Maverick: Rooster has been saying for a while now he’d like to spend just one season as a “ski bum”, working at or near a ski resort and living on the cheap. And being in Kernville all summer at MRA had just whet our appetite for this nomadic/seasonal lifestyle. So we began looking at ski resort jobs: snow grooming, lift operation, making snow. While all sounded interesting in their own way, we started looking seriously at shuttle driving positions throughout the western states, leveraging our CDL’s to make a bit more money.
We honed in on Breckenridge, Colorado (at 9600 ft in elevation), which is a mecca for outdoor adventurers of every type. It has a beautiful downtown filled with shops, amazing food, and breweries. Whether you’re into summer sports (hiking, biking) or winter (ski, snowboard, etc), the options are limitless.
We interviewed for several driving positions, and landed jobs with the town for Breck FreeRide, a free transit service for locals and tourists. Furnished housing was available at a huge discount, the money was right, and…you know…BRECKENRIDGE!! Easy decision.
When we left bike mechanic school in Ashland, we did some mountain biking in Bend and Moab, then headed home to Wisconsin for a brief visit with family and friends. We arrived on October 4th. We rolled in at the perfect time, too…the aspens were golden and daily temps were still in the 70’s. By the end of the day, we were fully moved in, and started work the next morning. Our new team is fantastic, and we’ve been in training all week. Driving a bus isn’t all that dissimilar to the big rig we were used to, and we have both caught on quickly. We’ll likely be set loose on our own routes this coming week.
It’s shoulder season here, so the streets aren’t too busy…yet. We’ve heard that once the snow flies and the resort opens, this place gets absolutely crazy. A gondola up to the slopes leaves right out of town, so we’ve got easy access up the mountain. Which, with our freshly minted Epic Pass, we plan to use to the fullest extent possible!
Rooster’s already a snowboarder; I’ve tried skiing in the past, and never fell in love with it. So, I’m strapping on a snowboard and learning at the grand ol’ age of 47…and I am SO excited!! Our to do list this week has been to hit up all of the pre-season sales to get some great deals on gear, and as I write this today, we’re fully set up to hit the slopes when the snow flies. We had a light dusting last night, so after getting the bindings installed on my board this morning, we were out in the frosty grass outside our apartment doing some skills and drills.
While the elevation change has been a big adjustment (our first day walking briskly to work had us pretty breathless), neither of us really experienced elevation sickness, which we’re grateful for. Walking or biking or hopping on the bus to do errands and explore town has been a welcome change from needing a vehicle to go everywhere. We’ll be excited to share more pics and videos once we’re both hitting the slopes, with plenty of me falling down, no doubt. For now, enjoy the scenery we’ve witnessed this past week, and stay tuned!