Appreciating the peaks

We are coming off a strong and solid week. Deep Woods celebrated his 40th birthday last Wednesday. He had the day off and we drove into town to drop the homies off together. We watched some olympics while we waited for the sun to warm up the hills, and we took off for adventure.

13 years ago, i mentioned to DW that i thought i might like learning to tele ski. that it seemed like a thing for me to give-a-whirl someday. he bought me a book on free-heel skiing. it has sat on several different shelves in those 13 years. i never had the right equipment…and i never tried super hard to get it. i knew it would be hard work. learning to snowboard was one of the most physically challenging activities for me to get a solid grasp on. it took more than a season or so. i sucked. and i sucked at skiing too – as far as i knew. i tried it a time or two in high school and it was some of the most miserable few hours of my adolescence. yet…ski touring seemed like a worthy pursuit.

and then the peeps came to be. and i said more often, and a little bit louder that i really needed to learn to ski – so that we could keep up with them on the mountain. both of us locked into snowboards seemed like a big disadvantage. yet the book stayed on the shelf.

i rented downhill skis for an afternoon at Targhee last year. and thought it was fun. i was no good. but i wasn’t quite “suck” either. i had potential, i mused.

Then i got an old pair of skis from Mungbean. and this fall, i acquired an old pair of tele boots that were sitting in a friend’s garage. i took the book off the shelf. Weav tuned the skis…and i’ve been waiting for snow…

On DW’s birthday, he brought my  old split board, and i brought my new skis. We put our boots on in the living room and drove the side by side up the road. we skinned up the hills, and floated down them. it was exactly as fun as i thought it would be. i was giddy.

it had been a long while since thetwoofus winter activitied together – alone. we shared a terrific time. it was hard work and exhausting and thrilling and just plain fun. we earned the cold beer in the hot tub before heading to town to scoop up the homies.

and then it got even better. as things tend to do for us.

Saturday we hosted the Bacon Bourbon Backcountry Biathlon Birthday Bash. it was a hoot. for absolute realz. face splitting smiles all day and night long. got a bit rowdy at sunset. and all sorts of warm and cozy back inside. our place was filled to the brim with the warm and friendly love that feels slightly cozier in a snowstorm. the bacon and bourbon certainly doubled-down the warmth and coziness.

and Sunday we woke up to a fresh coating of several inches of snow and the smiling faces of the friends that travelled distances to attend the event. DW and Brit went for a plow. Barry made the coffee. i shoveled the hot tub deck. the babies toddled. Joe and Mungbean supervised. the wee peeps adored them. Czas worked her magic in the kitchen. Britt served the mimosas. and we sat down to a feast of crab cakes benedict with asparagus and roasted potatoes. right out here at the edge of it all. we shared a holiday sleepover brunch on a snow day with some of the people we love the most.

Crit and Debul toed the mark at the starting line. they preformed quite admirably. i met up with both of them at the first shooting station. i had Shank and Derek and Czas and Buff with me in the side-by-side. Brit was already there and Debul was coming up the steep bank with Mungbean. She skied with him from the get-go. i asked Crit who she skied with – she said “mostly i skied alone. it was fun. i never did that before.”

The first two winters we lived out here, it was the event of the entire day to make it to the “Big Tree”. It began with a big breakfast. then had to make some chai and pack snacks. then find them an engaging activity while i went outside to get the Chariot together with the ski attachment, packed Crit’s skis and boot in case the wanted to give it a go, and gathered blankets. then had to collect and lay out all the wee little pairs of things. then had to physically place each piece of wee little gear onto their wiggling-overheating bodies. then i’d remember we needed water bottles filled up. then had to get myself together, load them in the Chariot, bundle them up, get my skis on, strap in to the harness, and head up the driveway. that took all morning. the ski was Act 2. it was before we had the inkling to groom the road a touch. some days the snow was so deep and heavy and both the Chariot and i sunk on every step. but we had already made the effort to get out the door, so there was no turning back. plus, i was training. Once we’d arrive at the Big Tree i would set out the hot drinks and the snacks. i turned their Chariot to face the hill, and i skied laps up and down the hill. i fell a lot coming down. the peeps would giggle their heads off. so then i’d make sure to fall. it was worth it. always. we’d return home in time for “quiet time” which was never quite like the name implies out here. we’d meet back up at Happy Hour and hide under a blanket just in time for DW to walk through the door in the dark.

those days were challenging. but because of those days, we now have these days. Where they are lined up at the starting line of the Backcountry Biathlon, wearing all the right layers and accessories, skis strapped on, poles in hand, heading out with a group of 15 adults. DW was way out in front and i was way far behind. we met up at the Big Tree.

As mentioned, it was a strong and solid week. Full of the things we value the most.

We’ve been talking about some times in life are super-extra-ordinary! and that’s a real high mark when all our days seem to be extraordinary already.




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