Yesterday was Thanksgiving Day. I woke up at 5:15 am to take the turkey out of the brine. I laid it out in the roasting pan on a bed of carrots, onions, and celery and put it into the fridge, next to all of the side dishes that Kim had ready to go into the oven. There was stuffing, and squash casserole, and corn pudding. Then we got dressed and went to the mountain.
We tried to go the day before, but there was a storm with a freak pocket in Carson City, right at the base of the mountain, and we decided that turning around and living to fight another day was the right option. We knew we would have to chain up, and that the roads would be bad. We knew that it was going to be cold. We also knew that there was a foot and a half of fresh snow at Heavenly.
When we arrived at the mountain the ticket line stretched all the way around the gondola base. It went fast, and soon we were on our way to the top of the mountain, where the cold temperatures and ghostly visibility must have scared most of the tourists into turning around and going right back down the hill. Not Kim and I, though. We hopped on Tamarack and we rode.
I felt wonderful immediately. Being on a snowboard is like being on a sled, but on a really big hill where you can decide which direction you want to go, and what features you want to run over. My legs were working, my goggles were letting me see the snow even though it was socked in, and I just had one of those days . . . I was in tune with the mountain.
We didn’t ride for too long. It was too cold, My beard froze. Kim is wonderful, but she prefers sunnier days. It was difficult to see. But in the short time we were there, I got to duck into the trees and dive down slopes full of deep powder. True, there were a few rocks, and I had to jump over a few tree stumps that are still exposed this early in the season. It was easy. It was fun. The glades at Heavenly are hands down the best trees I have ever ridden. They are pretty and steep and spaced just far enough apart. If the season continues this way it will be truly magical.
We are so lucky to live in a place where we can go take our runs, and then go home and pop the turkey in the oven. We are so lucky to have a car that will make the trip, and the equipment, and the days off to do it. We are so lucky that we like to do those things together. Is there anyone else in the world who has more to be thankful for than I do? I don’t think so.