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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Rocky Mountain High

I've been working on a post about my snow adventures in Crested Butte, CO, with the fab folks at the Adaptive Sports Center. I have so much to say about my incredible experiences with them, I've decided the best way to portray this trip in written form, is in a day-by-day scenario. So here's CB:day one, the travel experience:


Where to even begin? The grandeur of the mountains to the close-knit communities. On my last trip, this past September, I was unbelievably fortunate to receive my airfare from a local supporter of the adaptive sports center. And the remainder of my adventure costs, were covered by family, and friends, through fundraising. Another huge thank you to all, who helped me to participate in this amazing program! Trips like these make me so grateful for the incredible support, I have. Over the years, Ive often begun to feel like I'm losing faith in the human spirit.Leading a government subsided life, is one of the more frustrating, thoughtless, and misguided decisions I've ever made. The more opportunities I have, to step away, the more I realize, it's as if I'm stuck in a trap. But today's entry isn't about that, it's about the incredible spirit, and generosity of others.

Last Thursday, I caught a cab to the airport at 3:30 am. Miserable, right? Well, I thought so. I'm no longer a creature of little, or no sleep. I didn't want to sleep though, for fear of missing my flight. My roommate/Live in aide works nights, so I had to depend on myself to get there. I'm pretty certain of my abilities to plan out a strategy, when normal means of help, aren't available. I called ahead for a cab, and was ready to walk out the door, when they arrived. Victory # 1. I was a bit of a mess at the airport, constantly thinking I'd misplaced my identification, or phone. Awesome. I travel with my own gear, which can get ridiculously heavy. My bag weighed in at 41 pounds, despite being almost my height, and twice as wide, as I am. I regard that as some kind of miracle. I got a nap from Burlington to Chicago. When I deplaned, I realized my connecting flight to Denver was in the same terminal, so I declined assistance, and apparently walked down a half mile hallway. That felt really good, to successfully navigate myself to my connecting flight. I only got knocked over once, that is pretty excellent in my book, when I'm navigating crowded places. Alone, or not. I think a lot of this has to do with my visual processing. I can't get the message to my body, fast enough, that I need to step left or right, to avoid others hurrying by. I even got to grab some frozen yogurt, and a bagel along the way. Fro-yo is probably one of my oldest food cravings. It's always something I associate with travel too. When I got to the gate, they were just getting ready to pre-board. I was pretty pleased with myself. I imagine many of you may regard this as somewhat simple, and not too thrilling, but for me, living in a world where people constantly stepping in to do stuff for me, it was a huge victory for me to be able to navigate O'Hare, on my own resources.

It was a long day of changing planes. In Denver, I had to get help again, like a tour guide for the airport.Denver is very laid back about assistance, which I find so helpful. Denver connected to Montrose, which is very close to Crested Butte. Montrose is a tiny airport. Easier for me. I walked out of 1 of 3 gates, and saw my friend , Maggie, who works with the adaptive Sports Center, in Crested Butte. I met Maggie, about 3 or 4 years back, at Vermont Adaptive. She recognized me, out at an adaptive exposition. No Barriers, in Winter Park, CO. That was a definite small-world moment. Not being one to turn down an amazing connection like that, I find myself in love with the small mountain community. I've live in Burlington for so long, it now seems huge, by comparison. By the time we go back to Crested Butte, I was exhausted. Maggie had to run out, but had asked her friend Tommy to come keep me company, which was very thoughtful. I knew him from past trips, so, it was great to catch up, and watch ridiculous ski movies from the 80's. feel like I was only half-conscious for the second half. I crashed that night, only to wake up confused, about where I was, and to some.beeping. I only remember thinking, "hope that's not a carbon monoxide detector" before falling back asleep. Good thing, it was only a beeper. Maggie's an EMT, and her pager is always active. strangely, I didn't sleep to well, that first night. I thought I'd crash hard from not having slept the night before. I woke up, crazy early the first couple days, which is not, what my body generally does, willingly. My genuine excitement, for the next 4 days, was off the charts, so sleep was last on my list of concerns, at that point.