23 March 2013

Life In Flux

On the drive back from Utah I received two important communiques: an official job offer from SSC after a winter spent on tenterhooks, and an urgent text saying, "Our house has been foreclosed on."
Further conversations revealed that rather than a cause for panic, this news was an unexpected boon. Fannie Mae is permitting us to squat in the house until the end of March, our security deposit was returned posthaste, and to aid in relocation costs we will be cut a generous check on move out day. I'll be crashing at my "other house" (and living in sin for the first time in my life) until moving to camp. Meanwhile the boys bought an RV to start their new life as gypsies.
This is what it looks like when young people retire. 
Snow showers have been sparse and bookended by sixty degree glory days. I have had the chance to get in a couple good powder days at Kwood and the Heave, free snowmobiling thanks to the power of craigslist, some good road rides, and one unforgettable trip to the infamous Squaw Valley. Early in the day Tyler and I went a'hiking up to the looming Palisades. I took the easiest chute while he dropped in on the dumbest iciest chute...
...and emerged scathed. Dripping blood and ashen-faced, he somehow skied down to the clinic, where we learned he'd broken his hand and lacerated his favorite finger. He's spent the last week doped up, stitched, splinted, and not thrilled. Sports injuries are sobering stuff and this one has reaffirmed my intense fear of being laid up, antsy as hell, and unable to play.

Won't be doing that for a while.
Meanwhile work has ground nearly to a halt as the season comes to an end (how did that happen?), the house is emptying of furniture (aforementioned craigslist bartering), I can't stop watching mountain bike videos, and I'm counting down the weeks until my trip back to the south. 

03 March 2013

Lest I Forget My Roots

It refuses to snow in South Lake so upon my return I brought the Deutschbike out of hiding, cleaned off the filth of a cross ride two months past, unearthed chamois and road shoes, and disembarked warily. Turns out, to express the most painfully obvious truism, it is just like riding a bike. For the first hour nonstop I enjoyed what could only be called a full body high. Climbed to Luther Summit and remembered that going uphill was, of course, my first love. Bombed the descent, meandered back into town. There is no finer mode of self-propulsion.

01 March 2013

The Siren Song of Deseret

So we went to Utah because I heard they might have pretty good snow or something, forgetting that the last time I came through I almost didn't leave. It's a dangerous place, Utah. It's so easy to dismiss it because of the chokehold LDS has on every level of government, to scoff at the solemn silence of the big city on a Sunday, to be annoyed by the absurd and arbitrary rules hampering alcohol production and sale. We went to a tasting room without taps (no kegs allowed), had to purchase an entree each (no drinks without a meal), and could only have two tasters in front of us at any time. At the liquor store you can't buy "real beer" refrigerated or in six packs, and the walls are papered with morality literature.

And yet.

The Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons saw some light snowfall before we arrived but the locals bemoaned the conditions; at Snowbird, where Tyler's brother scored us cheap tickets, there's no chance of beating the powderhounds who ruthlessly track out every inch of the mountain with their fat plush skis.

And yet.

Best day of skiing yet. Ever. Words cannot express. Chasing Tyler and Ben all over a mountain that was all steeps, cliffs, trees, and all of it cloaked in deep, light snow that had me wallowing and falling and grinning. I was a better skier by the end of the day. Another day we went to Canyons, a massive Park City resort with practically none of the terrain or snow that made Snowbird so sublime. We rolled with a posse this time, having joined forces with Joh and Jamie, as well as a friend of the Nelson boys. Instead of pushing and progressing, we had a more chill day of bopping around, doing some sidecountry, ducking ropes, roasting groomers, and being generally pretty obnoxious.
Doing some light hiking with the JTs

And now on the drive home, as much as it makes me cringe to say, we've hashed out a plan to move to Utah next winter, because it's really hard driving back west without some intention of returning.