26 February 2013
The winter in these parts has completely stagnated. No significant snow since early January. Any small storms have been followed immediately by stiff winds that have either blown away everything that fell or formed thick, impenetrable slabs. I'm trying to keep the faith but my faith is being tested.
Still, skiing with my favorite in-bounds ski partner has been, as always, fun. We've hit most of the local destinations: Soldier Mountain, Pomerelle, and Bogus Basin. We still have Magic Mountain on the checklist as well as Blizzard Mountain when and if it ever opens. I'd like to make it over to Pebble Creek but it's a bit of a haul. Of course Sun Valley is closest but at $99 for adults and $56 for the dude I can't say I have much interest in Sun Valley. I've always been a champion of the underdog.
A few of his favorite chair ride sing-alongs:
Or maybe it's the kind of helpless that is tied to intimacy, a kind of mystery born from kinship. Sort of what Norman Maclean meant when he wrote:
For it is true we can seldom help those closest to us. Either we don't know what part of ourselves to give or, more often than not, the part we have to give is not wanted. And so it is those we live with and should know who elude us. But we can still love them - we can love completely without complete understanding.
The feeling that at any moment they might take up and fly away is beautiful if not a little unnerving. It's probably what keeps many from becoming parents themselves. Now that I am and will forever be a parent the allure of the mystery is impossible to resist. Uncertainty is necessary and that necessity is heartbreaking. Uncertainty tests the faith in the same way a stagnate winter makes you wonder if you should trade in skis for a surfboard. But as certain as the Earth drifts around the Sun winter will return someday and it will be beautiful and it will be welcome. I like to think that second and third requests to ski powder in the trees indicate that we're drifting in the right direction.
19 February 2013
My ski partners have never been very good at setting the skin track. I tend to climb quicker and not stop for food or drink.
Though I like to stop and smell the roses as much as the next person I also like to reach a destination. I like the solitude at the top of something or other. I like to look back down from where I've (we've) come. I like to give my thanks in peace. I like to anticipate what will happen next.
05 February 2013
I saddled up Abraham Lincoln and Killdeer and started riding. No tracks to follow, I rode north and west. Rode with the firewater brandy, rode into the Craters of the Moon. Lava rock, snow and ice, slabs of Indian warriors, wind.
Rode in circles. Kept going. Going where I didn't know. Ten more feet. One step at a time.
I pulled my hat down and covered my face with the scarf I'd made two holes in, and wore the blind man's glasses. Yellow snow--a world of yellow snow.
Mountain peaks growing into other mountain peaks. The crooked trail not a trail at all except that we were following it, sometimes the path no wider than Killdeer and Abraham Lincoln, my feet sticking out over the forever blizzard going down.
Nights by the fire, red-under-black embers at my head, moon at my eyes. I did not close my eyes. Did not open them.
No single intention.
No Dellwood's shiny dime.
My errant knight.
My little pip.
My brave hero.
--Tom Spanbauer, from The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon, 1991