2100 Miles Away
January 18, 2010
I didn’t mean to have such a long gap between entries just now, but on the 7th and 8th I was busy being mad at myself for failing to post my last Holidailies entry to the portal, which means even though I posted every single day it looks like I ended up one short, just below the line. It’s my own fault, of course; I got distracted and didn’t think of it until 5 the next morning—any other day of the project and I could have just posted to the portal then but since it was the last day too bad, so sad, I was out of luck. When I wasn’t beating myself up over that, I was busy getting ready to leave for Idaho, my first trip out to our condo since we closed on it last year. On the evening of the 8th we hit the road in the rental car Mr. Karen had brought home as a result of the truck clutch problem. We drove a little over 400 miles and made it into Wisconsin that Friday night before we got too tired, which was pretty good considering we ran into lake effect snow in the last part of Michigan and first part of Indiana we had to navigate (the weather radio informed us that the snow band was narrower than usual due to an atypical wind pattern).
Saturday we got up and drove and drove and drove. We did almost 800 miles across Wisconsin and Minnesota and part of North Dakota, then repeated the process on Sunday with the rest of North Dakota, then Montana and Idaho’s panhandle, finishing almost 900 miles later at the condo. I myself was pretty much ready to be finished with the trip about five hours before we actually arrived—when we do that drive again I’m thinking we will need to allow more than two days plus an evening.
We slept in on Monday after our late arrival the night before, so we were only able to ski for a few hours before we had to leave for Coeur d’Alene to return the rental car before the agency closed at 5. Still it was good to get back on the snow, and Schweitzer’s terrain was as good as I’d remembered. Tuesday it was raining when we woke up, and that iis of course not ideal for skiing. We looked at the forecast calling for the wet weather to continue for hours and decided to take the day off and go into town and run errands and cheer ourselves up with lunch at the Pie Hut. (Owning a place means there are pretty much always errands to run—this trip the washing machine needed attention and we had to pick out new doorknobs to replace the oh-so-easy-to-lock-yourself-out ones the place came with and so on.) Wednesday we got back on our skis and found the snow to be in remarkably good shape considering all the rain that had fallen the day before. Unfortunately I did not find my new ski boots remarkably comfortable, even after the adjustment I had the shop in Steamboat make at the end of last season. Despite my feet hurting and my toes falling asleep and my muscles getting sore (I have really got to get more aerobic exercise even when I can’t run while resting my various nagging injuries) I had some good fun cruising around the slopes. Our friend Wendy, who’s staying at the condo this winter, had made some contacts at the local ski shop so took me in there Thursday afternoon, and one of the techs made some adjustments to my boot liners. Friday my feet felt better but I was still not happy so I went back and another tech bumped out the shell of my boots—while I waited, and with no additional charge since I’d paid for the work the day before.
We weren’t originally planning to ski on Saturday, since that’s when what crowds they get at Schweitzer tend to show up and also because our annual passes are the Sunday through Friday version, which was a lot cheaper than the all week ones, but Wendy had gotten us all vouchers for $20 off a day pass when she complained to the ticket office about half the mountain being closed on Friday due to the winds being too strong to run many of the lifts, plus there were three or four inches of new snow overnight, so we decided we would ski Saturday after all. I am so glad we did, because even though I was tired and my damn boots still weren’t right (I now believe I was sold the wrong ones in the first place and just didn’t know enough to object, having never worn ski boots that didn’t hurt at least a little bit), I fell in love with Schweitzer all over again. Mid-afternoon found me swooshing my way downhill through nicely spaced trees, still finding some untracked spots, and I looked around and saw no one else on the slope. I can’t imagine that ever happening on a weekend at one of the big resorts in Colorado. I got to the bottom and skied right onto the lift and headed down again, only stopping when I was soaking wet from the snow that was still falling and my legs were too spent to make one more run. I hated to leave but knowing I’ll be able to come back soon helped ease the parting. We flew home on Sunday, leaving the truck behind to use on our next trip.
All the trip pictures fit to upload are here.