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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Life without kids

When Zoya and were looking through the pictures of Thanksgivings past we noticed that we spent Thanksgiving 2004 in South Africa. This was our last vacation without kids. Shortly afterwards Zoya became pregnant and life was never quite the same again. Not worse just totally different. We've evolved to a new period in our lives.

Photos: Top - view from the porch of our rondoval (thatched hut) at Oliphants Campground, Kruger National park. Second - penguins at Simonstown at the Cape. Third - Camps Bay where we stayed while at the Cape. Bottom - Zoya, Philip and Charlie cooking a braivleis breakfast at a Kruger Campground (Zoya got to meet all Patrick's old friends from when he lived and worked in South Africa in 1989/1990).

Friday, November 28, 2008

Fashion Statements and Good Times

On Thanksgiving, there were some serious fashion statements made on behalf of the 4 and under crowd.

Matt and Katie's daugther won the award for having the most adorable Hanna Andersson dress...sent to her by her grandmother.
Stuey sported the leave-room-for-dessert look, as he wore a button down classic white shirt and grey sweatpants. Nothing like an expandable waistline on Thanksgiving Day!
Nora wore an outfit that brought significant laughter-she picked it out herself. My sister Bonnie made her a kuspuk (an eskimo style shirt) for Christmas two years ago. At that time Nora wore it as a dress. As Nora has grown, she thinks it is STILL a dress, however. This was problematic last night-as I got ready with skirt and tights, she went to the closet and pulled out her kuspuk. I was thrilled to see her so excited to put it on. And I said, "Great! Lets pick out some pants to go with it!"
Nora replied, "No. Tights." She raced over to the sock drawer and pulled out a pair of tights. So she wore a shirt and tights. Too cute.

In the bottom photo, Christina Ball and her daughter Stella are on the left. She, Jason, Stella and Gavin came for a few minutes before dinner, which was so fun. Stuey had a hard time sharing his trucks with 2 year old Gavin, so there were a few tears shed but I was so glad they came by for a few minutes before heading to dinner. Jason is a wildlife trooper and Patrick and him had lots to talk about with regards to hunting and fishing in Kodiak. Within a few minutes of Jason coming in the door, Patrick and him were over by the computer looking at photos of elks, deer and other furry creatures.

For the 9th year in a row, I haven't had to cook the turkey. Pretty amazing. I've actually never been in charge of a turkey. i've been blessed by Patrick always cooking it (with Gregg's assistance in the early years...). I rather enjoy just doing the stuffing and maybe another side dish. The turkey is too much pressure. And I must say-Patrick gets it RIGHT ON. Perfectly moist. Perfectly cooked. IN the past 2 years we've discovered brining is the KEY for a moist turkey. YUM YUM YUM.


Thanksgiving Dinner

What a feast! We had Mike, Roxanne, Cece, Matt, Katie, Matt and Katie's kids and Mary Jane over Thanksgiving dinner. Prime rib and Turkey. Lots of gravy, stuffing, green beans (cooked 2 ways), sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, pies, port, wine and beer - even champagne. So much food, but we did a number on it. And now comes he best part of Thanksgiving - the leftovers! Everyone appreciated a Kodiak Thanksgiving without lots of travel. Nice to get together with the 'Kodiak Family'. Patrick

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Occupied No Shooting

This morning I was browsing through Don Clark's old photographs of Kodiak, and found this one of an old WWII spotlight bunker out at Sequel Point in 1958. He took the picture while he was in the US Army and did a survey of the condition of WWII installations out Chiniak way. I've looked at the photo a number of times, and I think I even posted it on the blog a year or two ago. But this morning I noticed a detail that entirely changed how I view the image. If you look carefully you'll notice that someone has written 'Occupied No Shooting' on the door to the bunker.

Wow! People were living in the Bunkers and a lot of people were shooting at the bunkers. I guess not a whole hell of a lot has changed in 50 years. Fewer people living in bunkers, but people are still shooting the hell out of them. I wonder, was the resident of that bunker smart or brave? Patrick

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving Times, Gregg with a 'Stash', and entries from Patrick's Journal

Thanksgiving is just a few days away and tonight Patrick and I had fun looking at old Thanksgiving photos. The best one is Gregg with a mustache--his "old days" look!

Since meeting Patrick in 1999 we have spent many Thanksgivings here on the island with friends and several off island with family--down in Arizona, South Africa or out East (last year). Patrick and I really prefer to not travel during the holidays-too many hiccups with holiday travel as well as family expectations. Plus, we always find that dinner with good friends here is a great joy. Full of good food and laughter.

The photo on the top is in 2000-my first Thanksgiving with Patrick. Gregg was awesome with cooking the turkey and I really don't remember too much more about that dinner or who came over.

But A-ha!! When all else fails, go to the journal. Patrick has kept a daily journal since 1975. Watch out what you say or do in Da Saltonstall house-it could be permanently documented...

Excerpt from November 23rd, 2000 Thanksgiving journal entry
"....Eric, Kim and Rebecca came over to my place. Lots of booze and cheese. The turkey came out perfect. Gregg showed with pies and helped with the gravey. Steve and Sharon. Huge meal. I had way too much to drink. Rick and Melia came back here and we looked at old books....I finally trapsied over to Zoya's house at 2:00 AM...."

So with a little prompting from the journal-the details from prior Thanksgivings come back. Heres more:

2001 Thanksgiving
Excerpt from Patrick's journal....(Ella was in town visiting from Anchorage and we had Eric W. and friends from Larsen Bay in town for dinner.)

"....Then Ella and Zoya went off to Termination point on a hike with Hans T. I stayed behind to bake the turkey and watch football. Drink beers. Eric and co. arrived early and dug into the wine. Talked big bucks with the Larsen Bay crowd. We were all hammmered by the time Zoya and Ella got back. I thought the turkey was excellent and very moist but others found it "RAW". Fairly drunken affair, but fun for all. Eric, Kim and I finished up cigars and listened to CD's. I then inhaled the cigar. Bad idea. Ella passed out."

Patrick and I laughed as we read these entries and realized how little we remembered from these nights. Patrick says, "I was a pig in the old days...with how I acted." At times we think our lives haven't changed much since having kids, but after reading these journal entries, I realize how much our lives HAVE changed.


Gregg and I in "stalking" the turkey skin after it came out of the oven.
2001-Eric Waltenbaugh, Scooby and the Larsen Bay gang. Ella in background.
2006 Alisa Abookire with the wine stash.
2006 Melissa, Patty, Mike and Katie.
(Melissa, Patty, John, Fisher, Mike and Alisa are all gone from the island now. We miss them.)

Pyramid Snow Report

I have not been up Pyramid for a while - too busy cross country skiing down low - so Today when I skinned up I was pleasantly surprised by how much snow we now have on the mountain. It's getting deep up there. And the skiing conditions are excellent. 3 to 4 inches of powder on top of a hard (but not icy) base.

Driving past 'Deadman's' curve I looked out over Chiniak Bay and noticed how hard the wind was blowing. I got a little worried I'd be blown off of the mountain. But no - it seems with the wind out of the West Northwest (like today) that the climb up from the parking lot is in a wind shadow. It was quite pleasant and warm in the sun. The powder in the 'snowboarder bowl' was not windpacked. Great skiing!

Photos: Karen and Jeremy head up for a snowshoe on the mountain. They were impressed by how warm and sunny it was on the mountain. Bottom 2 - scenics of the powder in the 'snowboarder bowl'. Patrick

Sunday, November 23, 2008

November Light in Kodiak

Here are some pictures that I could not resist posting. The light changes so quickly in November. The top photo is of our front lawn after we took our family Christmas card photos. Lots of tracks in the snow. I guess we took our Christmas card photo pretty early in the morning! The sun is coming up over the horizon at around 10 AM these days, but it is light out far earlier. I think we took our family Christmas card photos about a half hour before the sun came up (around 9:30 AM). I took the bottom photo after Zoya and I had taken the Christmas card photos and left the kiddos in the capable hands of Lucy the babysitter. We went XC skiing on the lake in the foreground. This photo was taken around 10:15 AM just after the sun had come up. And yes I know - we did skedaddle after the Christmas photos and got to the lake pretty darn quick. But hey, bringing up kids and staying sane is all about time management. Patrick


Winter is in full force, Patrick is in snow heaven and the kids are at an age where they can truly enjoy the snow. When Stuey was younger (last winter), he was at a harder age to do outdoor things with. Barely mobile and not an age to have many outdoor adventures. Now at almost 2 he loves the snow.

Patrick and I have been scheming of starting a little toddler ski group-next winter perhaps. It would be for kids 4 and over--we could have people with small kids get some used skis at Play it Again Sports in Anchorage. On the weekends we could meet at various cross country ski spots. After seeing Nora on skis, we realized how fun it will be to get a little group of kid cross country skiiers together. Patrick has hopes of forming Kodiak's first Cross Country Ski team by the time Nora is in high school.
We'll have to keep our fingers crossed that Nora even enjoys cross country skiing! :)


Saturday, November 22, 2008

'Extra Blue' Ski Conditions

'Extra Blue' is a type of kicker wax for cross country skiis. It's the wax I use when there is powder on the ground and the temperature is in the 20's. Basically when the skiing is perfect. Not too cold and not too warm or mushy either - and no ice! 'Extra Blue' is slang for ideal conditions amongst the cross country ski cognoscenti.

Today in Kodiak we woke up to 'extra blue' conditions. Overnight it snowed 3-4 inches (we now have almost a foot on the ground), cleared off, and stayed cold. Gregg, Zoya and I went out to Lake Catherine and went for a cross country ski. After a few laps of the lake we struck off into the woods on the old military roads. All the spruce boughs bent over the trail with their load of snow. Great Skiing.

Photos: Top - Gregg and Zoya on Lake Catherine. Bottom - another view of the same canyon and mountain bowl that I took yesterday (I also took and posted the same photo 2 years ago). Different day - different light; always beautiful. Patrick

Friday, November 21, 2008

Tracks in the Snow

Today during my cross country ski I saw lots of tracks but very few animals. I saw where a land otter had slithered along, sliding on the downhills and bounding where the trail sloped up. I saw where deer had used my ski trail from yesterday as a deer highway. Snowshoe hare seemed concentrated in certain areas and they had created well used paths across the trail. Fox tracks criss-crossed here there and everywhere looking for food. I saw chickadee, magpie, raven and even eagle tracks. I saw my ski tracks from yesterday, and right on top of them I saw bear tracks. But the only animals I saw were some sad, spawned out silver salmon in the outlet to Lake Catherine, ravens, eagles waiting for the bears to free up some fish scraps out on the lake ice, and one snow shoe hare hightailing it away through the alders. Still and silent with not a breath of wind, and lots of stories to read in the snow. Patrick

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Abercrombie Snow

Walking the dogs in the park - note Jake in the distance, Roxy is looking right at him. The snow contrasts nicely with the spruce trees and salmonberry bushes. Yesterday we got about 5 inches of new snow out at the airport and today I went for a classic cross country ski with my wooden Bonnas out at Swampy Acres - beautiful. Extra Blue for wax - with the wooden skiis, a truly classic day.

I thought I was following someone's snowed in snowshoe tracks until it became clear that it was actually the tracks of a bear tromping through the snow. Claw marks in the snow and a proclivity for spawned out salmon are a sure give away. How cool is that? Today a bear broke trail for me!

Then I took the doggies for a walk in Abercrombie. Not much snow made it through the trees, but the light was beautiful. Sun setting on the tree tops, dark tree trunks, green boughs, and white snow down below. I love this time of year. Patrick

Kodiak 1869

These watercolors of Kodiak were painted by Vincent Colyer who visited in 1869 while working for the equivalent of today's BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs). The United States had just purchased Alaska and was trying to determine just what it had purchased. Vincent Colyer was part of one the early government inventory expeditions exploring Alaska at that time. While working for the government he also visited and painted Apache Indian reservations in Arizona. The originals of the watercolors posted here are at the Beinecke Library at Yale University. Vincent Colyer went on to become a curator of art at the Metropolitan Museum of New York.

Pictured here: top a view of town from Blisky (near) Island; middle a view from near where the high school is today out towards Barometer and Old Womens Mountains - no airport or Coast Guard Base out there back then (also note census numbers giving the population of various native villages on Kodiak scribbled on right); bottom Kodiak's Russian Orthodox church - this building was in the same spot as today's church. Over the years the church at that spot has been rebuilt a number of times. The most recent building dates to around 1944 after the prior building burnt down in 1943. Patrick

Monday, November 17, 2008

A "Wow" moment in Safeway

Tonight I had the most interesting experience at Safeway.

As I strolled through the aisles, I walked by a couple who had a little boy on the dads shoulder. Several times we passed each other and finally in the dairy section, the boy said, "Hi" and I said hi back. He looked like Stuey's age, so I asked the parents how old he was.

The mom replied, "21 months".

I said, "Oh, wow! Thats how old my son is! When was your son born?"

She said, "February 9th."

I said, "Oh, wow! Mine was born February 8th."

We talked for a few more seconds about our little guys then she said, "Wait, Was your son the one who had to be sent to Anchorage? I saw him when he was in the nursery."

I said "Yes, he was."

She asked, "Is he oK? did everything turn out ok? I remember the weather was bad and your flight had to turn back."

I reassured her that, yes, Stuey was just fine and he was as big and healthy as her son. She had such a look of relief on her face as I told her. She told me that she thought about him a lot since that time and wondered how he was.

It makes me realize how everyones experiences in this world are so connected. Its not like my experience with Stuey the hours and days after he was born was just him, our family and our friends. It was more far reaching than that. And so many experiences in life are like that.

And who ever would've guessed that tonight in Safeway I would have met a complete stranger who had thought about Stuey for almost two years?

So cool.


Toys and Other Pieces of Plastic Junk

Lately I've been feeling like my family's house is one of those beaches where they do the marine debris clean ups every year only to have it loaded up again with trash the next year. I think I spend over a 1/2 hour every day just cleaning up plastic toys and putting them back into bins. Then the kiddos dump the bins and scatter the toys all about and I clean them up again - I'm a modern day Sisyphus. I don't think I'd mind if they actually played with the toys, but all they seem to do is scatter them and move on. They do have a few favorites - Stuey likes his cars and I try to keep these out - but for the most part they just throw them about, and I step on them in the middle of the night.

It has me hating plastic toys - and all you friends and relatives out there reading this - DO NOT send our kids plastic toys for Christmas (especially those toys with multiple plastic parts that immediately get separated from each other). I actually think my kids prefer playing with real pots and pans, rolling pins, cell phones than toys, and really, do we need cheap plastic toys? Where do they all end up? I have this horror that they all end up in that great spinning mass of plastic in the middle of the Pacific Ocean that supposedly is twice the size of North America (see Isiik's post from around a month ago - I don't know how to do those hot links but here's a try Either that or in our landfill. Can we really afford to have them end up in either place?

Not sure if this is exactly related, but the other thing that depresses me is discarded toys. Did you ever read the 'Velveteen Rabbit'? I hate it when Nora or Stu tire of a toy and stop playing with it. It makes me very sad. I think of the toy as a discarded pet. So to see all these toys that were never really loved in the first place, and almost immediately discarded .. ... .. Well you get my point. But it has me thinking of the Puppy Farms that supply vet stores.

Personally - I think we should ban plastic toys or at least tax the hell out of them. It might actually clean up the floor of our house, and I don't think our kids would ever miss them. Patrick

Post script: Friends and Relatives - send us your old cell phones for Christmas! They love real phones!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sleepless nights for Nora

As I write this, the house is quiet--the bedroom to the kids door is open and I am so glad that Nora was able to go to sleep easily the second night in a row. For about a week she has suffered from a bit of insomnia and I believe a large part of it was because she was scared of her room.

She and Stuey share a room, and there was one night light in there--but still too many shadows and dark corners for Nora's liking. We'd put Stuey to bed at the standard 7:30 PM time but Nora would remain awake until 9:30 or 10:00. Sometimes saying "mommy. mommy." Sometimes walking around her room. Sometimes just laying in her bed moving her arms. As she cried out "mommy-mommy" I asked her what was wrong and she said, "scared room." She pointed to a few dark corners she was scared of--which prompted me to make a trip for nightlights.

3 nightlights later, the room is illuminated to her liking. And a white noise machine which is on loan from a friend plays cricket/night time noises. Reminds me of the sounds I'd hear when I'd visit my grandmother during the summers in New Rochelle, NY. Kinda cool!!

I guess I didn't think it was possible to be afraid of the dark with Stuey in the room, but considering how hard Stuey sleeps, he probably isn't much help to her in her moments of fear. With her speech delay, I know very little about the true depth of what she is scared about. And perhaps thats the best. No sense on needing to know more details or having her spend lots of time rehashing it. Its time to light up her room and move on.

The insomnia was bothersome because it was really affecting her behavior and mood. Her attention was short and she was just not real pleasant to be around. Very trying, to say the least.
Today, after a full nights sleep, she was FUN to be around. We had lots of laughing moments and she had fun at Cecilia and Mikes house playing with Cece. It was a good day. Now the moon shines brightly in the sky and Nora sleeps soundly.



Roxann reading to Stuey, Nora and Cece.
Nora being silly-poking his face after their walk together this afternoon. I'm amazed Patrick can still carry her on his back!!
Nora looking out of the plastic playhouse outside last week one cold evening.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

First Family Ski

Today we all went for what I believe is our first family ski. Actually, we did not bring the dogs so it was not the complete family, but at least all the humans were present and accounted for. Nora did some skiing, Stuey walked about on the lake in his snowmobile suit, Zoya got to do a lap of the lake on her skate skiis, and Daddy chased Nora around on his XC skiis. Stuey reminded me of my grandfather who used to wear a snowmobile suit all winter in Maine. Gregg, Lisa and Karen also joined us - a good time was had by all.

Of course two different good Samaritans came down to tell us that the ice was not safe. At first this made me angry, but then I realized that they had our best interests at heart. Of course I had checked the ice and knew it was safe before I took my family out there.

I think it is important to teach kids about ice at an early age so that later in life they do not do something stupid on the ice when I am not around. Too often parents are terrified of ice and their kids never get to learn about it. The only way for children to learn about ice is to explore it with a parent. Hopefully, they will learn not to go near the outlets to lakes, avoid areas where streams come in, watch out for springs, and to be very careful near shore where the ice is often the thinnest. And never ever walk on ice covered rivers which are never safe and have currents that can sweep you under the ice. These are things kids need to learn (because I doubt I'll always be there when they do go out onto frozen lakes), and today Stuey and Nora started to learn about them.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Canned Deer Meat

An Ode to canning. Our kids love canned deer meat, and best of all canning allows you to use the shanks and other tendon 'rich' parts of the deer without a lot of extra work. Canning is a bit of a misnomer because it actually involves putting meat meat into glass jars and not into tin cans. But like a can of tuna fish a jar of deer meat will keep indefinitely on the pantry shelf. We'll open a Jar and the kids will just dig in and eat it - what a great source of protein. I'm also convinced that the 'melted' tendons (collagen?) just has to be great for one's joints. Last night Mike Pfeffer and I canned up 33 pint jars of deer meat. And given that a 'pints a pound the world around' that translates into at least 33 pounds of product.

Anyhow - here is my recipe.

Things needed:
Pressure cooker (a big pressure cooker will hold 17 or 18 pint jars)
Cast iron skillet
Canning Jars and lids/rings
Deer shanks (calfs and other tendon rich cuts)
Thyme, Rosemary, Pepper and Salt (optional)
Carrots and Shallots optional
Vegetable or canola oil (I find olive oil and butter 'burn' and that peanut oil has too much taste)
Good Stock (I make my own chicken/turkey/vegetable stock) (@4 pints or 32 oz for 17 pint jars of meat)
Good sherry (This is key, I usually use either Maderia or Harvey Bristol Cream in the blue bottle) (@1/2 bottle for 17 pint jars of meat)

1) In a sauce pan I heat my stock - If i made my own stock with added garlic, beach lovage etc I just heat it up, but if I use store bought stuff I throw an onion, some carrots, garlic cloves, celery (or the free beach lovage that grows near the sea around here), and whatever else is handy and going bad in the fridge (even apples and oranges - all make for better stock).
2) Cut up all the meat into about 1' square cubes and brown them in a very hot cast iron skillet. Make sure the oil is very hot before adding any meat and do not add too much meat at a time. The point of browning is to sear the outside of the meat with a tasty crust and to not actually cook the meat. Add some thyme, fresh ground pepper and rosemary with every other batch. I add a good amount of oil and brown two batches of meat for each addition of oil. After the second batch I deglaze the pan with a LOT of sherry and then re oil the pan. After each batch is done I put it into a deep bowl - the deglazed sherry and other juices build up on the bottom of this bowl.
3) Put all the jars out onto the counter and evenly distribute the meat between the jars - leave about at least an inch free to each jar rim. Then spoon the 'good stuff' from the bottom of the bowl evenly between all the jars. This sherry and deglazed meat juices flavor is KEY and you want every jar to have some in it. (optional - on occasion if I do not have enough meat to fill all my jars I will add browned shallots, carrots and even garlic cloves to the jars - browning them in the same skillet you browned the meat helps with their eventual taste).
4) Add stock evenly between all the jars - try and get the stock level with just below the top of the meat. (Some people also add a tea spoon or so of salt to each jar, but i don't).
5) Wipe all the rims with a damp paper towel and put on the lids and rings (you should also read you canning/pressure cooker instructions at this point). The lids should have been boiled in another pot of water.
6) Load up the pressure cooker according to the instructions (check out out the Ball "canning blue bible") and once you hit 10 pounds of pressure wait for 1 hour and fifteen minutes before turning off the heat.
7) Once the pressure has dropped to zero carefully empty the pressure cooker and make sure that every pint jar is bubbling away merrily - if one isn't set it aside.
8) The next morning tap all the jar lids with a pen or anything else that is handy and check that the 'ting' is the same with each. The ones that were not bubbling merrily will probably make a 'thunk'. All jars that do not make a 'ting' should be set aside. Eat or refrigerate in the next couple of days all the jars you set aside . You generally get one or two a batch - but you want one to test for flavor anyhow - so why not test one with a bad seal?
9) Store and Enjoy! You got food for the winter.

As you can see my recipe is not exact - I believe that experimentation leads to better results. Try different spices when browning the meat, make your own stock with the deer bones, add different vegetables to the jars with the meat, try Marsala instead of Sherry. Variety is the spice of life. Patrick

Lake Catherine

I'm not sure if the Lake where I ski is actually Lake Catherine or Lake Genivieve. According to the map Boy Scout Lake is Lake Genivieve and where I like to go skiing is Lake Catherine, but I'm pretty sure the USGS got them mixed up. In any case, the XC skiing is great! Another funny thing about the names of lakes around Kodiak is that they all have female names - Rose Tead, Genivieve, Catherine, Loiuse, Gertrude, Cicely, Aurel, Caroline etc. I gather that they were all named after USO entertainers during WWII. I'd have loved to have met Rose Tead - I wonder if she is still alive?

Photo: Gregg took this photo of me this afternoon on Lake Catherine (Genivieve). Fast conditions. Patrick

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Life is Good

Not much to say - just some snow 'eye candy'. These are some photos I took on my ski/hike up from the golf course to near the top of Pyramid. Mountain goats on the top of the mountain. I noted that Buskin Lake has even frozen over. Tomorrow I plan on skate skiing on Lake Catherine. I checked it today and the ice is good with about a 1/4 inch of snow frozen onto the surface. It ought to be perfect. It is winter - Life is Good. Patrick

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Most boring blog post ever

Nora with her binky. Yes, Patrick and I disagree on it. I think she shouldn't have it, Patrick still gives it to her.

Stuey and Roxy in the snow last week. Winter arrived fast this year. Early and fast.

Roxann reading to the kids during burger grinding party last week. Roxann is Stuey and Nora's favorite person. Stuey insists on being held by her when she is over. And when I talk to Roxann on the phone, Nora says, "Roxann come over. Roxann come over." so sweet!

Stuey and I in the kitchen last week.

Sunday Evening Pool Time

On Sunday evening, I took the kids to the pool. They had a GREAT time but thankfully Roxann and Katie were there with Natalie and Cece. I needed serious help. Stuey is a 100% water guy and was quite fearless running every which way and even trying to go under water a few times. So that left Roxann and Katie to keep their eyes on Nora--bless their hearts.

The pool was maxed out with people-kids splashing every which way. Quite a wild atmosphere. I definitely want to go back, but not without an extra set of hands. Getting a 1 year old and 3 year old ready in the locker room, as well as myself was a bit too much.

We'll figure out a routine with it all. The good part is that Nora and Stuey really enjoyed the pool, as did I. We'll be back.


Monday, November 10, 2008

The 'No Snow in Town' Effect

Yesterday it rained in town and we lost all our snow down low - so today, of course, I had a few people feeling sorry for me, 'too bad about the snow huh?' I call this the 'no snow in town effect'. It seems most people think when the snow is gone in town - it's gone everywhere. These are the same people who call me for the first time in weeks, just after we get 2 inches of new snow in town, and want to know if I want to join them for a ski on Pyramid. I got news for everyone - most of the time when there is snow in town the skiing is bad on Pyramid. If we have snow in town it means it was cold and probably all blew off up high. Probably wind blown ice in the mountains. Those are the days when I go cross country skiing. Now when it rains in town - really dumps - but the temps don't get much above 40 degrees. ... Now that's the time to go downhill skiing.

Today is case in point. We lost all our snow down low, but we finally got some good snow up high. We got 1 to 2 FEET of new snow on Pyramid, and I enjoyed some pretty good powder skiing. Ski that when you smacked it with your ski tip blew up into the air - light, fluffy stuff on top of a soft base. You no longer have to use your rock skiis on Pyramid. Patrick