2.25.2007

back from chasing the snow....


we went chasing snow
and well
seems that the snow was more into playing leap frog than playing tag

the family stayed with friends at a weekend cabin in west virginia
awesome time
no time or energy for blogging
time for borat

here it is
the next morning
back at work
going to spit out some ideas as i sip my coffee...

monday mornings are always better after a good weekend
this weekend past was a better than good weekend

some friends had invited us for a weekend at their west virginia mountain cabin in caanan valley west virginia
we abruptly canceled all other plans are took them up on their offer
so friday after work I loaded the car up with all sorts of mountain gear along with the family and the dog and we rushed head on into rush hour traffic
funny...
people complain about parking in the area
we found no problem parking on Route 66
as expected Route 66 was a long line or bright red tail lights
we endured

but....
our late start and a few wrong turns had us pretty much right on time for our rondevue with our gracious hosts
they too were running late
as traveling with a three year old and a newborn is often a journey with many stops

with the crew together we drove our little two car convoy towards west virginia
the drive was snowless until we got to the eastern continental divide
it was amazing
when we crossed over a mountain pass the area took a dramatic wintry change for the better
increasing my already heightened level of excitement

it was good to driving in tandem as I would have never been able to find the house in the final turns on country roads in the dark
we pulled up a long drive way breaking through fresh snow
stopping and being forced to shovel some deep snow drifts so we could park the car

after some shoveling we carried two sleeping boys into the house
two sleeping boys quickly woke up and started exploring the cabin which would be the basecampo of their weekend retreat

the night was late
the morning came fast
there was great relieft that the dogs became fast friends just as the children had
the house woke up slow as I ran about fast
trying to get dean suited up and out of the house in time to get signed up for ski school

we arrived on time
but ski school was filled
so I signed dean up for a one hour private
which was perfect
it amazed me how well behaved dean was
no complaints about the long lines and the long waits
we rented some beater skiis and killed some time before the private lesson began late at 10am
there was plenty of time for me to get my snowboard gear read for an hour on the hill sans child

in the bathroom I had a random encounter where I bumped into fellow DCMTB/City Bike rider Chris Clark
small world... strange timing
timing that only became more interesting as he was headed to White Grass for some XC fun while just dropping off his teenage son for a day of snowboarding
that strange timing became more strange as I later ran into his son on the hill... we actually were both in a singles lane and got on the same chair
weird moment of timing
we rode the chair together and took some runs down the hill together
I enjoyed getting back on the snowboard after a few years away
the snow was fantastic
in the glades there was even some patches of untracked powder

my hour went by fast
Dean and his instructor were not at the said meeting point promptly at 11:00
so I rushed to squeeze in my last childless run
at the top of the hill I heard my budget two way radio squeak in my pocket
it was Dean looking for me
we had a quick few word exchange
the message was clear
he was back and waiting for me
I told him I would be there in two minutes
like a bullet I shot down the mountain
with toes hanging off the side of my board I made short little turns
trying to ride the edge without digging in the toes
was at the base only to be greeted by a smiling little monkey on skiis

spoke with my son and my instructor
got an idea of his progress and his achievement
gave the instructor a few bucks for a beer then headed to the bunny hill with my son
what an experience
the pride of being a father is a grand emotion
I glowed at my son's comfort and proficiency on the skis
he was showed so much more composure then the cast of klutzes around us

we worked the cat-track bunny hill a few times
snapping some pictures and getting a summary of the lesson
after a few runs on the bunny hill we saw dean's instructor heading out with a few more students
we stopped him for a hello
then I asked if he thought that Dean was ready for a longer run from the top
sure enough... there was one long green from the top; Timber Run
I was warned of one section that dean would have to control his speed on
but that he would certainly be ready for the ride to the top

needless to say dean was ecstatic to be riding to the top of the mountain
getting off the chair was not easy for him
but
that process is not easy for anyone
especially the small children who have to drop a foot or so before their skis touch the ground

the beginner runs can be chaotic
a weird mix of variables
people going too fast
people going too slow
and all sorts of dangerous collisions
as to be expected Dean took a few spills
usually needing a hand up
which made for some awkwardness as I was on a snowboard
but I was up for the task
only once did we have a collision with another skier

luckily I was at Dean's side when she came screaming down the hill out of control
she bailed in an effort not to hit us
I lifted dean in the air over my head while crouched on my knees
both skis of the girl coming downhill slammed into my legs
better me than dean
no blood.... no foul

we went to the bottom
looked at the watch and took a break for lunch
some confusion on the two way kept us at canaan instead of meeting up with the family at Whitegrass
had called the wife
but someone on the same channel played along as if they were our group
I was skeptical and hungry
so we focused on eating
and accepted being late

it was a fantastic father son morning into afternoon
dean asked why I had a sad face
I knew i was going to suffer some heat for being late to meet the family for lunch
but was focused on the immediate

dean wanted more time on the skis
I wanted some time on the cross country skis

had thought that sunday would get the wife on the hill with the older son
while i would try to figure out a way to take the younger son with me on the skis
mother nature had other plans
a wet wintry mix of rain and snow had a morning of white out conditions
I called the mountain canceling the morning lesson for my son

we stayed local and did some sledding
there was all sorts of clean up and anxiety about snow and ice on the roads leading home

a good time was shared by all
the highlight of the weekend was exposing my son to the world of skiing

photos to tell the tale to come

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