Gary Gardner (grgardner) wrote,
Gary Gardner

I'm Missing My Hot Tub

Growing up in Utah, home of the greatest snow on earth, means that one learns to ski rather early.  It kinda comes with the territory.  I've been skiing as long as I can remember, and in a way it's very similar to riding on the motorcycle.  There is the total freedom that comes with pointing your skis down hill and sliding where you want to, at your pace, enjoying the speed, the wind, the sun, the motion, the scenery, the movement.  Both skiing and riding generate the same feelings in me, and if I can't ride, I'd rather be skiing than anything else. 

All that being said, I've not gone skiing in two years.  The last time I went skiing was Christmas in Utah two years ago, which was also the last time Tony and I came to Salt Lake City for the holidays.   Truth be told, my heart wasn't in it -- given the things that were gong on with me and Tony after that holiday season of 2007.  The winter of 2008 was tough, I didn't want to go skiing alone and barely made it to Salt Lake in the midst of that pain and didn't bring ski gear.  I've missed skiing and have been looking forward to going, so I packed my boots and clothes for this trip to Salt Lake so that my brother Gordon and I could go.

Gordon loves skiing more than just about anything and he's damn good at it.   He always was better at it than I was, and he tackles moguls like they were nothing.  Me, I HATE moguls.  Give me a groomed corduroy run that I can let go on and carve some nice arcing turns.  I detest bumps.  Gordon lives for them.  My favorite place to ski is someplace that doesn't believe in moguls and grooms the snow as often as a hockey game runs the zamboni over the ice -- somewhere like Deer Valley or The Canyons.  Gordon loves Snowbird where I don't think they own a grooming machine.  I reluctantly went to Snowbird.
It was a gorgeous clear morning, sun shining but a wee bit cold -- I think it was a whopping 8 degrees when we got to the mountain and started putting on the ski gear -- Gordon, my favorite nephew Reid, and myself.  It's funny how your body changes after two years.  Although I was able to get into my ski clothes back in Seattle, somehow Delta Airlines shrank my ski suit a bit, as well as my boots which I did not try on in Seattle before I left.  The combination, plus the cold, and the 7,000 foot altitude and lack of oxygen had me panting like a racehorse and a pounding headache before I'd even clicked into my skis.

Like I said, I like my ski runs blue, groomed to perfection, and uncrowded.  I like sprawling resorts with runs that go for miles.  Snowbird is compact, steep and if they own a grooming machine they certainly hide it.  Snowbird is for hard core, steep bump skiers.  Guys like my brother who pack a lunch and eat it on the tailgate.  (He learned that from my late father who would pack cold baloney on white Wonderbred and an orange in his coat pocket and we'd eat that while riding the lift as kids.)  Me, I like going into a nice lodge and having a burger or roast beef sandwich with a nice hot chocolate and a white chocolate macadamia nut cookie, but I digress.

So we get the tickets and head up the mountain on the Gadzoom chair lift, my brother and reminiscing about how this is where we really learned to ski and how the lift was an old clunky fix grip double in those days and on and on. Thursday was one of those days that was made for skiing -- clear, new snow, sunny, and surrounded by the towering peaks of the Wasatch.  One of the biggest things I miss about Utah is these mountains.   I'd not gone with Reid since Tony and I took him for his first lesson three years ago, and he had turned into quite a good little skier.  Skiing with my brother will do that to you.
So Reid and Gordon and I spent the day meandering about Snowbird.  Both Reid and I complained about the moguls, to which Gordon said the weren't moguls, they were just small bumps (the size of VW's), and it was a tad icy, but like my hero Warren Miller says, "any day on skis beats a day not on skis", and he's right.  Although it took a lot out of me -- doing a resort like Snowbird with my brother was probably NOT the best way to ease back into skiing after two years, I had a ball with the two of them and it reminded me how much I missed skiing.   I'm achy as all get out, and feeling my age -- and really missing my hot tub!  A long hot shower doesn't quite do the trick.  But I rediscovered how much I love skiing, and how much I missed it, and am looking forward to hitting the slopes back home when I can.

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