooo tuckered out. The moral of the story is get in shape and eat well. The altitude is still going to get you but it is better to have one instead of three enemies.
We left Davidus' abode at about 3:00 pm MST and my brother took the first shift, my father the second, I took the fourth and my brother finished it off. No events and we took about 19.5 hours to get back to Manitowoc.
Anyway we skiied at Monarch Pass, check it out!