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Snowmass/Aspen, Colorado

Date: March 1-8, 2014
Trip Leader: John Kelly
Trip Assistant: Len Szymanski

(Pictures are clickable for high-res images)

March 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 skier’s dream!

Sunday 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 leftovers.

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 season.

John & Len


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