Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Moose, eucalyptus steam, and hot tubing on a roof…

Last weekend was one of the best weekends I’ve ever had, and I’ve had my fair share of great ones. I think about how lucky I am quite often, and am so thankful for every minute of it.

My brother B works at Snowbird and was able to get E and me a free overnight pass at the Cliff Lodge. We were so excited! We left the city around 1:00 and headed up to Tanner’s Flat campground to go snowshoe. The snow was perfect, and the weather was fantastic. It was clear, and warm, and still.

E and I snowshoed to the river and both took in the majestic beauty. The river was flowing fairly fast for this time of year, and there was about 12” of snow piled up on all the rocks and logs. Thin fragile ice covered small areas, and we could see water bubbles under its clear surface.

The light in some areas was so blue the snow didn’t look white, and in other areas the light was pure pink. E and I commented on how pretty and quiet it was. Soon we started seeing animal tracks, and lots of them. I love to look for tracks in the snow, and haven’t ever seen this type. I guessed they were moose. Soon we also noticed scat and agreed there must be a healthy moose population nearby.

We wandered down the river for a little while more before turning back up the canyon, when we saw something move in the trees. “A moose!” E and I stopped and watched a big male moose itching his nose on a tree. Then we saw three other big male moose standing nearby. Soon they started to play fight, by butting antlers.

E and I watched nervously (one was acting a little jumpy) and decided to walk around them in a huge circle to try to get a better view. Sure enough, around the bend we saw two of the moose eating sticks and snow, and then the largest one lay down.

E and I left the campground happy and excited for our night to come. We checked in without problem, and headed up to our room. It was a beautiful room with a great view of the resort. We changed out of our snow clothes to go have a look around.

The hotel was huge and extremely pretty. We were both hungry so decided to get cocktails on the 10th floor, where we had a special guest pass. The bar was awesome, and we sat near the window where we watched the moon rise over the snowy mountains.

I ordered a peppermint patty (white chocolate liquor, peppermint schnapps, and hot chocolate), E ordered a martini, and we got a fondue appetizer. We both agreed that splurging sometimes was so fun!

After a very nice cocktail hour we headed to the first floor for Mexican food. It was damn good as well. After dinner I was full and tired (from the alcohol) but we wanted to check out the exclusive spa on the 10th floor. I have no idea what type of deal my bro got us, but it was damn neat.

The spa on the 10th floor was really fun. We got robes and slippers and we were able to enjoy the hot tub and the pool on the roof. It’s weird going outside, in the middle of winter, on the roof of a 10 story building, and jumping in the pool, but we did it!

We watched the moon and the snowcats climbing the slopes of the resort. Then we headed inside to enjoy the eucalyptus steam room and the solarium, a room where you can recline, relax, and look out at the mountains.

Finally we decided to head back to the room where E kicked my ass in Mario Kart double dash (damn him!). We decided to get up early the next morning and head back to the spa before we had to head down to the valley.

At 7:15 the next morning we headed back upstairs, tired and cold, but were so thankful we did, because watching the sun turn the peaks pink on top of a roof, in the middle of winter was awesome. After a quick dip in the pool, a quick steam, changing, and a quick breakfast we headed back down to the valley for another work week, hoping we can do it all again next year.

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