Tuesday, October 14th
On my way to work today, I was sitting in the back of my buddy’s van, staring out the window as we went up the hill to Schweitzer. It had rained all night in town and the question on everyone’s mind in the car…I mean, van…was “How much snow did we get?” The cars started coming down towards us and there it was … snow. As we climbed, the rain slowly changed to sleet, then a little snow. The temp was right on the snow/rain edge. We rounded switchback five and saw the snowplow heading down.
“Huh… that’s the first time I’ve seen the plow on the road this year.”
The parking lot hadn’t been plowed yet. It’s always fun making fresh tracks…whether it’s on skis, a board, walking on the sidewalk, or driving across a slush-covered parking lot. Our little group made our way through the village and there was CK…shoveling away on the deck outside the Mill Building. I doubt he was as stoked to see the fresh snow as we were, but still… in the back of my mind all I could think was, “is winter really here?”
According to science and nature and all that, the start of winter is the solstice; which is December 21st. But I’m sure if you ask any ski bum, they would have a much different answer.
First snow that sticks
After the first movie premier… First ski swap… First freeze…
Whatever your “first” is… I doubt it’s December 21st.
One of the things I love most about Sandpoint is we have seasons. I love winter more than most things, but I also like the other seasons. Spring is my time to travel, I spend my summers on my bike and riding in the fall is great too. The temperatures are cooler, the dirt is tackier and there are less people on the trail. Just have to watch out for hunters ;) But I think it’s that love for the other seasons that makes the coming of winter that much more special.
September is tough. The first photos of people skiing start to pop up. Buyer’s Guides start coming out. Even teasers for the years’ movies appear. I try to force myself to ignore it.
“It’s way too early to be having powder dreams” I tell myself.
“There’s plenty of biking still to be had.”
But they still have a way of sneaking in.
When I lived/worked at a resort in Northern NM, we had a tradition for the beginning of the season. Some of my friends had a snowboard shop and we would all pack up the leftover gear from the season before and head to Vail for the biggest ski swap in the US. Luckily for us, it coincided with a number of important events.
A-Basin or Loveland was normally open, so it would mean the first turns of the season.
It was over Halloween, and there was a huge costume party that weekend.
And it was usually the first, really big gathering of people that loved the snow.
Movie premier season is upon us. The first one in Sandpoint is in a couple of weeks. There’s snow on the mountains…hopefully here to stay. Ski swaps are coming. And there are people skiing in the US as I write this.
In my head, winter is here. No matter what the weather man says…El Nino, La Nina, whatever…I know I’m gonna be sliding on white stuff soon. I don’t really care if it’s on my skis, my board, or my butt…it’s fun.
Can’t wait to see you up at Schweitzer!