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Welcome to…The Beach!
Colorado’s version of it, anyway. Located at a lodge halfway up Copper Mountain, “The Beach” has everything but a white sandy shoreline. I later found out that nearby Araphoe Basin is home to another “beach” during the spring skiing season. But whichever snowy beach you’re at in Colorado, people will be “surfing” the snow or basking in the warm spring sunshine on reclinable lounge chairs. Tunes – possibly from the Beach Boys era – get heads bopping and grass umbrellas swaying this way and that.
I found myself in the midst of the action during our recent Colorado snowboarding adventure, relaxing among a bunch of snow bunnies. I took off my helmet and googles to get a better look at the place before sitting my snow-covered behind in one of the all-to-inviting chairs. At that moment, I closed my eyes and took in the sounds of laughter, music and the gentle warmth of the mountain sunshine. I could smell the restaurant’s grill all fired up and imagined an ocean not too far in the distance.
Cheers! To a sunny spring day in the Colorado Rockies!
When I opened my eyes, I finally made the connection. Instead of sand, kids threw snow and built snowmen instead of sand castles. People peeled off layers of winter wear to better expose skin hidden for the past few months. Some guys go completely shirtless; girls wear bikini tops. And all the while, the sun watched over us. It’s really what sealed the deal for me, as the astronomical ball of heat unified Earth’s inhabitants with its welcomed warmth.
Growing up in Hawaii – where the beach was always a 20-minute drive from home – I couldn’t help but smile at how my perception of “the beach” changed in that quick moment. It doesn’t demand rolling waves or a salty ocean spray; no matter if it’s on a desert plain or up in a snow-capped mountain, all that’s needed is some sun, sunscreen and good company.
Photo Credit (second): Skye K. Myers