First tracks to the vodka

A week before we were scheduled to depart for Taos, New Mexico, base elevation 9,000 feet, summit elevation 12,000, I receive a mass email from Boston Ski Club:

“Drink lots of water at least 3 days prior to departure, this helps with altitude sickness.”

I already go to the bathroom a lot. So for the three days prior to departure if I wasn’t drinking water I was going to the bathroom. I was determined to be in peak skiing condition upon arrival.

Saturday morning I got home from work at 2am, I take a nap and then Captain and I head to the airport.  I’m somewhere in between awake and asleep. I’m trying to drag my skis, my carry-on suitcase and my small personal item such as a purse or briefcase which is not small.

We get all checked in. Middle-aged men keep coming up to ask,

“Are you with the Boston Ski Club?”


It turns out all these middle-aged men are on the trip. Where are the women? I’m too tired to think about this now. The men gather around to chat. I sink into a chair and stare into the sea of bellies.

I keep drinking water. We stopover in Dallas. Taco Bell is calling my name. I wolf down several tacos. BIG mistake. Before the plane has even landed in New Mexico my body is rejecting the Taco Bell. All my hydrating is for naught. I can’t keep anything down for the next 12 hours.

Two women and their husbands join the group in New Mexico. Thank goodness. Little did I know then that I wouldn’t see them again until the flight home.

We check into our condo. There’s one guy on the trip younger than me and he’s in my condo. I tell him,

“I’m really glad you’re in my condo.”

“Everybody is older huh?”

“Yeah and a guy.”

Captain is older, but we’re talking fifties and sixties for most of these guys and one 74-year-old who told airport security he was 75 so he wouldn’t have to take his shoes off. TSA didn’t card him. I’m going to try it next time.

Over the course of the week I’m determined to track down the women. Plenty of the men are married, but for one reason or another none of the women came on the trip. I ask Captain,

“Are there usually this few women on the week trips?”

“No. Only one other trip was like this.”

“Do you know why?”

“Probably because there’s no shopping. There wasn’t much shopping on that other trip either.”

Taos is the antithesis of Aspen. It has very few places to stay, eat or shop. There are no women or dogs in head to toe designer wear. There is just a lot of extreme skiing and plenty of time to sleep before doing more skiing.

The shopping is so scarce that I couldn’t even find a stuffed animal in a Taos t-shirt. I did manage to get a human size shirt. One of the guys on the trip asks,

“Where did you get that?”

“At the shop.”

“Which shop?”

“What do you mean which shop? The shop.”

“Oh, the one right here?”

“Yeah.” The one shop.

Taos wins for amazing skiing and the only ski up martini tree I’ve ever seen. That’s right. There’s a tree with a box and inside the box is a carafe full of vodka. My ski instructor took a very long swig.

The snow is animated. I didn’t do that. Google had gone rogue.
I hiked 300 yards uphill, 12,000 ft elevation and skied this.
No shopping. Or not much.

2 thoughts on “First tracks to the vodka

  1. Taos NM is one of my favorite places on earth. I usuaLLy don't buy many things, but there are plenty of places in Taos itself to buy aLL kinds of touristy things. I never going skiing anymore, and I didn't make it to Taos skiing after a final bad crash of my last time ever on a ski slope, although I enjoyed skiing for about 20 years infrequently.


  2. Yeah I saw that. We drove through the town of Taos, but stayed in the little ski village at the base of the lifts. I could've taken a day off skiing to go into town, but the martini tree was calling me. 😉


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