I feel ya, man. I get that crazy Chewbacca sound welling up in my throat when I look outside the sliding glass doors at February — I mean April. I don’t know whether to cry because the skiing has finally been so damn good lately… or because summer will not arrive until September, at which point it will snow again.
Summit County blew into the winter of 2012-2013 full of joyous anticipation, like the west wind on the slopes of the Continental Divide. It was a paltry last two months of 2012, but we thought, hey it’s early and the winter lies ahead of us like a field of fresh, untracked snow. By the end of January — which was drier than Kathleen Madigan’s sense of humor and colder than the abominable snowman’s big toe — we were beginning to think we would never see a field of fresh, untracked snow.
After February showed us more of the same, and the snow pack was still thinner than a perfectly crafted crepe, we shrugged our shoulders and said, “At least it’s not as bad as last year,” which may or may not have been the truth. Our optimism in the face of such dire skiing conditions carried us through — until March. The snow picked up then with little more energy than an aging arthritic Golden Retriever attempts to pick up a tennis ball.
We began to slip into dangerous waters. Tired of skiing on the same surface that was present in December, we looked eagerly towards other outlets. Many of us tried underwater basket weaving and drinking vodka, finger painting and drinking vodka or drinking vodka and drinking vodka. The poorer of us resorted to free activities like practicing karate on our friends, or just some good old-fashioned biting. Biting one’s friend in the arm is a great way to push through a boring winter. I thought everybody was with me on that, but I guess not…
I don’t, don’t, don’t know what just happened.
Anyways, friend biting stopped in April, which bounded in like a Bernese Mountain Dog puppy through a field of fresh, untracked snow. The end of March saw our snowpack still far below average; but at this point, at least the North Central snowpack is up to 95% of average. And although the winter (hopefully) is not spread out before us like miles of frozen tundra, we at least have some of that glorious white canvas to play on.
While the watershed and the die-hard ski bums rejoice, many of us in the Slummit are over it — over it like the second Sex and the City movie; over it like our country’s debt ceiling (waaaaay over it); or over it like trapper keepers, koosh balls and dial-up internet (most of us anyway 🙂 I, personally, am wading in some strange lukewarm waters. On days when I can ski, I do. Skiing these days results in a feeling of exhilaration, like I just found a million dollars and a lifetime supply of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Take yesterday, for example:
But otherwise, I send ecstatic praises to the heavens with each skyward click of the thermometer. The cascade of melting water off our roof on to my head as I emerge from the cocoon of the apartment is apt to send me into lengthy dreams of short shorts, bike riding (without studded snow tires, six layers and goggles), camping and walking barefoot in green grass. Summertime in the mountains is as short as a half-eaten Lit’l Smokey — but so much better for a person. Summertime in the mountains makes me feel like this:
Er. Well, kind of like that.
At any rate, although it’s past mid-April on the calendar, to travel high up mountains to treeline and above is to revisit early 2013. And there’s more snow traipsing this way. So, instead of being over it, let’s just embrace it. My wise Yogi teabag last night told me, “The purpose of life is to enjoy every moment.” Although I think the purpose of life is probably to steal a black 2013 BMW M3 (which the owner never drives anyway), haul rubber to Canada, fly to Europe (with the million dollars and the Reese’s I found earlier, and the Beemer), be given a villa in Northern Italy and live happily ever after next to a Barolo and/or Asti vineyard whose bottles magically arrive on my porch daily. But that’s just me.
Excuse me, what was that Chewy?
Let me translate: Cheer up! Things could always be worse — although it is very snowy and unseasonably cold, it is highly unlikely anyone will kill you with a well-aimed fart. What a relief! I feel so much better about winter now, don’t you?