Saturday, December 31, 2005

Explosions in the Distance

We are currently in Breckenridge, Colorado, enjoying the snow and the scenery, and a little time with the kids. Yesterday I went out skiing and did pretty well for being away from it for three years. At least I didn't crash.

Breckenridge is getting a lot of snow this year. There is a boundary line, set up by the jet stream, that divides the wet and snowy parts of the country from the dry lands. Just over the mountains, the lands are cold, but bare. Here in Breckenridge, there is record snowfall.

Record snowfall means great skiing. It also means that the avalance conditions increase. Every morning, and many times through the day, the windows of the condo rattle with the sounds if explosions from the peaks. The crew is out there setting charges and keeping a dangerous buildup from happening. Yesterday, skiing while it was snowing, it sounded like thunder from the clouds. Buffered by the trees in all directions up there on the slopes, the rumble was gentle.

Today, the weather is interesting. Here in town, it's sunny. Snow melt is providing a muddy wash for the cars to splash through. There are dribbles from every roof. The air temperature was a comfortable 37 F as we walked over to MiCasa for lunch.

But on either side of the valley, mountains towered overhead, covered in clouds, with the snow coming down on the slopes. And the sounds of explosions continued.

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