Aspen and Michigan – 2020
The Yodelers’ two western trips were to Aspen – 46th year. The convenience of having four mountains just a bus ride away, reasonably priced lift tickets and great hotel accommodations are reasons that we choose Aspen every year. Aspen Mountain Lodge is a great place to stay with a continental breakfast served every morning that includes cereal, breads, fruits, hard boiled eggs, smoked salmon, and various juices. Every afternoon from 4:30-5:30 p.m., there is a happy hour with the hotel providing red and white wines, hot soup, and a variety of cheese, crackers, and fruit. A great way to end a day of skiing.
We arrived on Sunday, January 26th, the final day of the X Games in time for anyone who wished to take a bus over to Buttermilk to watch a couple of the last events. Snow was good for the week, although we could have used a little more sun.
On Valentine’s Day, the club headed north to Michigan for two days of skiing at Blackjack and Indianhead. It was chilly this year but the snow was plentiful. Visibility on Saturday was poor but didn’t stop us from hitting the slopes. Sunday was a day full of sun with perfect skiing conditions. Being able to shuttle between the two ski hills with interchangeable tickets is definitely a plus. Most people tried out both areas during the two days.
A number of our Yodelers also took advantage of the great cross-country trails at the ABR ski touring center. ABR has over 1100 scenic acres of varied terrain along the Montreal River in Ironwood, Michigan.
Blackjack provided us with a room for a buffet dinner before we boarded the bus for the trip home. The annual horse races on the way home provided some entertainment for the long ride. Definitely a fun weekend!
The club took its second trip to Aspen the last week of February. Plenty of new snow had fallen since our first trip ended, which made for a nice, deep base. We were greeted with six inches of fresh powder our first day. The second day started with several Yodelers’ phones sounding a snow squall alert in the breakfast dining room. (It was later reported that snow squall alerts are a rare occurrence in Colorado – and we were there for that!) A series of squalls blew through the area, causing several lifts to be shut down until around ten o’clock. Things cleared, and Yodelers who ventured up thereafter found pristine conditions. Life doesn’t get any better – and skiing doesn’t get any smoother – than gliding along on dusted, first-track groomers. We had sunshine for the rest of the week, with the temps holding steady in the 20-30 range and a 40 degree Spring-like last day. Outdoor on-mountain dining was happening in the sun. It was a perfect ending to the week.
Carol Kraus/Duane Johnson