Monument Adult Skating Camp Part II: Bomb Cyclone

by Mary on December 22, 2019

Somehow Ben and Katherine got out with one of the other coaches and made it to his nearby house, but the rest of us weren’t going anywhere. Just walking to a vehicle in the parking lot and then giving up and walking back into the rink was more than enough time outside. People would stumble back in gasping from the wind needling the snow into their faces. Though I grew up in the Midwest, I’d never experienced anything like this snow hurricane.

I wouldn’t pick an ice rink to weather out a storm, but we had a snack bar, power, heat, and a break room with couches, so it could have been worse. In the late afternoon a snowplow driver who worked for the rink’s owners came by and ferried a group of us, including me, to the hotel. It was maybe not the greatest idea and though it was only a few miles it was a long and hairy ride and we saw lots of abandoned vehicles along the way. He decided not to make a second trip. But later in the evening one of the guys was able to get out with a truck and bring the rest of the skaters to our hotel.

The hotel became an emergency stop for many stranded travelers, who slept in the breakfast room and the halls with sheets provided by the hotel. Power was off and on. The next day most highways were still closed as abandoned vehicles needed to be cleared before they could be plowed, and there were no flights in or out of Denver. Our little group of skaters bonded as we all stayed one or two extra days.

We watched TV, learning that the storm had been a bomb cyclone with wind speed up to 94 mph. We walked to a nearby McDonald’s for food– first time I’d eaten there in decades– and amused ourselves looking out the windows watching people try to dig their cars out of the parking lot.

Franciscan digging the snow off his truck’s engine

Well it was an adventure, but I’m still glad I came to this camp. I’d definitely come back again, though March in Denver is iffy, they might want to think about changing the date.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jo December 23, 2019 at 4:50 am

Mary, I’ve been in some pretty big Minnesota snowstorms, and that looks absolutely insane. So glad you made it safely back to the hotel. And it sounds like most of the skating was done by the time it hit. Whoa, that video was scary!


Mary December 23, 2019 at 7:36 pm

Yeah it was scary. I had a few video clips, it was hard to decide which one to pick. On another one they were talking on the radio about the 60 car accident on the freeway.


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