Today in the mail, I received, for the first time in a year, a ski movie promotional flyer for the new Warren Miller movie, Chasing Shadows. Excitedly, I looked at dates and times, trying to fit this very important event into my life. ‘Glad to know I’m not the only one already thinking about skiing,’ I thought to myself.
After the garden is pulled and the cold weather hits, my subconscious knows what’s coming next, snow! This leads to endless dreams of effortless turns on super light, fresh powder. At this point, I have already had two ski dreams, and each year, whether my legs are ready or not (which they usually aren’t), the snow falls and ski season starts.
I have already begun to think about the ski vacations I’ll take this winter. Lost Trail, a hidden treasure I discovered last year, is definitely on the list. Followed by Grand Targhee, an annual retreat, Anthony Lakes, Snow Basin, and (of course) Sun Valley. These destinations mixed in with our usual weekend adventure to the Smoky Mountains should make for an exciting year outdoors, but this hasn’t always been my life.
When I was 18, I left Oklahoma in search of myself and mountains, and ended up on a futon in my cousin’s basement in Golden, Colorado. Because my cousin and uncle were both ski patrollers, I got free passes, a free season lease on a snowboard, and free goggles, gloves, pants, and jacket. I was set for the season!
My uncle would wake me up at 4:45 am and tell me to be in the car, ready to go at 5:15 am. ‘That man is dedicated!’ I would say to friends and family when asked about my middle-of-the-night wake up time. But this dedication exposed me to a different life. A life based on the relationship with the outdoors, the slope, and most importantly, the snow.
That winter I met my future-to-be husband and followed him to Idaho. My first experience in this beautiful state, I awoke to a cold, crisp June morning staring at the Boulder Mountains, which were covered in a fresh coat of light, fluffy snow. ‘Snow in June?’ I said to Jake, ‘can I stay forever?’. The answer, an emphatic, ‘Yes!’.
So here I am, 8 years later, filled with excited anticipation for the upcoming ski season. Because of the dedication my uncle exposed me to in my early experiences with skiing, it is now second nature to be in the snow covered mountains each chance given. My husband, a ski patroller himself, now provides me with the free season pass, and I have switched from a free snowboard to tele-skis. I am grateful for the opportunities and experiences I have had in the snow, and look forward to the future experiences to be.
Today, the Boulder Mountains are lightly coated in a fluffy sheet of snow, taking me back to my first exposure to the beautiful Idaho mountains. These images call me in my dreams and get me ready for tomorrow’s (hopeful) reality.
Until next time, sweet, powder filled dreams.