Tuesday, January 21, 2014


I went skiing this past weekend. The knee held up well on the Section House/Boreas Pass ski trip, given enough Advill. Beautiful spring-like conditions.

"The Boreas Pass Section House was built in 1882 to house the railroad men and their families who took care of a section of the Denver South Park and Pacific narrow gauge railway that ran from Denver to Leadville over Boreas Pass. Next to the Section House sits Ken's Cabin, also known as the historic Wagon Cabin, built in the 1860’s when Boreas Pass Road was a mere wagon trail over the Continental Divide."

 The treed east facing slope had lots of good snow in an otherwise wind scoured landscape. That old railroad grade up to the hut made for an easy ascent, but we were wishing for a few more degrees of slope on the way down.  The north wind howled at night, rattling the building loud enough to disturb peoples sleep.  One person described the wind noise as "weird", sounding like someone was walking across the floor in the upstairs bedroom areas.  Maybe it was the wind or the Italian section house chief's wife who passed away in the house decades ago.  I missed it, having slept downstairs close to the fire where I would occasionally get up to drop another log in the fire.

On Sunday the people gathered around a small transistor radio to listen to the football game, while I enjoyed the powder in the trees. I don't recall anyone noticing the strange coincidence about the two teams going to the Superbowl, from Washington and Colorado, the two states that have legalized recreational marijuana use.  I would have stayed out skiing until sunset but it was my turn to cook dinner that evening and I had to get back to cut bell peppers, onions and chicken and prepare side dishes for the burritos I was making.  After a beautiful sunrise the following morning, it was time to load up and head back down the trail to our waiting vehicles.

On both Saturday and Sunday evenings, once everyone was preparing for bed, I would step outside for a cigar, some tequila and music, pacing the deck as I stood in the cold wind for an hour or two.  The shows I listened to were: Tame Impala (Lollapalooza Festival, Chicago, 2012), Echo and the Bunnymen (Rotterdam 1893), Gene Loves Jezabel (Accept No Substitutes/Greatest Hits Disc 1), Broncho (Glasslands 2012) and Iggy Pop (Channel 1988).  Fabulous moonrise when it crested the mountain behind us, watching its silent progress as it first lit up the mountainside opposite the hut.