If you know anything about me, then you should know that I really don't care for cold weather. I love living in Texas because the winter season is so short. Yes, summers can be rough, but I stand firm on my contention that 100 degrees is easier to deal with than 20 degrees! And with that being said, you'd think Shannon going on a ski trip would be pretty much out of the question. Well, it certainly is something that I wouldn't have been likely to consider on my own. But I think that changed with my trip to Taos, New Mexico, in March 2003...

My friend and coworker Alan knew some people who were members of the Ski Club at Lockheed Martin, and found out that they take an annual trip to Taos. Furthermore, anyone could go; you don't have to work for Lockheed. Alan had already decided to go, so I figured what the heck, let's give this a try. The short trip turned out to be a lot of fun, and although it didn't change my mind about cold weather, I at least found a good use for it!

The trip to Taos was via sleeper motorcoach. We left Fort Worth on Thursday evening and were expected to sleep on the way to Taos. The seats on the bus converted into bunkbed-style sleeping arrangements so you could lay down. But I hardly got any sleep at all. We ran into heavy wind and rain overnight, and it felt like the bus was going to tip over at any given moment. I had to keep somewhat awake the whole time just to make sure I didn't fall off the "bed" and into the aisle. Plus each person was allotted a plank that was about 5 1/2 feet by 1 1/2 feet, hardly enough to comfortably relax on. So when morning rolled around, I was bleary-eyed and hardly ready to attempt an activity I had never tried before.

In these pictures you can get an idea of how winding the roads were as we ascended toward Taos. Here you can see a bit of the huge beast of a bus that we took up there (we had two buses.) I soon found out that the storm that had kept me awake hadn't been all bad. The weekend we went to Taos was the last weekend of operation for the ski resort. Typically, by then the snow pack has started to diminish in quality and quantity, leaving the slopes a little rough. But the previous evening's storm had also visited northern New Mexico, giving the area a late-season snowfall. And lucky for us, I was told, the slopes therefore would have the look and feel of peak season.

Here's a pic of Alan and I as we await the end of the bus ride and prepare to hit the slopes.

Here was my first glimpse of the mountain that would end up pretty much owning me after three days.

As it turned out, when we got there, the snow was not yet done falling. In fact, there was a freakin' snowstorm for most of the first day. Visibility was pretty limited. It was crazy. In this picture you can see the main lift up the mountain.

Just as an FYI, here are two documents we received prior to the trip that will give you more details about what went on that weekend.
General Information Trip Itinerary

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