The entire week after Christmas was spent skiing with my little guy and his mom.  They have been best ski buddies for for well over 70 days in the past year.  I skied with him Thanksgiving 2015 and he was just learning.  I was prepared to step up my game, but I wasn’t sure how much.  It was much greater than I anticipated.  He’s a fast and slightly reckless little dude.  His mom was right there with him and even blasting tree pow and gnarly rock outcroppings on her ridiculously fat Big Joy Head skis.  If they weren’t ripping down the blues, they were dicing their way through manked out trees searching for powder.  My new skis were perfect for all that, but my skills lacked.  By Thursday I was keeping up….for the most part (I’m wary around lots of people).  My knees didn’t hurt and I was able to do some good yoga at my old roommate’s house as they were out of town and I did a bit of dog sitting in exchange for an electrical outlet to keep the van the perfect sleeping temp.  His driveway was immaculately groomed.20161225_182309

I’m sure it’s much different at the time of this writing considering they’ve had more snow,  rain, ice, and as much weather well above freezing as they’ve had below in the past couple weeks.

On my last day in Utah, I finally tried skate skiing.  Connor and Jen have XC gear, so we went to Solitude Nordic Center.  REI had skate gear that fit me like a glove.  I fell a few times leaving what I called a butt hole in the track.  I think I left 3 butt holes in the track.  What a great workout and a fun way to get away from the crowds….though the Big Cottonwood traffic snake loomed just above us for about an hour.


Connor taking a break coming up the hill. Lots of breaks get taken when skiing with groms.

That Friday afternoon I headed out of the Salt Lake valley’s fog and pollution to Wells, NV to bum an electrical outlet from Adriana W. (former Franklin Mountains State Park ranger) and her boyfriend Jeremy.  It was in the single digits out there and the campground they’re in was like a gnarly ice rink with tire tracks making it ridiculously hard to navigate.

I’d never spent time with Jeremy, and it ends up we’re like brothers from different mothers…..and he’s hella shorter.  I’m glad I stopped by and glad they were there.  I was tired of driving and needed a warm place to sleep.jeremy

Breakfast was consumed and I hauled it across Nevada to Reno to catch up with the Yackle Bros, shop at the REI garage sale (big gear scores there), then head to Truckee were I was to rendezvous with my friend Hayley….yeah….the one that was taking care of my dog.  The dog got passed to another friend.  Her parents live in Truckee so I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to have a place to park and ski a resort I’ve never skied.

My only “creepy” incident of the trip happened on my drive to Reno.  Some old guy in an older pickup stayed next to me for several miles on the interstate.  I did my best to ignore him.  He kept placing his Veteran’s hat (this guy claimed 3 wars….WW2, Korea, and Vietnam) in the window so I’d have no choice but to see it.  The only other guy I’ve seen with a hat like that was at the VA hospital in El Paso and that guy looked eons older than this creepy dude so I’m in doubt that he was a 3 war vet. I have a neighbor who served in Vietnam only and he looks eons older than this creep. I wasn’t sure what kind of point he was trying to make and why.  I did have to accelerate around him before entering the freeway because I was in the wrong lane, but I definitely did not cut him off.  I turned off my cruise control and made sure he stayed in front of me.  I drove much slower than I ever wanted to drive on this trip just to keep this creep in front of me.  He finally pulled away and eventually I went back to driving 75 mph and never caught up to him.