The weather was pretty much amazing. Saturday in Denver was a beautiful 70 degrees and sunny. Up at Loveland, however, it was in the 20s-- and without a cloud in the sky! They had just seen 2 feet of snow in the 2 days prior, so fresh powder blanketed the slopes. What's cool about Loveland is that you can take a "ridge cat," which will drive you up to the ridge of the mountain, beyond where the lift will take you. It's free but you need to reserve a spot at the base before taking it. However, it's windy up at the ridge and the powder is deep-- you definitely need really wide skis for that! Even if you don't want to take the ridge cat or hike 15-30 minutes for the deep stuff, there was still a ton of powder off lift #9 (not that that means anything to you if you haven't been there-- lol). There were great powder runs, little jumps, moguls, and fun glading. It was the perfect "little" mountain, nice and close to Denver!
Also, I guess it's kind of a touchy thing, but, you know, in Colorado they have legalized recreational marijuana use, so, naturally, us voyeurs have to at least go look and inquire. In case you missed it, as of January 1, 2014, the people of Denver as well as visitors can go to dispensaries that sell medical and recreational marijuana (there are limitations, restrictions, etc. which you can Google). The dispensaries all around town and, just like any other business, there are small boutique shops, mom & pop shops, and chains. Even though it has been 4 months since legalization, people are still pretty pumped about the whole thing and the novelty hasn't worn off. One guy in the store just kind of burst out, "Soon it will be like this all over the country!" Another girl I spoke with said that even though she lived in Denver this was her first time buying at a dispensary and she seemed really excited. It was all pretty thrilling and I was definitely nervous to go, but I just wanted to see for myself what the fuss was about. And just like buying lotto tickets, you go up to the register, show your ID (you need to be 21), talk to the cashier (they're pretty knowledgeable and you can consult them and talk about your needs/wants), choose what you want, and walk out. The best way to describe it is: so weird. But it seems to work: people seem happy and excited by it and business is booming-- many stores have lines out the door and around the block! It's definitely a contentious issue, but I had to just take a peek and see for myself and report back.
And just like that, two days and one night were over! Thank god for Jetblue's flight sales for getting me to some of the best skiing I've ever had! And yet again, another win for Couchsurfing-- I met the coolest people who I hung out with, skied with, and hiked with. They were interesting, friendly, and trustworthy and I would definitely go back and see them again. Maybe this summer I'll check out a show at Red Rocks!