It was just one day, but I didn't want to go skiing alone. But I was in Denver on my company's dime and it seemed a shame not to take advantage of Colorado's gorgeous snow and sunny skies. So I steeled myself, booked a rental car and headed off to Winter Park, an hour away from Denver. By the time I sat down to syrupy French toast and bacon in a little cafe in the mountains I was pretty happy with my decision.
Once I got to Winter Park, I signed up for a group lesson for the morning. I figured it would be a good way to not feel alone on the slopes. I also hoped I'd meet someone to ski with in the afternoon. No such luck. But the lesson had eased me into a good mindset and I didn't mind spending the rest of the day on my own.
On my first chairlift ride after lunch, the guy next to me struck up a conversation. Turns out he was a ski instructor! Knew the mountain like the Easter bunny knows eggs.
He skis alone a lot because few members of his family want to ski as many days as he does. He offered to give me the insider tour of Winter Park. He had no problem slowing down to my intermediate pace. We skied from one end of the place to the other. I took nary a glance at the trail map. It was glorious.
And to think I almost didn't go skiing because I didn't want to ski alone.