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COLORADO GIRL CHAPTER II: “SPRING SKIING - A BASIN” AMIDST THE FRIGID SNOW CAPPED ROCKY MOUNTAINS LIVES THE COLORADO GIRL. RETURNING HOME FOLLOWING GRADUATION FROM MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE IN VERMONT, SHE MAKES A PROMISE TO HERSELF AND HER FAMILY: THAT THEY WILL NEVER BE APART AGAIN. COLORADO GIRL ENCOMPASSES ALL THAT COLORADO HAS TO OFFER. AS THE COLORADO GIRL, ALISON SIZEMORE HAS GUYS CONSTANTLY CHASING HER SINCE SHE IS A BEAUTIFUL AND GREGARIOUS BLUE-EYED BLOND FROM FRISCO IN SUMMIT COUNTY. BENEATH HER BEAUTY IS A WARM, LOVING AND CLOSELY-ATTACHED-TO-FAMILY TOMBOY WHO THOROUGHLY ENJOYS ALL THE OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES THE MOUNTAINS HAVE TO OFFER - FROM FLY FISHING TO BOARDING. GROWING UP IN SUMMIT COUNTY, ALISON HAS COME BACK HOME TO THE MOUNTAINS SHE LOVES. OLDER NOW AND IMBUED WITH AN OUTGOING PERSONALITY, SHE ENJOYS THE NIGHT LIFE OF THE 20 SOMETHINGS OF SUMMIT COUNTY TO THE FULLEST. OUR COLORADO GIRL’S MOTTO IS LIFE GOES BY ONCE AND WE ARE TO ENJOY IT TO THE MAXIMUM UNDER GOD’S GUIDANCE. ALISON LOVES TO DANCE AND SOCIALIZE. SHE ALSO ENJOYS MICRO BREWS FROM THE BRECKENRIDGE BREWERY. WHILE RELISHING HER RETURN HOME, ALISON FACES A MAJOR CHALLENGE: COMING TO GRIPS WITH HER MOTHER’S RECENTLY DIAGNOSED TERMINAL ILLNESS. IN THE MIDST OF THIS CONSUMING FAMILY STRUGGLE WITH THE PROSPECT OF LOSING HER MOTHER, SHE FALLS DEEPLY IN LOVE WITH A YOUNG DENVER CARDIOTHORACIC SURGEON WHO RECENTLY FINISHED HIS FELLOWSHIP AT THE CLEVELAND CLINIC IN OHIO. IF YOU LOVE DRAMA, MOUNTAIN SPORTS, THE 20 SOMETHING LIFESTYLE, AND VALUE HOW CLOSE A FAMILY CAN BE, THEN “ COLORADO GIRL “ WILL BOTH INSPIRE AND CHALLENGE.

ALISON HEY EVERYONE. THERE HASN’T BEEN A SUMMIT COUNTY DUMP OF SNOW LIKE THIS FOR YEARS IN THE SPRING. DAD YOU HAVE JUST BEEN AWAY - OFF AT MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE FOR FOUR LONG YEARS GETTING SMART, LIBERAL, AND SPOILED. ALISON I’M NOT LIBERAL DAD. I’M JUST NORMAL. ALL 20 SOMETHINGS VIEW THE WORLD A LOT DIFFERENTLY THAN YOU DO.

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DAD WELL I’M NOT ANCIENT. ALL MY PATIENTS THINK I’M WITH THE TIMES. ALISON THEY ARE JUST TELLING YOU THAT. THEY DON’T WANT TO HURT YOUR FEELINGS. DAD WELL I HAVE QUITE A FEW OF YOUR FRIENDS AND ACQUAINTANCES IN MY PRACTICE. THEY THINK I’M OK. ALISON NO, YOU’RE ACTUALLY COOL DAD. WE’VE UPGRADED YOU. NOT MANY DADS WOULD STILL SKI WITH 20 SOMETHINGS. DAD I GUESS I’M OLD SINCE I DON’T BOARD. ALISON NOT REALLY. MANY OF MY FRIENDS NEVER GOT THE BOARDING TECHNIQUE DOWN AND DON’T WANT TO STRUGGLE AFTER SPENDING YEARS BECOMING DECENT SKIERS. DAD THAT WAS MY POINT. I RAISED YOU AS AN OLYMPIC SKIER - BRECKENRIDGE SKI TEAM - JUNIOR OLYMPICS - THE ENTIRE PACKAGE. ALISON OH YES - I COULD HAVE BEEN THE NEXT LINDSEY VONN. THAT WASN’T FOR ME. DAD YOU COMPETED AGAINST HER - RIGHT? ALISON MANY TIMES DAD. IN FACT I ACTUALLY BEAT HER ONCE. I WAS NEVER OLYMPIC MATERIAL THOUGH - CLOSE BUT NEVER THE REAL DEAL. DAD LIVING IN THE MOUNTAINS WE ARE RATHER LIMITED IN THE SPORTS THE HIGH SCHOOLS HAVE TO OFFER. SKIING IS KING. IT’S NOT LIKE WE HAVE GREAT FOOTBALL OR OTHER BIG SPORTS UP HERE. ALISON WE NOW HAVE COMPETITIVE CHEERLEADING IN SUMMIT COUNTY. THAT’S PRETTY COOL.

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DAD LOTS OF INJURIES. I SEE A LOT OF TENDONITIS IN MY PRACTICE FROM CHEERLEADING. ALISON YOU HAVE ALWAYS BEEN THE GREATEST DAD OF ALL TIME. MY GOSH DAD, I MISSED EVERY SECOND OF BEING AWAY FROM MY BROTHERS AND PARENTS. IT IS WEIRD, BUT I THINK I HAVE THE VERY BEST FAMILY IN THE WORLD. I WAS NEVER NOT HOMESICK ALL FOUR YEARS. DAD THAT IS UNUSUAL. WE ARE GLAD YOU ARE BACK. BUT IT IS JUST A MATTER OF TIME BEFORE SOME VERY HANDSOME NICE GUY PROPOSES AND YOU MOVE TO SAN FRANCISCO OR SOMEWHERE ELSE. NO WAY. I’M STAYING PUT.

ALISON

DAD I CAN ONLY HOPE, BUT AFTER TALKING TO ALL THE PARENTS OF YOUR OLD GANG, MOST OF THE GUYS AND GIRLS END UP LEAVING. THERE JUST ISN’T QUITE ENOUGH OF AN ECONOMY IN SUMMIT COUNTY FOR UP AND COMING MILLENNIALS. ALISON WHEW! WHERE DID YOU PULL THAT WORD OUT? NOW I’M A MILLENNIAL. THAT IS COOL. DAD YES, THEY FORMERLY CALLED YOU GUYS AND GALS GENERATION X AND Y - NOW YOU’RE THE MILLENNIALS. ALISON ENOUGH DAD. LET’S HEAD TO THE BACKSIDE OF A-BASIN FOR SOME REAL SPRING SKIING. DAD YOU DON’T THINK I CAN KEEP UP WITH YOU ANY LONGER. ALISON MAYBE. IT’S BEEN A WHILE SINCE WE SKIED TOGETHER. DAD IT WASN’T THAT LONG AGO THAT MOM AND OUR ENTIRE FAMILY SKIED TOGETHER. IT IS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING HOW TIME JUST FLIES WHEN YOU ARE RAISING CHILDREN. ALISON SO WHAT IS WRONG WITH MOM? WHAT DID THE CT SCAN REVEAL?

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DAD WE DON’T KNOW. THERE WAS A MILD ABNORMALITY WHICH MAY REQUIRE BIOPSY IN HER PANCREAS. COULD BE A CYST OR COULD BE A......... ALISON TUMOR? DAD YES, THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY, THOUGH THE RADIOLOGISTS AT THE FRISCO HOSPITAL SEEM TO THINK THIS IS A BENIGN PROCESS, SUCH AS A CYST - BUT IT IS CAUSING HER SOME PAIN. ALISON SHE HASN’T LOST ANY WEIGHT THANK GOD. DAD NO LATELY SHE HAS BEEN FEELING BETTER. WE JUST HAVE TO WAIT FOR THE GURU FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO TO CALL AND GET HER IN FOR THE BIOPSY. SHOULDN’T BE LONG. SHE DOESN’T LIKE TO TALK ABOUT IT. ALISON NO KIDDING. I TRIED TO TALK TO HER AND SHE BLEW UP - VERY UNUSUAL FOR HER. DAD WE HAVE MADE IT TO THE TOP. THE SUMMIT OVER THERE IS 13.050 FEET, AND TREE LINE IS........... ALISON 11,000 FEET WHERE THE SUBALPINE AND ALPINE TERRAIN COME TOGETHER. COLORADO IS THE ONLY STATE THAT IS ABOVE 3000 FEET ABOVE SEA LEVEL THROUGHOUT. I FULLY REMEMBER YOUR SCOUT LECTURES UP HERE. DAD VERY GOOD. NOW BEFORE WE HEAD BACK TO THE MONTEZUMA BOWL, WHY DON’T WE TEST YOUR BOARD ON THE EAST WALL? ALISON NO PROBLEM DAD. YOU ACTUALLY STILL GO OFF THIS MONSTER? DAD YES, IT’S ONLY 13,500 FEET HIGH. GRAYS PEAK OVER YOUR RIGHT SHOULDER IS 14,270 FEET. ALISON WE HAVE A LITTLE CLIMB DAD. ARE YOU OK WITH A LITTLE WORK. DAD I WILL BEAT YOU TO THE TOP. SEE YOU AT THE BASE OF THE LENAWEE LIFT. 5


ALISON THAT GUY YELLING YAHOO MEANS HE’S A DEFINITE TOURIST. I’M OUT TO BE AN AIRDOG TODAY AND STILL BEAT YOU DOWN THE HILL WITH NO EGGBEATERS. DAD WELL CARVE ALL YOU WANT. I’LL STILL BEAT YOU DOWN WITH MY PRIMITIVE SKIING TECHNIQUES. ALISON WE’RE OFF. LOOKING GOOD DAD. BUT DON’T LOOK TOO GOOD. SEE YOU AT THE BASE OF LENAWEE LIFT. BEAT YOU BY A MILE.

DAD

ALISON WELL I RAN INTO THIS TOTALLY ZONED OUT GAL WHO SAID SHE HIT A SOFT SPOT AND LANDED A CRATER RIGHT ON ME. IT’S A FREE FOR ALL ON THE EAST WALL IN THE SPRING. KIDS ARE IN LATE SEASON FORM. DAD IT IS AMAZING HOW FAR BOARDING HAS COME - ESPECIALLY WITH THE PIPES, RAILS, AND ABILITY TO GRAB THE BOARD IN MIDAIR. ALISON AND HIT A NOODLE SURFACE FOR THE LANDING. BOARDS ARE A FREE SPIRIT’S WAY OF LIFE. I STILL LIKE SKIING, BUT THE BOARD IS MORE CHALLENGING IN THE SPRING WITH THE HARD SNOW PACK WHICH TURNS INTO MIDDAY MUSH, FOLLOWED BY THE ROCK HARD SKI SURFACE IN THE MID AFTERNOON. ALL THE CONDITIONS ARE RIGHT IN A-BASIN IN THE SPRING. DAD OK, ONCE WE GET OFF LENAWEE, WE’RE HEADING DOWN LARKSPUR TO START, AND THEN WE’LL HIT NORTHERN SPY AND MOUNTAIN GOAT TRAVERSE. SHOULD BE A TON OF FUN. ALISON LOOK AT THOSE CLOUDS COMING IN. LOOKS LIKE ANOTHER DUMP. WE’LL TAKE IT. DAD PRETTY SOON IT WILL BE A WHITE OUT ON TOP. THAT MAY MAKE FOR SOME TREACHEROUS CONDITIONS. GOT YOUR CELL ON? ALISON ABSOLUTELY. DON’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT.

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DAD HEY NORTHERN SPY IS PRETTY AWESOME. I CAN REALLY TURN WELL IN THIS FRESH POWDER. ALISON BOY LOOK AT THAT GUY TELEMARKING OVER THERE. HE IS REALLY STRUGGLING GETTING THROUGH THIS FRESH POWDER. DAD THERE ARE TONS OF TELEMARK SKIERS IN SUMMIT COUNTY. THE BACK END OF A-BASIN IS WHERE YOU FIND THEM. ALISON I JUST NEVER GOT INTO TELEMARK SKIING. I TRIED IT ONCE, BUT I’LL STICK TO ALPINE SKIING; BUT GOD INTENDED TO MAKE SNOWBOARDS BEFORE SKIS ANYWAY. DAD IN MY YOUNGER DAYS I TELEMARKED. LOTS OF FUN AND A GREAT WORKOUT. WE FORMERLY CALLED IT FREE HEEL SKIING. MANY SUBTLE DIFFERENCES COMPARED TO DOWNHILL OR ALPINE SKIING. THERE IS ACTUALLY A REVOLUTION OF TELEMARK SKIING ONGOING. I THINK IT IS GREAT FOR THE SPORT. ALISON I LOVE SKIING AND BOARDING. IT’S ACTUALLY ONE OF THE ONLY TRUE SPORTS - NO POLITICS - JUST YOU AND THE MOUNTAIN. DAD WELL I SURE LOVE SKIING IN THIS WHITE OUT. IN SIMILAR STORMS, I ASKED ALL THE YOUNG SKIERS IF THEY COULD ACTUALLY SEE ANYTHING, BECAUSE I JUST COULDN’T. ONE OF THE YOUNG BOARDERS TOLD ME ON THE LIFT THAT HE HADN’T SEEN THE GROUND ALL DAY. ALISON DON’T WORRY DAD - I CAN’T SEE EXACTLY WHERE WE ARE GOING EITHER BUT WE BOTH HAVE CELLS, SO YOU SHOULD THINK IT’S ME AND NOT THE LABOR WARD IN FRISCO IF THE CELL GOES OFF. DAD COME TO THINK OF IT, I DO HAVE A COUPLE OF GALS DUE THIS WEEK. BUT THE NURSES KNOW WHERE I AM. WE’RE NOT THAT FAR AWAY SHOULD THEIR LABOR BEGIN. ALISON DON’T YOU HATE ALWAYS HAVING TO BE AVAILABLE FOR YOUR PRACTICE DAD? DAD NO, NOT REALLY. I’M HAVING A LOT OF FUN WITH MY PATIENTS. THEY ARE GETTING GOOD CARE AND APPRECIATE IT IMMENSELY. 7


YES I COULD’VE TAKEN MORE LUCRATIVE POSITIONS ELSEWHERE, BUT NO PLACE HAS THE APPEAL OF SUMMIT COUNTY, COLORADO. ALISON WELL SHOULD WE HEAD OVER TO MOUNTAIN GOAT TRAVERSE AND HEAD DOWN TIEZE’S CLAIM. DAD BETTER YET WE SHOULD HEAD DOWN BIERSTADT. IT’S IN THE TREES, BUT THERE IS PLENTY OF POWDER TO BUFFER THE TURNS. ANY TREE WELLS IN THERE?

ALISON

DAD JUST SOME SMALL ONES. WE CAN MANEUVER AROUND THEM. BESIDES IT IS SPRING. THE AVALANCHE DANGER SEEMS TO HAVE PASSED. ALISON WOW. THERE GOES ANOTHER TELE SKIER. THESE GUYS ARE ALL OVER THE PLACE. AND TALENTED.

DAD

ALISON MAYBE I SHOULD TAKE UP FREE HEEL SKIING. CAN I GET A PAIR OF THOSE SKIES FOR CHRISTMAS? DAD SOON AS YOUR SCHOOL LOAN OWED TO ME IS PAID OFF. ALISON I THOUGHT THE DEAL WAS IF I WAS REPEATEDLY ON THE DEAN’S LIST - WHICH ACTUALLY OCCURRED - THEN THE LOAN WAS FORGIVEN. RIGHT? DAD WAS THAT THE DEAL? I REMEMBER SOMETHING A BIT DIFFERENT. ALISON NO DAD, THAT WAS THE DEAL. LIKE IT OR NOT YOU ARE NOT BECOMING AN INDIAN GIVER. DAD OK - THE LOAN IS FORGIVEN IF YOU CONTINUE TO MAKE GOOD CHOICES. WHAT IS THAT ABOUT?

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ALISON


DAD YOU ARE STILL CAPABLE OF MAKING REALLY FAILING CHOICES WITH RESPECT TO GUYS, WORK, ALCOHOL, DRUGS, AND RELIGION. ALISON DON’T WORRY. ONCE I GET REESTABLISHED, I’LL MOVE OUT OF OUR HOUSE - THOUGH IT IS PRETTY NICE NOW HAVING MY OLD ROOM BACK. DAD AND THE FOOD IS AT A GOOD PRICE. AND LET’S SEE, IS MOM TREATING YOU LIKE YOU ARE A BABY AGAIN? ALISON YES - I LOVE IT. BUT I KNOW SHE WILL GET TIRED OF ME NOW THAT I’VE CHANGED AFTER MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE, WHAT WITH IT BEING THE LIBERAL THINK TANK IT IS, AND THE INFLUENCE IT HAS ON ITS ALUMNI AND STUDENTS. DAD HEY I KNOW THIS GUY. I HAVE SEEN YOU BEFORE. GREG OH, I’M GREG - REMEMBER THE FLY FISHING GUY DOWN ON THE SNAKE - JUST BELOW A-BASIN? I DROPPED YOUR DAUGHTER OFF AT YOUR OFFICE IN FRISCO. DAD NOW I REMEMBER. YES, ALISON SAID YOU WERE QUITE FRUSTRATED WITH YOUR JOB AT PORTER. GREG I’M NOW DOING SOME MOONLIGHTING AT THE UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO. SO ARE YOU BUSY?

ALISON

GREG NOT REALLY. I AM STILL PROBABLY GOING BACK TO THE CLEVELAND CLINIC. IN FACT THEY ARE SENDING ME A CONTRACT TO PRACTICE BEGINNING AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. DAD SEEMS ODD THAT IF THE CLEVELAND CLINIC WANTS YOU SO BAD, WHY IN THE WORLD CAN’T DENVER KEEP YOU BUSY? GREG IT IS WEIRD. THE UNIVERSITY IS ACTUALLY GETTING BUSIER, AS THEY ARE USING ME FOR MORE THAN CARDIOTHORACIC SURGERY. I’M DOING SOME COMPLICATED ABDOMINAL SURGERY THAT USUALLY INVOLVES THE CHEST ADDITIONALLY. 9


ALISON WELL THAT SOUNDS COOL. SO YOU MAY STAY? GREG IT IS 50 - 50. I REALLY LIKE IT HERE IN COLORADO. I MEAN WHERE CAN A GUY JUST TAKE OFF, AND IN AN HOUR IN LATE SPRING HAVE A GREAT SKI DAY? ALISON IT IS SOMETHING - IT REALLY DUMPED THE PAST COUPLE OF DAYS. HAVE YOU BEEN UP TO SUMMIT COUNTY MUCH LATELY? GREG NO BUT I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO DOING SOME MOUNTAIN BIKING. I JUST DON’T KNOW MANY PEOPLE THAT WANT TO COME UP HERE AND MOUNTAIN BIKE, KAYAK, HIKE, FISH, AND HUNT IN THE SUMMER. HECK I’M EVEN THINKING OF SKIING ST. MARY’S GLACIER NEXT WEEK. WOULD YOU LIKE TO COME? DAD ALISON WILL COME ONLY IF THERE ARE NO AVALANCHE WARNINGS. THE SNOW MAY BE A BIT UNSETTLED THERE. GREG WELL IF THE SNOW IS MOVING AND UNSETTLED, WE CAN HIKE UP BEHIND MONTEZUMA, FOLLOWING THE CREEK TO THE TOP OF THE CONTINENTAL DIVIDE. ALISON SOUNDS COOL. THAT’S IF YOU DON’T GO BACK TO CLEVELAND FIRST. SOUNDS LIKE COLORADO IS GETTING IN YOUR BLOOD. ISN’T THIS A-BASIN SPRING SKIING AND BOARDING AWESOME?! GREG I’LL PROBABLY COME HERE MORE IN THE WINTER SKI SEASON. I REALLY ONLY DID VAIL AND KEYSTONE WITH THE COLORADO PASS THIS YEAR. I UPGRADED TO AN EPIC PASS FOR NEXT YEAR AND I PLAN TO USE IT TO GET UP VAIL MOUNTAIN FOR MOUNTAIN BIKING ON TOP THIS SUMMER. DAD I CAN HONESTLY SAY THE PEOPLE THAT RUN THIS RESORT ARE FANTASTIC. WHEN I WAS YOUNGER AND OUR KIDS WERE TINY, WE CAME UP HERE ON A MOTHER’S DAY. WE ARRIVED AT THE VERY TOP OF NORWAY LIFT. IT WAS SUCH A WHITE OUT THAT YOU COULDN’T SEE YOUR GLOVE. THE KIDS WERE SO SMALL THAT I DIDN’T WANT TO LOSE THEM. THE SKI PATROL TOOK THEM DOWN ON THEIR BACKS. ALISON DAD, YOU TELL THAT STORY TO EVERYONE.

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WELL IT IS PRETTY COOL.

GREG

DAD I OFFERED A SCHOLARSHIP TO THE SKI PATROL GUYS AND THE OWNERS TOLD ME THE SKI PATROL IS DOING WHAT IS EXPECTED, AND HE SAID THANKS FOR SUPPORTING OUR SKI RESORT. GREG SO DID YOU GIVE A SCHOLARSHIP? ALISON DAD WILL AFTER HE GETS EVERYONE THROUGH COLLEGE. PROMISE DAD! DAD YES I WILL. AND IT IS 1530, AND THE MONTEZUMA LIFT WILL CLOSE. WE NEED TO HEAD BACK DOWN THE MOUNTAIN. HOW ABOUT YOU COME OVER FOR SUPPER TONIGHT GREG? ALISON YES, MOM IS BY FAR THE WORLD’S BEST COOK AND HOST. I’LL LET HER KNOW YOU ARE COMING. WELL I’D BE IMPOSING.

GREG

DAD NO BIG DEAL. WE’D LOVE TO HAVE YOU OVER. ALISON REMEMBER TO GET THE $10 WAX AND EDGE WORK SPECIAL ON YOUR SKIS BEFORE YOU LEAVE. GREG OK. I’LL JUST FOLLOW YOU GUYS TO FRISCO. ALISON NO. I’LL RIDE WITH YOU AND SHOW YOU THE WAY. BYE DAD. DAD SEE YOU IN A FEW. LAST ONE DOWN BUYS THE FIRST DRINK AT OUR HOUSE.

END - COLORADO GIRL II

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Chapter II  

Alison and her Dad go skiing at A Basin. Near the end of their skiing, they meet Greg again.