March 1-8, 2014
Trip Leader: John Kelly
Trip Assistant: Len Szymanski
(Pictures are clickable for high-res images)
1st dawned and thanks to everyone being on time at the bus pickup point
at Ericsson in Piscataway, we could leave for the airport early. After
arriving at Newark shortly after 10 a.m. we were able to distribute the
remaining luggage tags and tickets to those we met there. Thanks to a
change in airlines to Southwest, no baggage fees – yea, but at the loss
of reserved seats. Most people had Southwest's boarding
order slots of A or B so we were all able to claim good seats. John did
a great job checking us in but his reward was to board in Group C due to
a name snafu.
We pushed off from the gate early and, after an uneventful flight, we
arrived in Denver. We negotiated the shuttle system to claim our luggage
in the main terminal and met up with other members who flew into Denver
on different flights. Amazingly enough, all of us received our luggage
with nothing lost. John went to the transportation desk to arrange the
arrival of our bus and shortly we all were aboard the bus. Thanks to our
bus driver’s experience, we arrived at Snowmass and the Pokolodi Lodge–
no small feat as we had encountered a snow storm on Rt. 70.
Sunday dawned with a Bluebird sky. After breakfast – we were all off to
ski and could easily see why we Snowmass was a popular vote across our
membership. You could either walk to the slopes and ski down to the
lifts or take the gondola down to the lifts. Judging by the smiles on
our faces, the trip was already a success. Some of us opted for the tour
and, following an energetic snowboarder guide, we visited many areas and
got the lay of the land. The best thing about our trip was the 4
different mountains – Aspen, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk and Snowmass –
each one different and thoroughly enjoyable by itself. Because the bus
system worked to perfection, it was not a problem if we wanted to ski
one mountain in the morning and then another in the afternoon – a
night we had a reception hosted by the Pokolodi Lodge. Tuesday, after
skiing, we celebrated Mardi Gras. There was a parade and beads tossed
from the balconies in the mall. Later there was a rock concert at the
base village followed by fireworks coordinated to music.
On the last night the club hosted a clean-out-your-fridge party.
Cheeses, chips and dips, beer and wine were consumed along with
Six days, four mountains, alternating bluebird skies and fresh powder –
all in all, a tough job but someone has to do it.
Saturday we pushed our luggage out of our rooms by 7:15 a.m. and headed
to breakfast. Soon it was time to board the bus back to Denver. At the
airport, we said our goodbyes to others taking different flights and
waited for our plane. Finally it was time to bid farewell to Denver.
Back in Newark it was refreshing to find that we didn’t have to wait
long for our bags and, after a short bus ride back to the Ericsson
parking lot, we all packed our cars, shook hands, and with weary smiles,
headed off to our homes.
We would like to thank all of our trip participants for a fun season and
we look forward to sharing the experience again with you all next
John & Len