Last week the wife and I headed out to Utah for a much needed break from the winter doldrums here in VT. Our winter has been less than stellar so some dry air, deep snow, sunshine and good friends were just what the doctor ordered. Here’s a quick breakdown of our week.
Day 1: Too much snow. Yeah, I said too much snow. It’s so deep we just can’t stay afloat. I’ve ridden some deep powder and never has this been an issue. The most awesomely frustrating day I’ve ever had on a snowboard. When I can muster the speed, powder slashes are overhead and face shots abundant.
Day 2: Down day–road closed due to avalanches. Seriously? Is this really happening? Disappointment is an understatement. Despite having only been in Utah for about 36 hours, we return to the Winco grocery store located just outside of SLC (the best, sketchiest grocery store ever–if you ever go there y0u’ll know why) to re-up on our rations. The wife starts to fall ill and we stock up on Alka Seltzer cold medicine and cough drops.
Day 3: We are literally outside waiting for the bus at 7:10, even though it doesn’t come until 7:30, the lifts don’t open till 9, and we are barely 10 minutes from the mountain. Conditions promise to be all-time…that is if the mountain were open, says the bus driver who shows up 5 minutes late (who’s counting?). Change of plans, off to Snow Basin. Rain in the parking lot, fog and thick snow at the top. Conditions could best be described as “variable”.
Day 4: Finally! Game on! Along with several thousand of our closest friends, we finally get after the powder canvas that’s been waiting to be painted for the past two days. Despite some closures and surprisingly long lift lines, the snow is killer and we have a pretty darn good day.
Day 5: We all knew the crowds would dissipate, what with it being Tuesday and the powder fever wearing off. So another early morning is planned. However, the wife’s non-powder-fever had other plans for us. She offered to drive herself to the local urgent care but what kind of a-hole husband would I be if I let her do that. So off we go, down the hill instead of up. The diagnosis is not so bad and we even find a good little vegetarian cafe for an early lunch. Following lunch I break the land speed record and score a half day ticket just as the clock strikes noon. Serendipitously, some of the lifts that were closed yesterday open just in time for my arrival. Some of the best powder turns I’ve ever made. Ever.
Day 6: See the latter part of yesterday’s entry. Good times.
Day 7: Sayonara, Utah. Oddly, it was 50 and raining when we leave Utah, and 25 and dumping when we get back to the northeast. Mother Nature mandates a less-than direct return to home: SLC; Chicago-Midway; Logan Airport; shuttle up to Manchester, NH; quick nap before a 3:30 a.m. wake up call and a 6-hour, white knuckle drive back to VT. My consolation prize? The same wonderful virus that knocked my wife out for a few days.
So here I sit, summing up what was not only a challenging but also insanely rewarding week. There’s really no better clothes-on feeling than making powder turns with your shredding buddies. Time spent in the mountains, away from the phone, computer, studio, but close to good friends and beloved family members always refreshes the mind and reinvigorates the muse. With a full docket of art work, some seriously congested sinuses, and head full of new ideas, I can’t wait to get back into the studio…