Sunday, November 9, 2008


How can I resist? I was pumped up having watched ski porn the night before. I had a "free" lift ticket in hand. Gasoline was relatively cheap ($1.81 WOW!). I put the camper shell on the truck, threw in the mattress, sleeping bag, pillows and extra blanket in the back and off I went that evening, driving up into the mountains, headed for Loveland Pass and a day of skiing on Sunday. The 2008/2009 ski season had begun!

Went to the big turnout area below Loveland Pass and the party began when the Van Halen CD was dropped into the stereo, lit up the cigar and popped the lid on the flask. Who knows what time it was when I went to sleep, but it was well after midnight.

Two lifts, four or five runs available this early in the season. The full parking lot meant dodging people on the few runs that were open. Packed powder with the snow guns blowing all day making more. Mild temps and mostly sunny skies made for fun skiing. This was simply a warm-up day, to see how out of shape I had become after a lethargic summer due to the messed up shoulder. The legs really felt it, long dormant muscles having to carry the weight when I dropped the knee to make turns. By the early afternoon I was beat and called it a day. I'll wait until more lifts and runs are open before going up again.

Chairlift sit empty
Peaks wear threadbare coat of white
Grass shows through the snow

Rocket down the slope
A stream of eager skiers
Plumes of curling snow

Stretched out on the bench
Baths in midday's suns warmth
Lost in a day dream

The morning after
Breath's crystals on the windshield
Two aspirin breakfast

My choice to kick off the ski season was Van Halen's Monsters of Rock show at the Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, PA on June 15, 1988. I had consistently overlooked this show but recent events caused me to check it out, realizing that it was a really good audience recording, every one coming through clearly. The crowd really wanted Eddie, chanting for him several times throughout the show. It kept me dancing in the snow covered parking area from beginning to end.

With regard to the Monsters of Rock Tour, the Van Halen Encyclopedia says:

From 5/27/88 to 7/30/88 Van Halen toured the country with four other acts in a massive outdoor-only, stadium tour. Announced at Universal Studios in Universal City, CA, the Monsters of Rock tour was to be the first traveling festival of its kind in the United States. As part of the promotion, the band was joined by Frankenstein, Dracula, the Mummy, King Kong and the Phantom of the Opera at the press conferences.

Each show kicked off with Kingdom Come, followed by Metallica, Dokken, the Scorpions and Van Halen.

Endless drift through space
From the beginning of time
Burns before my eyes

A blanket of white
Slender spruce reach for night's sky
Snow's season returns

Car lights in the night
Drive the mountains black ribbon
Head up Loveland Pass

Mad Anthony's bass
Brief moment in the spotlight
Solo's thunder booms

March to the drumbeat
Loyal fans cheer the band on
Rock and roll troopers

Race up the mountain
One destination in mind
Can't drive sixty five

From the beginning
Eddie captivates the crowd
Lost in his magic

Silence returns
Echos vibrate through his mind
Ringing in his ears

Can be downloaded from Guitars 101:

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