Steamboat Springs I think I can put winter No. 2 in the bag, though as I write this, I am a little unsure about my 2:30 p.m. tee time.
The sun looks warm to the west and all but a South America-shaped sliver of snow is gone from my north-facing front yard.
For those of you who noticed I never shovel my driveway, it's not that I didn't intend to. Truth is I lost my snow shovel.
When the snow melted last week, I found that shovel in my front yard along with a push broom, a sled, sunglasses, a golf club, a Frisbee and my Moots Cycles floppy cap.
I really like that cap. I wear it when I ride my $50 bike along the bike path.
Makes me feel authentic.
At any rate, winter No. 2 was a little better than No. 1.
During No. 1, I learned to ski, although a couple of instructors dang near had to die in the process. Sorry about that guys, but you'll be proud to know that I can now get off the lifts without knocking anybody over. Most of the time anyway.
By January of this year, I was ready to leave the blues behind. I made my way down Rolex without hurting anything or anyone. In the last couple of months I skied just about everything on the mountain but the Chutes. I learned to handle the bumps, though not nearly as gracefully as all those hounds whipping past me.
Last season, some of you may remember that I uttered the phrase "powder sucks," after spending most of a mountain morning on my rear during a 22-inch dump.
I'd like to officially take those words back. While we're at it, I'd like to have back the Silverthorne shopping trip, the Sound Off comments about my wife that I published and a couple of other decisions that netted me lots of pain for little gain.
Alas, there are no do-overs in this life. I've learned that, especially in this business, you're stuck with the things you write, say and do. And that brings me to the highlight of my winter -- the smooth skiing move I pulled that won me an ovation in Gondola Square.
It was during that late January thaw when it got downright balmy, though I know it wasn't like 19-whatever when co-eds in bikinis rang in the New Year by sunbathing on Headwall. At any rate, the snow was soft and mushy on the lower mountain and there wasn't a flake on Gondola Square -- nothing but puddles and exposed brick.
It was a Saturday. I went up early and skied hard all over the mountain. It was a "light-clicking-on" kind of day, where all the things I couldn't do before on skis, I suddenly found that I could do. As I headed down around 3 p.m., I was beaming.
It had been one of my best days on skis.
I cruised through the crowd at the bottom of the mountain. "I'm going to ski all the way up to the edge, save myself some walking," I thought. Out of the corner of my eye I saw someone I knew. I turned my head to the right to see who it was.
I looked back a split second before my skis left the snow. It was too late to stop. I went straight from snow to the bricks, scraping my way for a couple feet before my left ski popped off and I tumbled, landing in a puddle.
I tried to gather myself as quickly as I could. For a fleeting second, I had the notion that no one noticed my spill. No such luck. A crowd had gathered at the base area to see some band that was getting ready to take the stage. That's when I heard it. Applause. Whistling. Laughter. Lots of people saying "duuuuuude."
I pulled my ski cap down over my ears and tightened my goggles. I tried to force an "I meant to do that" smile and slip out of there without anyone identifying me. Didn't work.
A friend called my name. And again. And then again for good measure. Jim finally caught up with me. He hadn't seen me take my spill. He just wanted to point out that we had gotten the score wrong in a hockey story that day.
"Thanks buddy," I told him. "I'd like to have that one over."
Winter No. 2 is in the bag. Here's what I learned:
Face plants in Gondola Square?
Not so much.