Riding the gondola on an epic powder day
Nancy in the powder
To quote pro cyclist Jens Voigt, “SHUT UP LEGS!” That’s what I had to tell myself all day Thursday as we skied powder run after powder run, while trying to keep up with our new friend Bob.
Who Is Bob, And Why Is He Trying To Kill Me?!
Bob is a Jackson Hole local. He’s a 65 year old snowboarder who shreds! We met Bob in the lift line at Jackson Hole on Thursday morning. This wasn’t just any old lift line. This was the lift line @ Jackson Hole after more than a foot of fresh snow dumped on the mountain. First lift of the day. Us, Bob, and, well, too many others!
We had the luck of the Irish with us (Mark claims to be 1/8 Irish, and he does like Guinness, so..??). After striking up a conversation with Bob in line, he invited us to follow him to his semi-secret powder runs and powder stashes. This was the best thing to ever happen to us, ever!
Bob was the most gracious unofficial host. He took us everywhere, on the steeps and in the trees…over and over and over. It was the most amazing ski day of my life! My quads were screaming at me! But we kept going, until my legs just couldn’t take it anymore.
When I get tired, my skiing gets real sloppy. I was running out of leg strength, missed a tight turn, and ended up in a menagerie of jagged, barren bushes. As Mark and Bob watched, I pushed back those gnarly branches, and I pulled myself forward through the mess. I was glad that I made it without ripping my ski pants or jacket. First I had a good laugh about this, but then I started wondering why our new friend Bob was trying to kill me.
When I could no longer keep up, we said goodbye and thank you to Bob. Mark and I took a break and got a bite to eat. We refueled, rested our weary legs, and then took a couple more easy runs. We were thoroughly exhausted, and ecstatic, as well as totally inspired by Bob.
It was an EPIC day! Thank you, Bob. Thank you Snow Gods!
No haters please, but, it was an amazing POWDER DAY @ Jackson Hole today!! Snowed last night, all morning, and all day. And it’s still snowing at 6:45 pm. And it’s supposed to snow all night, so manana might be even more amazing!
If you’re a Facebook friend of mine, then you had your chance to join us on this trip. A month ago, I posted about this trip and asked if anybody wanted to join us. There were no takers. So now, you have only yourselves to blame.
Last winter, we did a trip to Mammoth, and it snowed so much, that we got snowed in for two extra days. And now we’re wondering if we might get snowed in here as well. Really, next time I invite y’all to join us on a ski trip, think long and hard before saying “no.”
By the way, in case you’re wondering, the pics I’ve been posting are of the two of us. Mark is wearing a black jacket and bright green ski pants, and I’m wearing a hot pink jacket and black ski pants.
ANATOMY OF A POWDER DAY….WEIRD FACTS AND DISCOVERIES
1. In our rush to get on the mountain asap this morning, I discovered that I didn’t even need the coffee to go with my Power Bar for breakfast. Powder Day = Grab A Damn Power Bar and Get Your Ass Out On The Mountain Day. It’s funny, ’cause at home, I have to eat a substantial and healthy breakfast within 5 minutes of waking up or I become a complete terror. Ask Mark. He’ll verify.
2. Pizza is a skiing super-food, apparently. One slice of pizza @ 11:00 am and I was ready to head back out. I eat really healthy at home, and have categorized pizza as a junk food. I must reconsider this.
3. After a hard day of skiing, sweating, and getting snowed on…after all of that…when I took my helmet off, I couldn’t help but notice that, somehow, my hair still looked beautiful. Just sayin’.
4. It’s 6:45 pm here, and I have yet to eat a fruit or vegetable.
Thursday will be our last full ski day here, and we head home on Friday. Will be sad to leave. Maybe we will get snowed in for another day or two!
Skied Jackson Hole? What are your favorite runs? We had a great powder adventure in Saratoga Bowl this morning. That ranked up there in all-time favorites!
I saw a penny on the ground today in the ski shop…shiny and face up. I didn’t pick it up, and I wondered if that would jinx my day. But, no, not only did it not jinx my day, I had a completely spectacular day all around. Plus, I felt good that I left that penny for someone else to find.
Although we could use some more fresh snow, we lucked into finding some wind-blown powder stashes. It was as if the Snow Gods were shining down on us today. Generally though, it’s hard-packed and the skiing is fast. I’m just flying down the mountain. I guess I have speed management issues.
It’s easy to fall in love with Jackson Hole. The people here are superbly nice and friendly. The food has been fabulous (in town and on the mountain), and the skiing is the BOMB!!
FOOD AND BEVERAGE HIGHLIGHTS:
“LOCAL”….spectacular delicious dinner at this in-town restaurant.
“BLUE LION”…..ditto…and, the classical guitarist in the lounge played Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. Pretty cool stuff! I almost started singing, but didn’t want to embarrass Mark, ’cause it was a classy little place.
“COULOIR”…..lunch on the mountain at the top of the gondola….the best gourmet sandwich I’ve ever had anywhere, anytime. And, the views! The panoramic photo up top was taken from our table at lunch today.
“MANGY MOOSE”…legendary apres-ski restaurant/bar at the bottom of the mountain, by the tram tower….nice Kamikaze shots, and a fun rock/retro/country band playing..fun, fun place!
Finally, on the food front, I’ve had my own little breakfast epiphany. Seems that I totally CAN get by for at least 3 hours, on a breakfast of coffee and a peanut butter flavored Power Bar. Who knew?!
So that wraps up Day #2. I have another funny little story to tell you, but I don’t want to drag on. Remind me, and I’ll tell you about the Great Chocolate Cake Discussion.
If you’d like more details about any of the places I’ve mentioned, hit me up in the comments section.
We’re in Jackson Hole, WY this week, skiing up a storm, so to speak. In fact, it did start snowing almost as soon as we arrived. Just sayin’. If you live in a ski town, and need us to bring some good snow mojo your way, we can negotiate a deal. We’re inexpensive!
Today was actually our first day on the mountain, and WOW, what a mountain it is. Big, and very vertical. In fact, over 4,000′ of vertical. Hit all kinds of runs and conditions today. Steep, mogully, powdery, icy, crunchy, plus some! Did a tour of the mountain and hit a majority of the lifts, as well as the gondola and the tram.
We met a nice couple skiing today from Quebec City, Lynn and Andre. We took a lunch break with them, and when we mentioned we have an RV, they perked up with interest. Seems they’ve talked about how much fun it would be to get an RV and travel all over, however, Lynn is worried about being confined in such a small space. Mark and I both started laughing. I told them they have to look at this blog and read about our experience with this exact issue.
And so, it was as if our day came full-circle…ski, discuss claustrophobic RV-ing, ski some more, blog about it all. A complete day, if you ask me!
We’ll be back out on the mountain on Tuesday, and out exploring the town in the evening. If you’ve been to Jackson Hole in the winter and have any “must see” things, or “must eat at” restaurants, I’d love to hear about it.
I’m gonna leave you hanging regarding the story I started yesterday about our first night in (and out of!) our new RV. Mind you, that took place the first week of November 2013, so I’ve been backtracking our lives to fill you in on our crazy stupid stories.
Fast forward to today, and to (a variation of) a Hunter Thompson quote that a friend posted on Facebook. I’ve seen this quote before, and I just absolutely love it! And it is actually quite appropriate to the story of our RV purchase.
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body,
but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting “Holy Shit…What a Ride!”
Right on!!! This is why we bought our RV. It’s the desire to fill our lives with amazing experiences. And sometimes that means taking a risk (like buying an RV without trying one out first). Sometimes it means doing things that scare the bejeezus out of us (like buying an RV without trying one out first).
In, or out of our RV, we try to fill each day and each week with memorable moments. We try new things and go new places. Sometimes we know what we’re in for, and sometimes we’re just taking a leap of faith!
Some of our recent adventures include going to see Itzhak Perlman play with the San Diego Symphony. It was beyond beautiful music! A week later we were at Monster Jam (monster truck show). It was beyond loud and rowdy! And next week we’ll be skiing at Jackson Hole (a place that might also scare the bejeezus out of me!). I’m anticipating that it will be beyond awesome!!
But hey, some days our adventures just consist of trying out a new taco shop. It’s all in the name of adventure and experience. It all counts and it’s all good!
What are you doing in your life, and with your life, that will make you skid in sideways at the end?
and….let me know if you know where that cool quote comes from…..
Our very first trip in the new RV, was a 4-day 3-night trip to Santa Barbara. Mark had a business meeting there, and we made arrangements to “boondock” out front of our friend’s house.
FIRST INDICATION THAT WE MIGHT BE IDIOTS
Just south of Santa Barbara, we stopped in Carpinteria to have dinner with our friends Bob & Jen. Bob is a stellar banjo picker, with whom I used to play in an old-time jam group. Jen is his better half, and some say that that is because she does NOT play the banjo!
After a wonderful dinner, upon returning to the RV, we were greeted by a loud ear-splitting smoke detector-like warning alarm. WTF was going on, and were we going to explode and end up on the late evening news?
Gotta tell you, we never did figure out what that alarm was, but after a good 5 minutes it stopped, and we merrily went on our way with what was probably just a tiny bit of hearing loss!
CONFIRMATION THAT WE WERE IDIOTS
We arrived in Santa Barbara late that night, parked in front of Ken & Barb’s house, and began our first night in the RV. Brushed my teeth, washed my face, climbed into bed (we have a king sized bed at the rear of the vehicle). So far, except for the mystery alarm earlier, so good….except for one little thing….
I AM FREAKIN’ CLAUSTROPHOBIC!!!!!!!!!!!
I wasn’t in bed 10 minutes when I have a FULL-ON PANIC ATTACK!!!!!!!!!
Long story short, sort of, I spent almost the entire evening sitting in the front seat, snuggling with my pillow, and looking out the window to the great outdoors where there was lots of space and lots of fresh air. When I couldn’t take that any longer, I went outside in my jammies and sat on the curb next to the RV.
It was a long long night, which wasn’t so bad because it gave me plenty of time for self-berating, and for wondering……
WHAT IS THE RETURN POLICY ON A SLIGHTLY USED RV??????
What you’re supposed to do…
1. Rent an RV for 3 or 4 days. Just gather up your 2-legged and 4-legged clan, pack some tasty food and beverages, and hit the road. You’ve got to experience the whole lifestyle before you buy into it.
2. Go to RV shows and RV dealers and look around. This is the best way to narrow down what you do and don’t like in an RV.
3. Research on line. Get more detailed info about the models you like. Also, find out what other owners are saying about their rigs. There are some great RV discussion forums on line.
4. Go back to the RV shows and/or RV dealers and look again!
5. If you’re getting close to deciding on a model, see if you can rent that exact model, or at least, something similar.
6. Educate yourself on the care and feeding of the model you’re interested in. If your dream is to travel and live off the grid for weeks at a time, but your rig only has 30 gallon holding tanks and no solar power, this probably ‘aint gonna happen.
7. When you’re pretty sure you’ve decided what you want, go back to the dealer. Hang out in the rig for a few hours, without the salesperson. Pretend you’re actually camping. Pay attention to the space, the layout, the storage, sleeping arrangements, cooking facilities, and generally, just what it’s like to be inside the rig for an extended period of time. Close all of the doors, and close the privacy curtains/shades to experience what it will be like in there at night.
Now, contrast this with what we did…
1. We did NOT do anything I mentioned above, except for an occasional visit to an RV show over the years.
2. We were sucked in by the shininess and beauty of Fiona
3. We bought Fiona
WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG???!!!
Aha!!! That story is for my next post….
We don’t like to camp, we don’t like roughing-it, we don’t like bugs, and frankly, sometimes nature in general gets on our nerves.
One of us is bossy, one of us is claustrophobic, one of us drives too fast, and one of us is a lousy navigator.
And the dogs, well, they’re just along for all the good times and laughs!
One fine day in November of 2013, after 10 years of thinking about doing it, and 10 years of saying “WTF? Are we crazy?” we just did it. We bought a shiny new Airstream motorhome.