I love waking up at the before the sun and driving two hours to my internship. I love blasting music and drinking hot tea while I roll through the predawn darkness. I love breathing real mountain air and ringing the bell in the morning. I love the swish of velvety powder under my board. I love the crunch of ice too…just not as much. I love Lakeview Lodge breakfast, Chimney Rock salad bar and Gourmandie “adult beverages”.
I love rocking out to Justin Bieber in the workplace (someone in the marketing office has developed an acute case of Bieber Fever…and it’s not the girls). I love meeting random people on the lift and quoting Super Troopers with them all the way up. I love exploring the trees and making funny videos of Jaimie and me trying to ride switch or blasting through Kathy’s Yard Sale. I love lifty jokes, costumes and snow sculptures. I even half-loved being stuck on Snowghost (see my last blog), because while we were there Dave pointed out some great spots for me to try. I love the sweet burn I get in my muscles after a session of tree riding. I am even growing to love that darn cat track (not quite there yet, though). Basically what it comes down to is I love Schweitzer Mountain. (And for those of you who think I’m being paid to say this, the joke’s on you-I’m not paid at all!)
I love highlighting trails off on my map. I love getting to attempt new things every day and forcing myself to just bomb this run or that run. I love people watching out my window and seeing all the happy faces. I even love the manky smell my face gaiter gets after three days of snowboarding in a row. Even when I’m tired, stressed, annoyed or I had a little too much fun last night, nothing can stop me from having a good time here. If I could, I would spend all my days here instead of in school. Learning and education is all good and well, but it can’t compare to the Schweitzer life.
I would like to take this opportunity to beseech you, loyal readers, to find something that makes you as happy as Schweitzer makes me and hold on tight to it. About a week ago a kid from my neighborhood suddenly passed away. I went to his memorial Friday and I have to say, it made me take a hard look at what I really love. Life is crazy and wonderful, and it can be taken away instantly. So love the life you’re living and the blessings we have here, my fellow pow hounds, whether you’re on Happy Trails, Midway or the Lakeside Chutes.
I think part of loving these moments is giving yourself something to ski or ride for: for fun, for competition, for yourself, for someone else. I ride for Luke and everyone else who won’t get the chance to feel the heaven of fluffy powder beneath their feet again. I’m loving life right now and I’m going to keep on loving it.
*This blog is dedicated in memory of Luke LaSalle.
– Katie Ross