So where to begin? I went skiing this weekend, so prepare for a long post! Also, read on find out why I wasn't at work today.
This past weekend was probably the last weekend that I will make it up for skiing this season. Gabe invited me to go with him to his cabin and ski Saturday and Sunday at Kirkwood. Like last weekend, the weather report was for a lot of snow over the weekend. We took Gabe's rear-wheel truck, thinking that the worse that would happen would be that we would have to chain up.
Also like last weekend, the snow was late to arrive, and so the snow on Saturday wasn't that great. But, on my seventh day of skiing this season, I was feeling pretty good even on chunky, old, hard snow. I am feeling really confident with my skiing compared to just a few weeks ago. I followed Gabe around through the trees and even took some small jumps. And we found Jesus. Snowboarding. On Easter weekend. With a cow, a wizard, and Afro Elvis. That explains so much.
I skied The Wall this time, which was pretty fun. At one point, I cut through some trees and couldn't really see what was ahead of me. It turned out to be a drop of maybe six feet. I realize this as I am flying over this drop, yelling "fuuuuuuuuucccccckk!" Surprisingly, I land, but then I completely wipe out a second later. Man, now I see why a helmet would be a good thing. I was seeing stars. Two girls were right below me and after asking if I was alright, assured me that I looked awesome. At least I had an audience.
We drove back to cabin that night without any problems. We had dinner with a family who was also staying at the cabin, and played some intense games of Clue and Mouse Trap. After a day of skiing, I love being able to just hang out, cook dinner, drink wine, and talk instead of dealing with hotels and restaurants.
And then there was Sunday: We woke up to pouring rain at the cabin. We got on the road before 8:00 and quickly hit snow. The cabin is about 35 miles from Kirkwood, and between the cabin and the resort is Carson Spur, which has quite the reputation for having bad conditions. Up to this point, I have had good luck. I guess my luck ran out. After chaining up, the truck performed rather well. But, we couldn't see at all. The road is narrow with banks of snow on each side that must be 20 feet high in places. So take the winding road, snow on the road, and snow blowing, and you have a complete white out.
Gabe like totally rocked with the driving and got us to Kirkwood safely. The resort was open, even though only about half of the lifts were open. The snow was great and just got better. But the weather kept getting worse. Gabe and I had a blast, but we got nervous about the worsening conditions. Shortly after Gabe said that he wasn't too comfortable driving back to cabin that day and maybe we should get a room at the resort, they posted a sign at the chairlift that highway 88 was closing in 15 minutes.
I was getting pretty stressed out at this point. Skiing was starting to be no fun because the weather was so bad, and the powder was wearing me out. There was hardly anyone around, and I got easily worried when I was in the trees with no tracks to follow and no one in sight. My hesitation would make me fall, and then I would have to struggle out of the deep powder.
When we saw the sign, we went to the Inn and asked for a room, but of course they didn't have one. They recommended that we try to make it over the pass before it closed. We hussled and jumped in the truck. The road was closed already, so we headed back to the inn. I realized that I wasn't going to make it home that night, and we were going to have to spend the night there, even though we didn't have a room.
We hung out in some chairs at the inn, played cards, and talked for about five hours. It was kind of like hanging out at the airport when flights are canceled. Everyone was strewn around playing boardgames, drinking hot chocolate, and periodically checking the weather reports. Then we got the word: highway 88 eastbound was going to open and they were going to shuttle us out. That was the opposite direction that we wanted to go, but we didn't have a choice.
Like flipping a switch, everyone jumped up and scrambled to their cars. After Two hours of crawling along with a stream of other cars, we were in South Lake Tahoe. At least we could get a hotel room. I didn't have any spare clothes (because i am stupid and didn't bring anything with me skiing except for some food) or a toothbrush or anything like that. But I had a bed.
I must admit, it was kind of a fun adventure. It wasn't that big of a deal for Gabe and me to miss a day of work, so we decided to make the best of being in South Lake Tahoe. After a long Sunday, we slept in Monday morning and woke up to a beautiful sunny day. It was hard to believe that we had been in a blizzard barely able to get out of Kirkwood the night before. After a great great breakfast at Sprouts, we headed over highway 50.
It was slow going over 50, but we made it out of the snow and to Placerville. We cut over on highway 49 to Jackson. Highway 49, it turns out, is really pretty. It goes through little mountain towns and along little creeks. With the warm sunny weather, it was a very pleasant drive. We finally make it to 88 and drive up to the cabin. Our round-about route took us three hours. But then we had another three-hour drive home from the cabin.
So it was an eventul Easter weekend. I was so lucky to have Gabe there staying so calm and doing all of the hard work like driving and putting on chains. He was a great person to be stuck in the mountains with. It was stressful at times, but it ended up really being kind of fun to have a snow day and not go into work today. If I don't make it skiing again this season, I will have gone out with a bang.
As usual, there are pictures.