The Blake Hotel and Dubie
- Dubie was one of the first responders who worked so hard to save my Daddy's life. ↩
Yesterday was another day of pure magic, and it wasn't just because it was Valentine's day.
Although it was a sunny day, the weather was less than ideal — very cold and very windy following a warm day. Translation: very slick conditions and blowing snow, which further translates into a free microdermabrasion facial treatment you don't want. Enough said.
So what to do? Hang out in the Mountain Collective office, that's what. Now what is that, one asks? Turns out Taos, in their revitalization rebuild, created a dedicated office for their season pass holders and us Mountain Collective (MC) pass holders.
It's a really nice room with a fantastic staff who issues passes and creates an awesome customer experience. The best part? At the end of every day, they provide delicious fresh cookies, coffee, tea and hot cocoa for us MC people so we can meet, socialize and share our travels with other pass holders. Now how cool is that!
Shrekkie stayed in town as it made no sense for him to make the 18-mile drive to the mountain just to hang out in a room and have cookies. He had a great day exploring town, reading and relaxing at his hotel.
We used the room as an office and got caught up on some work. It was very comfortable and fun to talk to the awesome staff: Anee, Ross, Elle and Marsha. 1der met Marsha over the prior day's cookies and cocoa and told her about my Daddy. When I had a chance to meet her, her heartfelt hug and tears were so kind and sweet.
Marsha told me to check out the amazing artwork in the lobby and restaurant of the newly opened (The) Blake Hotel across the breezeway; museum-quality pieces, along with works from some significant Taos artists of their times. Marsha's husband is the Hotel's Director of Hospitality, so she was very familiar with the extent, quality and curation expertise put into the art pieces. I took advantage of the down day to have a visual feast.
I walked into the lobby and was immediately enveloped in beautiful Native American and pure vintage Taos artistry. Just as I was mentioning to the staff how my interest in the art was fueled by the Director of Hospitality's wife, a man walked in. "That's me!," he said, "I'm the Director of Hospitality." I explained why I was there, and he knew about me as Marsha had shared with him details about our encounter the day before.
Mr. Rose proceeded to give me an incredible, knowledge-filled tour of the lobby, spa (amazing and utterly beautiful) and the restaurant. The interior design was impeccable; a perfect blend of European design with Native American and Taos influences and textures.
I didn't take any photos because I didn't want to take even more of Mr. Rose's valuable time. I will have to come back, and when I do, I'll take lots of images and update this post. In the meantime, I hope my words paint vivid pictures.
With each turn and opened door, he explained the artists, the pieces and their significance. He described the incredible photos on the walls, some documenting historical, rare occasions when leaders of various Native American tribes gathered. I was fascinated and loved how the visages of these images were transferred onto the elevator doors in sepia.
The tour included explanations of the resort's evolution and development by Ernie Blake, and how several runs were named after some of Mr. Blake's World War II heros — Stauffenberg, Oster, Fabian, Tresckow — key members of the World War II German resistance.
When we were in the spa, my eyes welled with tears, and for a moment, I involuntarily stopped listening to Mr. Rose talk about the representation of the earth's elements in the design. My brain was too focused on the pure magic of this happenstance meeting, Mr. Rose's graciousness, and his gift of time and knowledge. I explained to him with a hug that all this was truly Life's Magic Dance.
After the tour, I brought him down to meet 1der. I was so excited to tell him all that had just transpired. My Daddy made this all happen. I'm certain of it.
We had another great day of skiing today, though 1der took a really frightening fall down the last third of Pollux. We came in through the trees of upper Castor, and as usual, we took our own lines. I came around a corner with a pretty big drop-off and saw a ski sticking straight up from the snow. I thought it really odd that ski patrol would mark a drop-off with a ski versus the usual bamboo pole. I skied a bit further and saw another ski and a nearby pole laying on the snow.
Wait a minute! These look like 1der's skis! I looked down and saw Shrekkie and 1der standing at the bottom of Pollux. Everything looked normal, but I was so far up, I couldn't tell if 1der had his skis on. “Are these your skis,” I yelled? “Yes,” he said, “and both my poles.” Yikes. That was a long, scary fall, and a full yard-sale at that.
I then had to pick up his equipment (truly a struggle) and side-slip down the rest of the run carrying his skis in one hand and his poles slipped onto the wrists of my other hand. Did I mention the run was very steep? A double diamond? With moguls? I can't imagine how scary it must have been for 1der to slide, on his back, head first, down a super steep run with trees all around. It truly is a miracle he did not get seriously injured or killed! We were all so thankful he was okay, though understandably, he was very shaken up and called it day.
Shrekkie and I skied the rest of the day with the plan to congregate in town for dinner with Dubie after 1der and I paid a visit to Dubie's home.
If you had a chance to read the article (see page 51 here) about Dubie, you'll know he's a master plasterer. His home is his showcase, and what an artisan he is. He built every aspect of his home, and it's a beautiful labor of love. It was so cool to be in the place he's described in our many phone calls over the years, and I especially enjoyed being in and seeing the fantastic sun room containing all his plants and colorful, fragrant blooms.
I loved leaning against one of the walls, just as he had done for so many years after a hard day's work on the slopes. It was so warm after spending the day absorbing heat from the sun that illuminated his magnificent view of the mountains from his front door and living room windows.
Another delicious meal and the pleasure of Dubie's company. It was our last night with him, and I told him just how special it was to see and be with him. To put this into perspective, how would you feel about spending time with someone who did everything they could to save your most beloved father's life? The same hands that beautifully plastered those walls pumped my Daddy's chest to bring him back to life.
When I shared this with Dubie, he got choked up. “Your father,” he said slowly, gently, and with a pause to wipe a tear, “came off that mountain... with a pulse. ...And it's with all of us too.”
We look forward to the day when we meet again, our dear and precious Dubie.
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