By the time Saturday rolled around, Betsy and I were on our feet again. Though still a bit sniffly, we were ready for the much anticipated trip up to Tahoe to meet my parents and brother for a week of skiing in the Sierras. We decided to do this trip instead of christmas presents this year, and none of us had ever skiied anywhere but New England before, so this was a special treat.
When Karen, Bob, Betsy and I arrived in Truckee in a very tightly packed car, it was beginning to lightly snow. By the time we had picked up my cousin Chris and his girlfriend Katie at the train station, gone grocery shopping, and waited for the house we were renting to be ready, there was at least a foot of white powder. Fortunately we only did one 180, and did not go off the road in the process. By the time my parents arrived in the Reno airport that night, a good three feet of snow had fallen. They wisely decided to stay in the airport motel until the next day. The next day it snowed all day as well and by the time the storm blew clear, I think four to five feet had come down. In Tahoe, they don't have plows, they have giant snowblowers.
So after the family all arrived safely and we weathered the storm, of course there was only one thing to do. . . hit the slopes. The mountains here are pretty awesome. I've never skiied places that are just so open, easily going across an entire mountain and back again before hitting the base. And that's just one mountain face out of nine at that resort. There were also a lot of bowls, which were alot of fun, and of course glade skiing is cool. Even the intermediate trails incorporated alot more trees to give you a more woodsy feel below the tree line. My only complaint was the sticky snow. It warmed up to the fifties after the storm and became quite sunny, so sometimes it was a little mash potatoey, and on one occasion, when jumping into powder, my skis stuck and I did a complete summersault, landing on my feet again. That is not an experience I've ever had in freezing cold New England. We also got to meet up with some more family. My cousin Mike just moved to Reno for a job as a resperitory therapist, and his folks were out for a visit at the same time as us, so we managed to catch up with them and do a few runs as well. Mike is a pretty extreme dude, having his own parachute and claiming domination of the mountains around him by saying, "I've done every chute here." FYI, chutes are scary, and if you mess up, you crash into rocks and then slide down a steep, icy cliff. I did one very mellow chute while in Tahoe, it was scary, but fun and I went very slow.
When we weren't skiing, because our legs would have fallen off if we skiied every day, we were finding other ways to play in the snow. Betsy, Kevin and I dug a twenty foot snow tunnel that doubled as an ice slide. Bob built snow sculptures and Chris, Dad and Kevin went on a very scenic snowmobiling trip. (does anyone else think hybrid snowmobiles are a good idea? very quiet so you don't scare wild life and fuel efficient for longer range in the woods). Anyways, I think it's safe to say we all had a blast and will remember this trip for a long time, plus we don't have a bunch of christmas junk to throw away now, and it was nice to see Kevin and the parents again. Here's some more pictures.