Yesterday marked my long ride ever, coming in at approximately 139 miles as a part of the Rapha Gentlemen’s Race. We headed out to the beach (Lincoln City) on Friday evening and stayed in a suite at the Inn at Spanish Head thanks to team president Jim who served as sugar daddy for the evening. [...]
Archive for December, 2008
Sticking snow in Saint George? I didn’t think so either. But we had a couple inches last night, and it was fun to watch the neighborhood kids playing in it, potentially for the first time. It sounds like it hasn’t snowed like this in a decade.
We already had plans to go skiing today, but the forecast for snow and a huge storm passing through made the prospect all the more exciting. We left Saint George early in the morning and headed Northeast to Brian Head Resort. Saint George’s elevation is a little under 3000 feet, and the base of the mountain is over 9000 feet, so we went up the entire way there. It was still snowing vigorously this morning and the interstate and back highways were blanketed in snow and ice. Days like today are what our Subaru was made for. I’m glad my parents kept it.
We got there this morning to find that there was still a massive blizzard going on and winds were too strong to go all the way to the top of the hill, so we messed around in bitter wind chill and blinding snow on the lower slopes for a while. It’s rather difficult to ski/snowboard well when the lighting and visibility is such that you can’t see the terrain you’re going down.
I skied, Ian snowboarded. He’s holding poles because I needed hands to take the picture.
Then they opened one lift to the top when the sky suddenly turned blue, and up we went. I realize that this picture doesn’t look particularly blue-skyish, but just go with it.
The view from nearly 11000 feet is stunning, especially with all the surrounding terrain being several thousand feet lower.
The afternoon was all about finding powder. Growing up skiing in Alaska, the best we usually got was hard-pack, icy slopes. This was the complete opposite end of the spectrum, with over a foot of fresh powder in the last 24 hours. Some runs that hadn’t been groomed yet this year were covered with 2-3 feet of nothing but powder. We had to learn a slightly different style of getting down the hill with all the fresh snow. Steep slopes became our friends, flatter slopes our enemies that liked to pull us under and bring us to a stop.
And of course with that learning curve comes a crash or two. It’s the softest landing ever, but the downside is you have to dig yourself out of the hole you create just to get going again. I cracked up for a good 5 minutes as I watched Ian get unstuck from this one, only to start out goofy and miss the narrow packed trail before falling into powder again at slow speed.
I had two good crashes on the day. The first was when I somehow sunk in a ski tip going across several other people’s tracks in deep powder. I face planted pretty nicely and was confused to find myself on my back. At least one somersault must have taken place. This was still during the stormy part of the morning, and I initially couldn’t tell which way was up the hill and which way was down. Nor could I figure out where one of my skis went. I spent several minutes digging for it before finding it. Next time I’m selecting skier level III instead of II so they don’t pop off so easily.
The other fabulous crash also involved losing a ski, but this one in a slightly more original manner. I was skiing in deep powder near the edge of a run and was noticing little 3-4 foot tall Pine trees sticking out of the snow. I was dodging them easily until one snuck up on me when it was too late to avoid. I figured I could glide right over it since only 3-4 inches were sticking above snow, but I wasn’t thinking about the fact that my skis were actually below the surface a bit. The tree ripped my right ski off and I spent a few moments ragdolling down the slope in a most comfortable fashion.
All that skiing and crashing and getting unstuck was a nice way to burn off some energy.
Now off to some sort of exciting evening adventure, such as playing cards or watching a movie or working on a ridiculously hard puzzle where all of the pieces look the same (and there are 2000 of them). Seriously, someone must have felt particularly evil the day they decided the entire bottom third of the puzzle should be a bunch of fall-colored leaves.
Oh, and the post title? That was my brother talking about cereal this morning.
We’ve got a good 3-4 inches of snow in Portland, with more potentially on the way and a week of freezing weather to go with it. Not that I haven’t seen snow recently… and I suppose I am from Alaska, but it is still exciting since this much snow in Oregon is a rarity. We used the day to sit around drinking tea, eating homemade rolls, playing Hearts and Rummy, and I even prepped for my interview in the morning a bit.
It should be a lovely time tomorrow morning scurrying around trying to get to my interview. As it snowed today, the weather got colder and it transitioned from melting to freezing, which means there will be a nice layer of ice on everything tomorrow. I’m taking public transportation, which is probably more reliable than driving would be. Wish me luck. If nothing else, it’ll be some good interview experience. Then it’s off to Saint George, where the forecast is snow! I think there are already plans to go skiing when I get there.
The more time I spend in Portland, the more I feel like it would be a great place to call home in the near future.
I mean, how can you beat free Starbucks…
Unique Salvation Army Bell Ringers…
Friendly Chewbaccas (and cousins, for that matter)…
Frozen people (flash-mob style)…
(The pictures really don’t do it justice, since it’s basically taking a freeze-frame of frozen people)
Even the anti-Church of Scientology people joined in the fun.
Saturday Market (which for some reason also happens on Sunday, in spite of the name)…
A dragon tuba?
Nike Town (both figuratively and literally)…
And we just went downtown to do some random Christmas shopping.
Top that off with some Thai food and Will Ferrell and you’ve got yourself a rather enjoyable day.
Same as the sidebar column, only now in a post to save for future reference.
- Denver, CO December 11
- Boulder, CO December 10
- Albaquerque, NM December 9
- Las Vegas, NV December 3-8
- Bakersfield, CA December 2
- Redding, CA December 1
- Portland, OR December 1
- Seattle, WA Nov 25-30
- Eugene, OR Nov 23-24
- San Francisco, CA Nov 21-22
- Bakersfield, CA Nov 20
- St. George, UT Nov 19
- Flagstaff, AZ Nov 18
- Albaquerque, NM Nov 17
- Dallas, TX Nov 16
- San Antonio, TX Nov 12-16
- Eugene, OR Nov 6-11
- San Antonio, TX November 5
- Houston, TX November 4
- Birmingham, AL November 3
- Staunton, VA November 2
- New York, NY Oct 29 – Nov 1
- Morristown, NJ October 27-28
- Washington, DC October 21-26
- Pittsburgh, PA October 20
- Detroit, MI October 15-19
- Grand Haven, MI October 14
- Chicago, IL October 9-13
- Omaha, NE October 8
- Cheyenne, WY October 7
- Elko, NV October 6
- San Jose, CA October 1-5
- San Francisco CA September 26-30
- Reno, NV September 25
- Lincoln, NE September 23
- Philadelphia, PA September 16-21
- Baltimore, MD September 15
- Washington DC, September 9-14
- St. George, UT September 4-8
- Washington DC, September 2-3
- Virginia Beach, VA August 27-31
- Charleston, WV August 26
- Chicago, IL August 21-25
- Milwaukee, WI August 20
- Minneapolis, MN August 19
- Missoula, MT August 18
- Seattle/Bellevue, WA August 14-17
- Portland, OR August 11-13
- Eugene, OR August 8-10
- Bend, OR August 7-8
- Park City, UT August 3-6
- Copper, CO August 1-3
- Boulder, CO July 31
- Fort Collins, CO July 30
- Omaha, NE July 29
- Newark, NJ July 27
- Webster, MA July 27
- Worcester, MA July 25-26
- Boston, MA July 22-24
- Dedham, MA July 21
- New London/Mystic, CT July 21
- Mendham, NJ July 20
- New York, NY July 17-20
- Princeton, NJ July 16-17
- Allentown, PA July 15
- Jim Thorpe/Lehighton, PA July 15
- Toledo, Ohio July 14
- Pleasant Priarie, WI July 10-13
- Chicago, IL July 9-10
- Louisville, KY July 9
- Nashville, TN July 6 – 9
- Atlanta, GA July 1 – 6
- Portland OR June 30