Outside the window of my St. Moritz hotel (okay, hostel) I could see the gas running out of Road Trip 2000. The snow was suspiciously beat, it was foggy, and to tell you the truth, my boots smelled bad enough to make me not want to ride.
I’d planned to run a couple quick errands in town before heading out¿pick up a Cartier watch for myself (bill to company) and a Prada purse for the little lady back home¿but I couldn’t find a place to park and decided to blow it off. Next time.
Shannon Melhuse and I left St. Moritz for Zurich, where he was flying out of the next day, around noon. I had to get all the way across Switzerland to Geneva, like a ten-hour drive. We could have gotten to Zurich a lot faster except for that Shannon’s spinning head and swirling gut (it was our last night in town and Melhuse was no match for that six-foot Eastern-Block blonde at the bar) acted as a governor on the Opel. It likes to run at about 160 Kph, but around every turn it was, “Hoy, slow down”¿all groggy and shit.
My friend Dan, who used to run the snowboard school in Beaver Creek and is now holding his tongue and agreeing with the Swiss teaching system, had shown us around town a bit. He took us to the apres and late-night spots, although he claims he’d never been to that club before¿the one where Shan had to break out the credit card. But who could prove Dan wrong? Girls in those places are only in town for a week or so before the next stop of their tour.
Of course, by the time I dropped Shannon at a hotel it was rush hour and pouring rain. I think I made it twenty-five kilometers in two hours¿not stoked at all. By the time I got to Loussanne and savored the last pizza margarita of the trip, all the hotels were booked. So, while Shannon was comfy in his $300 a-night room at the Hilton, ol’ Hoy was curling up on the back seat of the Opel in a vineyard in the rain. But, what kind of road trip would it be without one night in the car?
By the time I was on the road to my house in Vail, after traversing Switzerland in the rain, spending the night in the car, flying to Denver and renting a car, I was pretty worked. I was at that sleep- and shower-deprived point where you don’t think twice about blowing your nose with the shirt you’re wearing just because it takes the least amount of effort, you know? I know you know.
I have to admit a break in the chronology of these here European adventure stories. You see, once entering Austria, the land of ancient phone lines, Internet access was about as easy to find as an English speaker in Lech. After Saas Fee we went on to snowboard Mecca, Laax, where we scored the remainder of Swiss powder¿I really doubt Laax could ever get tracked out. Then it was a perfectly timed stop in St. Anton for the last days of the invasion of the hot Swedish high-schoolers. I’ll have to catch you up on that in the mag next fall.