January 5, 2015
I am back to work today after being off for the last week and a half and am finding it hard to slip back into my regular routine after spending my holidays at Schweitzer Mountain, where I never had to set an alarm clock. Unlike last year, there were no significant air travel delays, either on my solo trip out on Christmas Eve (Mr. Karen had once again driven our truck out there by himself due to his more generous holiday schedule) or our return yesterday, perhaps because we avoided connections through wintery Denver and Minneapolis and instead went through rainy Seattle, despite that adding extra hours.
I had quite a pleasant long layover in SeaTac on Christmas Eve; the gate area I came into was pretty deserted at that time of night on a holiday, so I was able to set up shop with my laptop at a counter all to myself and later pose the stuffed travel companions I’d bought in Detroit for a portrait between the usually busy escalators without inconveniencing or distracting any other passengers.
Mr. Karen picked me up at the airport in Spokane late that night (well, not that late; it just felt like it to me coming from the Eastern time zone) and off we went to the mountain, where we skied seven of the next ten days. The snow coverage left a lot to be desired on some slopes but we had a lot of fun anyway. We took to calling the runs where there were twigs poking up through groomed snow “extreme corduroy” or “groomed tree skiing”. A few spots runs had small creeks which needed to be crossed, which was a bit unsettling but certainly gave me a feeling of triumph when I managed them. Of course there were plenty of places where the skiing was perfectly fine, especially after a midweek gift of several inches of snow from Mother Nature, and the scenery is a delight regardless.
We spent all day yesterday getting home after staying Saturday night with a friend in Spokane who kindly drove us to the airport and is also storing our truck for us until our next trip. Our layover in Seattle was plenty long enough to have a leisurely sit down lunch with a view of the tarmac as well as appreciate some of the airport art.
And now it’s back to normal life for a while; I’m definitely looking forward to the time when we won’t have to leave the mountain just before a storm cycle hits—they’ve had a foot of fresh snow up there in the last 24 hours. Guess that just means the base is gonna be better when we get back there.