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Devon and I went to Timberline Lodge on Mt Hood to take the third and final lesson of our snowboard lesson package. My friends Chris and Espy came up from San Jose to hang out and go snowboarding for their first time ever. Dev and I warmed up for about an hour on the bunny slope while Chris and Espy took their lesson.
Snow kept falling from the sky. The wind kept throwing loose snow into our faces. And the sun occasionally peeked through the clouds. And the cycle repeated over and over all day long. This cycle deposited a ton of fluffy white soft powdery snow on the runs.
Dev and I managed to wrangle our instructor (he goes by "DC") from a few weeks ago into teaching our last lesson. Since only we two registered for the advanced beginner lesson, it was like we were getting a private snowboard lesson. He's a great instructor. Completely psyched about snowboarding. Completely psyched to be out teaching people to snowboard. Positive. Upbeat. Flexible. And he really pays attention. (Can you tell that Dev and I enjoyed his teaching style?)
He took us down the bunny slope one more time to evaluate our riding. Then he took us down the Pucci run. Our first time on a long open run. We got to do some straight downhill riding. We got to practice heel edge riding. We got to practice impromptu braking (crashing). But the soft powdery snow was fun to fall into. We even had to practice our balance on a level section on West End Road. DC had us strap in only one foot and practice placing our weight on that foot and balancing over that foot. Then we pushed off with our free foot and had to stomp our free foot on the board as many times as we could before falling. This exercise really worked at focusing our balance and body position - the practice graphically illustrated how we should be standing and balancing.
So we look forward to getting back up to the mountain. Dev has to travel this week and next week so we probably won't go back for at least two weeks. But we are chomping at the bit to get back up there.
The white stuff has finally melted. The ice is nearly gone. I rode my bike in to work for the first time in 4 days (Tuesday was a snow day, and I rode in cars Wednesday and Thursday). The rain started again though, reminding us all that we live in Oregon in winter. :)
My friends Chris and Espy are coming up from the San Francisco bay area this weekend. They fly in tonight. We go snowboarding tomorrow at Mt Hood. It will be a good weekend.
Cross country. As in cross country skiing. Sue took me out for my first time on touring skis. 3 hours. 8 miles. One good view of Mt Hood. One very sore and tired David at the end of the day.
But I had a lot of fun. Initially I had some trouble with descents (as in 8 falls). That ongoing misfortune was mostly fixed with some spot-on advice from a passing stranger (who obviously knows how to coach a newbie.) Aside from that, I feel like I caught on pretty well. I worked hard, but it happened in a relaxed pace. I had a chance to ride boards over hard pack groomed track, flattened but no-track snow, and on untouched powder. So I tried out a variety of styles in one afternoon.
The weather was outstanding. It never went above freezing the whole day, but the sun graced us for almost the entire trip. And Sue and I both had to shed layers of clothing to stay comfortable. At least until we got back to the parking lot - the wind by the car was evil.
Dev and I retreated to the coast of Oregon for the long weekend. We took the dogs with us and rented a house right on the beach bluffs with a coupe of friends (Nate and Sue). We spent all weekend do not a whole lot at a very slow pace. Walked up and down the beach. Read a little bit. Played Scrabble and Taboo. And watched the ball drop in New York's Time Square. And then we moseyed home pretty easily too.
If you know me “in real life” then you will already know the following facts. I am a Registered Nurse (and wow, did that take a long time!); I used to fix Macintosh computers for a living; I’m a raging, raving “pinko-commie” liberal; I live in Portland, Oregon and love it here in the Northwest.
Oh, and I have the most fabulous daughter on the planet.
My main off-work focus right now involves finding new adventures. For a while I was obsessed with motorcycles. Then I went to mountains with great ardor; rock climbing, mountain climbing, snowboarding. I'm feeling transitional now. I might start swimming again. Maybe backpacking more this summer.