Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Other stuff to do in snow

Today was a day to help teach my youngest sister how to snowboard and steal a few gleeful powder runs in the extra space of a resort day, the space that I usually reserve for eating lunch and going to the bathroom. My two sisters and I decided a week ago that snowboarding at Brighton would be the perfect sisterly outing, and somehow we picked the perfect day to do it (if your idea of "perfect" is a near-whiteout and 15-degree temps.) But what we did have was plenty of famous Utah snow - piles and piles of crisp, dry powder so indistinguishable from the blizzard-stricken terrain that I would occasionally blast through mounds as high as my waist, emerging from the swirling cloud of ice jolted but not slowed. I took a few swims, but the snow was so light and airy that it was easy to stay afloat, skimming the silent surface on my rental hovercraft. Even my newbie sister got the hang of it early on, and a good time was had by all.

It's days like these that cause me to take stock of my hobbies, in my continuing quest to make sure the bulk of my time and energy is going into the right one. After all, I have more than a few friends that are crazy dedicated to skiing, those who wheel their lives around it, who are (or at least were) willing to be "bums" for the cause. So I turn my focus from those eight perfect powder runs between the entertaining snowboard lessons, and rechart the day as a whole: wake up at 7 a.m.; drive to the ski shop to get fitted for a board ($16, at a 50% discount); Drive to the mouth of the canyon; catch the skibus ($6 round trip); buy a day pass at Brighton ($40); board board board board; wait for the ski bus; buy a $4 coffee cart drink while I'm waiting; wait some more; cram into the skibus with a full load of wet, lethargic people; sit on the bus as it inches down the canyon for 45 minutes; and leave the mouth of the canyon just in time to drive through rush-hour traffic all the way home. And all of the sudden, all I have left of my perfect day is about $70 less than I used to have and sore knees.

Don't get me wrong. It was a beautiful outing. Plus, the sisterly time is priceless. But, at the end of the day, I have to say that I'm still glad I'm a cyclist. And I sure hope all that fresh Alaska powder settles in and hardens up before I get home.