Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Since I don't have enough things in my life already that could cause me to break my leg, I decided to buy a skateboard. When I was "younger" I used to skate a lot maybe I should say everyday since that would be more accurate. I was a huge skater in high school and even into my early 20's. And to be completely honest I miss it. It was so fun to cruise around on a skateboard, the feeling of sidewalk surfing is just really the best. So I bought one. Skateboards have changed quite a bit since I bought my last one but I still recognized a lot of the names and remembered how to put one together, so I got it and I think it is going to be pretty sweet. I ordered it on line and it will be here on March 2nd or 3rd. I found out that Eagan has a little outdoor skate park which is about 5 miles from my house so I am going to check that out a little bit this summer. I know I can still ollie so that is good. I usually borrow one of the neighborhood kids skates once a year and see if I can still do it. I can. So I just need to get my balance back and remember the fundamentals. I think it will be fun. I like my new board and I am very interested to give it a try again.
In other news I am going skiing tonight. I am meeting my friend Bryan down at Welch right after work. Hopefully the conditions will be good. It has been warm and the snow is pretty crusty, but I am hoping for the best. It looks like we are going to get a huge storm tomorrow. They are talking 8" of freshies. Hmmm powder night at Welch? Might have too...
Also I am about 90% sure I am going to tryout for the ski patrol at Welch for next season. Welch has a try out day on Saturday March 14th. Sounds like they have a meeting and then a ski test. I suppose they just want to make sure that you can actually ski. I hate that kind of stuff. I get nervous. But I think I am going to give it a try. Would be a good way to ski for free and to both help and yell at people. Could be fun.
It is very hard being back. Melissa and I have back to back weekends at Lutsen coming up so that will be awesome. I am looking forward to getting up there. We are spending one weekend up on the mountain at a ski in ski out place and the other will be down at the Cliff Dweller, which Melissa and I both like. So after all of that skiing in Minnesota will pretty much be done, unless of course we get some more snow... I will hope for the best.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
So I am having a very hard time getting back into the swing of things here at home. We got back from Big Sky late Friday night, which I guess was good because that gave us, Saturday, Sunday and Monday to recover and mentally prepare for returning to work... Looks like I needed another couple weeks because I am back at work but my mind is still in the mountains.
Let me just say that this ski trip was the best ever. Big Sky is an amazing place and I love it there. I feel that I come alive in the mountains and that is the place that I need to be. I wish, I wish, I wish. We made it out there in one piece, the drive was long but it was easy and it seemed to go by quickly. We made it to
My goals for this trip were as follows. 1. To ski an expert run out west, I have never officially skied a double black diamond out west so that was a goal. 2. To ski Liberty Bowl, which is a run from the summit of
Sunday started pretty early, it was going to be our first ski day. We had breakfast and made the 39 mile drive from
Monday we woke to snow falling. It was great. The sky was cloudy and the flakes were large and fluffy. I knew it was going to be a good day. We arrived at Big Sky, got ready, got our tickets and headed up the mountain. I had made the decision that I was going to go straight to the tram and head up to Liberty Bowl right away or I thought I would chicken out. After 2 lifts, I saw that there was no line for the tram so I had no excuse. I headed down toward the tram took off my skis and got right on the first available tram. The peak was covered in clouds which I think helped me a bit. I am not a big lover of heights and I thought that might make the tram ride a bit easier for me. But I don’t think it mattered, the tram turned out to be awesome. Such a relaxing and beautiful ride to the top. I was a little bummed that it was cloudy because the view was incredible even for what I could see through the clouds. Once to the top I followed the other passengers to make it look like I knew what I was doing, I put on my skis and looked for the signs and saw the way to Liberty Bowl. It was amazing, by the time I was on my way into the bowl the clouds had set in and the visibility was really bad. The clouds made for some challenging skiing for sure. I found the entrance to the bowl and started down, a couple turns into my run, I saw some posts with bright green dots on them, I laughed because I thought of Whitefish and how they have the same thing to mark the center of the run in foggy or cloudy conditions, so I felt more at home and knew that as long as I stayed close to the posts and looked for the next one I would not fall of the mountain. The snow was awesome up there, nice and fluffy and deep! There were areas in
Tuesday we awoke to more snow falling, it was snowing pretty hard and stayed that way all day. Today was the day that I was going to ski Wardance. We headed up the mountain and did a couple of warm up runs before I headed over to the entrance to Wardance. I looked in and decided to go for it. The entrance is a great glade filled with lots of powder and some small pine trees. It was great skiing and a lot of fun. Then I got to where Wardance takes hold. The fences were cool to see from up close, but the run was a lot wider then it looked from the road a thousand feet down. So I smiled to myself thinking, another skiing mind game. Although Wardance was not as bad as it looked from the road, it was a not gimme for me either, there were lots of little pine trees that always seemed to be in my way. But I was able to navigate my way around them and get some good turns in on the steeper tight terrain that was Wardance. I stopped every once and a while and took some pictures of the run. It was snowing, the view was great and it was a fun run, what more could you ask for. I got to the bottom of Wardance and thought to myself, I did it, I double checked quick to make sure that I was still alive and had all of my parts… Which I did, so I did indeed do it.
Let’s see, in 3 days, I skied my first out west double black diamond, I skied from the top of
Wednesday was my birthday and it was snowing when we left to head to
That night Melissa and I went out for my birthday, we had a nice dinner and reflected on our trip up to that point it was great. It turned out to be an excellent day.
Thursday which would be our last day, we awoke to sunny skies. We skied Big Sky on our last day and thought that with the light cloud cover that it might be fun to check out Liberty Bowl and the views from the summit of
The 15 hour drive home was filled with quiet memories of the runs that I did and Melissa and I did together. I love to share my time with her on the slopes. Skiing is something that we learned how to do together and it is something that I share with her and it is always special whether up at Lutsen or out west in the big mountains. My friends keep telling me that I have to try some other resorts out west which of course is true, but it is hard to leave
Once again this trip reaffirmed my love for the mountains. I am a mountain man in a flatlander’s body. I come alive out there and I love every minute that I am out in the mountains. But most of all I love to ski and I mean I love it. I would ski everyday if I could. I watch the storms move in and out of the west and track snow falls and smile when I think about the lucky skiers at the resort that just got dumped on that are having fun skiing in all of that powder. Someday that will be me. And because of that love, I ski here in
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Well the bags are pretty much packed. The snack bins are ready to roll. The fat skis are waxed and ready to slide on that soft Montana powder. The problem is vacation is still 3 days away and doesn't seem to be getting here very quick. The plan as it stands right now is, we leave Friday morning at about 8am and drive all the way to Billings Montana, stay the evening and then drive to Bozeman on Saturday. It is a nice short drive so we will have most of the day in Bozeman which will be nice; we can bum around in all of the cool shops then, stay there the night and then Sunday drive and ski Moonlight Basin. It should be a really fun week. We are going to split time between Big Sky and Moonlight Basin. 3 ski days at Big Ski and 2 at Moonlight. I can't wait to get outta here and get out there. I am planning on at least 120,000 vertical feet for the week. We will see what happens.