Nearly a week has passed already but still fresh in my mind and soul are the fond memories and wonderful experiences of our visit to Telluride, Colorado.  Since mid November we have been planning our mountain get-away, with high hopes and expectations that it would provide a much needed respite.  We anxiously awaited this trip because for us it signified several firsts.  It would be our first visit to Telluride, Colorado…our first participation in a Gay Ski Week event…and our first group trip taken with a travel/tour company. And as it turned out, it did not disappoint!

We started early Monday morning, and after a close call at the MSP airport, we managed to make a smooth connection in DEN and arrive in Telluride by 10:30a.m.  We arrived to emerging sunshine that glistened and danced on top of several inches of fresh new snow.  Although our official tour didn’t start until that evening, a short stroll down the quaint Main Street of Telluride was all that it took to make us realize we simply couldn’t wait until the next day to get on the mountain!  We checked into the beautiful Hotel Telluride and opened our luggage like kids with their presents on Christmas morning!  The mountain was beautiful!  Fresh snow, bright sunshine made us forget all about the  possibility of altitude sickness.  We were in heaven as we warmed up for the coming week.

Equally exciting was the meet-and-greet reception scheduled for the evening.  Having never attended a Gay Ski Week event before, we had decided that maybe it would be best to go as part of a packaged trip, and found that OutWest Adventures seemed to have the perfect solution.  Rather than spending the entire week like two needles in a haystack, OutWest offered the chance to meet and bond with a group of about 16.  This was the night we would meet the other group members, and start forging what we hope will be lasting friendships.

Each day the rest of the week was loosely organized (just as a vacation should be).  We met for breakfast and then headed by shuttle over to the Gondola to start the day on the mountain, meeting up for lunch and then again for apres-ski, cocktails and dinners.

As the week went on, natural sub-groups formed by style and ability.  Some were there to challenge themselves, while others were there to relax and enjoy the environment.  We, being the only two snowboarders present, were fortunate enough to find people that were patient and willing to go our speed. And we thoroughy enjoyed getting to know our new friends while taking advantage of the fresh air, warm sun and open terrain.

Our group leader Rusty, along with Aaron from OutWest organized 3 wonderful group dinners throughout the week, and suggested locations for more informal dinners on the other evenings.  Rustico, Las Montanas, and 221 Oak each catered well to our group with an excellent menu.  And while not so accommodating to a the larger group, Jeff and I did enjoy Cosmopolitan for dinner on our own on Friday night.  We appreciated having the ability to belong to a group, yet feel able to take a little time for ourselves during the week.

Our trip home was, shall we say, harrowing.  But on a positive note, we got some bonus time to bond with Rich and Richard and an extra day off of work ;)  But we eventually made it, safe, sound and in tact.

We’d like to thank Aaron and Rusty from OutWest and all of our new friends for a wonderful time that we’ll not soon forget.  We hope to keep in touch, and to see you all again!