01 February 2011

What to do with a(n almost) snowless January

What do you get your blog on your second anniversary ?

For whatever it's worth, I officially started blogging here in January 2009.  But for the first month or so of its existence, this-here blog kinda languished... mostly due to a lack of proper visioning.  At the beginning, I had no idea what I wanted to get out of this experience. All blogs need to find their space and their voice, I guess.  Of course, some never do.  I think that's why many blogs get started but quickly fail and are forgotten.  No vision.  But for some blogs, those lucky little sea-turtle-blogs that make it across the beach and into the sea, eventually there's a moment where a blog seems to come into its own.  For me and my blog, it wasn't until the post I made on February 1, 2009, that we really got off the ground, I think.  It was just a video I'd made.  But it was the first post that seemed, to me anyway, to have real meaning.  Relevance.  That was two years ago today.

January 2011 was kinda bleak.  For skiing, anyway.

Our ski season started off well enough, back in December.  But shortly after our first major storm cycle came and went, things sorta turned all spring-like.  And those spring-like conditions have persisted for the past four weeks or so.  Setting us up for a fourth-place finish for all-time almost snowless Januarys.

For those of us who find travel a challenge... because work, and family, and funding all seem to conspire to make it impossible... that means a whole lot of Snowbowl-piste.  Which, in-and-of itself isn't bad.  Just limiting.  Repetitive.  Crowded.  Watching the trees get bonier week after week.  Watching the southern exposures pretty much get cooked down to icy slab and rock.

Nevertheless, all month there's been really good coverage on the runs.  Not the most exciting skiing ever, fo sho.  But way better than not skiing at all.  And, BONUS: turns out snowless Januarys make for super-great conditions for learners!  Nothing but groomed cord as far as the eye can see.

I took two classes of fifth-graders, fifty kids in all, up the hill this past Tuesday, a week ago now, for what was for most of them their first time on skis.  It was a picture-perfect day.  And Snowbowl had the situation dialed.   We all had a blast.  By the end of the day, we had (one broken arm and) more than a few fearless first-time skiers.

Ice skating was probably better back in December, but I didn't get out until mid-January for my first (and thus far only) skate of the season out at Lake Mary.  By then the meager January snowfall had pretty much ruined what's usually pretty spectacularly smooth ice.  The morning we were out, however, having gone through a few weeks of daily melt and nightly re-freeze, it was more akin to skating on the surface of a giant golfball.  Not the best ice ever, not by a long shot.  But still, a lot of fun.  Nice patches here and there... And, heck, way better than not skating...

Ken on Lost Watch
And as it happens, I seem to have, purely by accident, picked a quite-good year to get on a new bike.  Can't say enough about how rad the new bike is, nor about how much fun it's been getting to know Sedona's trails again, in a whole new way, from a whole new perspective.  I've been down to Sedona several times in the month or so since I got my bike assembled.  Each ride has been spectacular, as in awesome and inspiring.  Though the last one, the one where I had to walk out a mile to the road pushing my new bike in front of me while carrying a taco'd front wheel on my backpack (wrong spoke wrench; seriously whopped wheel) left a little to be desired.


@B_Sheridan said...

Jealous of the riding you're getting in Sedona. You'll have to show me around some new trails this summer. (Early morning of course.)

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May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. -- Ed Abbey