Stuck on the Couch
Last fall the labral tear in my hip was talking to me; and it wasn’t using its polite inside voice anymore, it was screaming like a toddler throwing a full-blown tantrum in the grocery store.
I found the best surgeon in Denver, swallowed hard, and tried to submit to the fact that I’d have to grab some crutches and put my beloved winter and spring outdoor activities on for the next six months. After much rehab with amazing physical therapists I’ll be strong again when I pedal and hike up my favorite mountain passes in time for summer, but I was worried about really getting to enjoy my upcoming spring visit to Copper.
I wouldn't be able to head down my favorite secluded tree runs in Copper’s Upper Enchanted Forest, I wouldn’t see the expansive vista I looked forward to every single season at the top of Storm King as I anticipated cutting loose in wild Spaulding Bowl, and I wouldn’t get the thrill of riding the snow cat up Tucker Mountain to blast down the Taco.
Heck, I didn’t even have clearance to ride up The Stinger to rush down Copper’s awesome tubing hill, or to take advantage of Copper’s free guided snowshoe tour (my aggravated hip flexors would still mutiny against it), and any plans for ice skating at West Lake melted away at the thought of an accidental fall.
Before I drowned in self-pity, Stephanie Sweeney, Copper’s Public Relations Director (and resident fun expert) threw me a line.
My perfect off-slope spa day at Copper
Steph scheduled a Swedish massage for me at Copper Mountain Spa & Athletic Club. In all my years skiing at Copper I’d never set foot inside this little gem.
I could have used the fully equipped weight and cardio rooms to sneak in some exercise before my massage, but I opted for the more leisurely hot tub/steam room/sauna hat trick and a dip in the pool. Then I slipped into my fluffy white robe, settled into a cozy chair to relax in the quiet room, and sipped green tea and inhaled the tantalizing scents of almond and lavender wafting in air mixed with the strains of Andean pan pipes.
My masseuse applied just the right amount of pressure in all the right spots and I quickly floated off to my happy place thinking this would be perfect for a tired body after a day skiing the bumps.
I was really hungry after all that bliss. My Dr. Jekyll side told me I wanted the quinoa, cashew, mango salad from Jack’s Organic Deli, but my Mr. Hyde side said, “You need the Classic Devil Dog at Copper Red Hots.” So, I grabbed both and headed over to Jack’s patio to soak up the blue skies and sunshine and meditate on the thought of all those happy people playing on my favorite mountain.
My endorphins still going strong, I headed over to Kokomo gift shop to browse and find something for a friend. It was tough deciding between the unique jewelry, whimsical wood carvings and artisanal pottery, but I managed.
The sunshine enticed me outside again, and Sugarlips Mini Donuts lured me in with its cute little cottage venue and the promise of a tiny taste of sweet goodness. Vanilla Sauce, S’mores, or Sprinkles? Of course I tried one of each and was not disappointed. I snagged an outdoor table and basked in the view of West Lake with the Sky Chutes standing behind it thinking, “Ahh, life is good.”
No spa day would be complete without a little clothes shopping, so I worked my way toward Kelly’s Closet. I had fun deliberately perusing the collection of great shoes, scarves, perfume and other accessories in this eclectic little boutique.
The heart of Copper
That sunshine still wouldn’t leave me alone, so I headed over to Endo’s at Burning Stones Plaza. I just had to sit outside, right next to the best, longest, hottest fire pit ever. The lifts had closed and I watched as skiers and boarders trickled down the mountain shining in the golden glow.
As I sipped my Merlot, I imagined what it would be like next season to find my favorite powder cache and feel the familiar tingle in my quads from a magical day on my skis. In this moment I experienced the heart of Copper as I reminisced over a mental collage brimming with years of family fun and friendship I’ve enjoyed in this special place.
As the mountain shadow cooled things too much to stay outside, I headed into the Incline Bar and Grill, all flickering-candle-lit and cozy. Wondering how I could still be hungry, I ordered the Pork Carnitas. All that smoked-ancho-pulled-pork-and-cheese-goodness and generous sides of guac and sour cream lulled me into an even deeper state of tranquility and gratefulness.
This day truly surprised the active me. I really could slow down and just simply enjoy hanging out in one of my favorite places on the planet.