Day 83: Valentine’s Day

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February is Elaine and my favorite month, and Valentine's Day is actually one of our favorite days of the year. It just seems like good things happen to us this month. Last year was sort of a funny one, as our picture got plastered all over the internet for our wedding celebration at Loveland Ski Area. Today was much more personal, but probably more significant.

We headed up to Meadow Mountain, a place where, five years ago, we'd go skiing a lot when Elaine was sick. Back then I figured the best therapy I knew of was the mountains and skiing, so we'd go up there and ski all day. She was a trooper, and did those skins with BCA Trackers and alpine boots. And while our gear today is a lot nicer, the spirit is the same.

Today was exactly like those days. Perfect snow, wind and a raging snow storm. It was good to be back…our first time back here since February 2008. The big difference now though is Elaine is completely healthy, proving once again the power of the mountains, skiing and a loving environment. And of course Stella came along. It was an amazing day, and it's cool how we were able to recognize little nooks in the woods that were significant to us five years earlier.

It was our best Valentine's Day yet. We capped it off with our favorite meal at Kathmandu. What can I say…I'm a very lucky guy. Hope everybody out there had a wonderful day as well.

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An appropriately named road.

P1070008Love the way this skin track fades off in the distance. 2,000 feet of climbing to get to this place.

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That's a happy powder smile if I've ever seen one.

P1070054Snowstorm raged all day long.

P1070056Elaine heads up and into the tempest.

P1070058Stella, who completes our family and helps ease the pain for both Elaine and I of losing our former pets. She really is a terrific dog.

P1070076Elaine enjoys the powder as her braids go flying.

P1070130The skiing was delectable.

P1070147After 3,300 vertical feet of breaking trail, we decided to call it a day.

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Dumping snow as we headed out. There or somewhere, we'll be back at it tomorrow.

AliveThis photo is actually five years old, from February 2008 at the same location as our ski today. It just kind of proves the beauty of mountains and skiing – she was going through hell at this time, but that smile showed me that it wouldn't last forever. I guess, when it comes down to it, skiing is a lot more personal and meaningful than just making turns. It has, a various times, been a life source.

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