Friday, February 24, 2006


I spent most of this week with my wife and kids on our first ever snowboarding trip. We went to the Snow Summit ski resort on Big Bear Mountain, in the San Bernardino mountains of southern California. My kids' school districts takes this entire week off for some mysterious reason, but so many families use it as an opportunity to go the mountains, that the teachers refer to it as "ski week".

After a couple of days on the slopes i reached a sort of minimal bunny-slope proficiency on the snowboard. Not surprisingly, my wife and kids progressed quicker. By the end of the trip my older son Nathan and my wife were up to the intermediate runs that started all the way at the top of the mountain. For me it was basically a competition between gaining the necessary skill and destroying my body. After two full days, i felt as if i'd lost a fight. My neck was tweaked, my hips were bruised, my shoulders and forearms were sore, and both of my knees were numb.

I have to admit though, it was pretty fun. I've avoided snow sports for my entire life, because my previous experience with snow in the dead-flat midwestern landscape i grew up in made me think of it as more a medium of punishment than recreation. But we got great weather, and we came on the weekend after a big storm had dropped several inches of fresh snow (though, admittedly, this was a miniscule addition to the man-made snow). Big Bear City, where Snow Summit resides, is a fun place to spend a few days; and i have to admit that, despite being a totally obvious noob, i felt sort of cool hanging out among the rest of the boarders and skiers.

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