Rue and I went snowboarding for the first time this season last Friday. We woke up at 5am and packed all our stuff in the car. We each had a cup of coffee and we were off while it was still dark. It had actually snowed here the night before so there was a slight dusting of snow on the ground. As we got closer to Crystal Mountain and drove up onto the Plateau it was snowing. Up in Buckley and Enumclaw they had about 3 inches of snow. We stopped at good ol' Charlies at the foot of the mountain and got a big breakfast. I had a ham and cheese omlet and another cup of coffee.
The drive up the mountain was breathtaking. As we climbed higher the trees were completely covered in snow. The roads started to get a lot more icy. There were plenty of times when I insisted that Rue slow down. At one point I was looking over at him reminding him of the last time we had gone snowboarding and how everytime I fell I got a good scoop of snow down my snowpants. I was glad that we had bought new snowpants that were high enough that they would not do that this time around. All of a sudden Rue got a shocked look on his face. I turned and let out a half-gasp half-scream. An elk had run out into the road right in front of us! He was so majestic and yet so freaked out, just like us. Rue slammed on the brakes (not a good thing to do on the ice) and the elk proceeded to run across to the other side of the road and into the woods. We both gave a nervous laugh and we continued on.
We pulled into the snowy parking lot bulldozers had just cleared and they were continuing to clear other areas as we drove up. Rue got out and starting unpacking. I put his coat over me and changed into my new (non-snow scooping) snowpants. We got all bundled up and headed up to buy our lift tickets.
We then went to the rental room and I rented snowboots and a snowboard. Putting on boarding boots is quite a task especially when you are twice your size from all the snow clothes you are wearing. But Rue was a gentleman and helped me.
The ski lift is always great fun until it sling shots you off in every direction. Getting off usually consists of a little bit of panic and then scrambling to get out of the way of the other helpless skiers or snowboarders slung off just after you. It is not uncommon to see a pile of skiers at the end of the lift piled on top of eachother. And then of course there are the skilled professional skiers or snowboarders who glide gracefully off and glide right past and on down the mountain like there is not a care in the world. Sigh!
But enough about the "bane of my existence". Once you are able to stand up and get your bairings you snap in and slowly hop to the edge. Now on the bunny slope there really is no "edge" you just kind of start going. On the regular slopes though, oh my, there is an EDGE. This trip was the first time that I went on the regular slope. As I was making my way to the edge I noticed how I could not actually see the slope until I got right to the edge. That is a little intimidating for a beginner. But I was determined that I was going to do it. And I did, the first time. But snowboarding is a lot of work! So by lunchtime I was absolutely exhausted. We made our way back to the car. Rather awkwardly I might add since skiing and snowboarding boots give you a rather awkward gate. Something between a load in your pants and a turkey gobbling around the barnyard. If you haven't seen it or experienced it then there is really no way for you to get the actual picture.
We ate and I was still exhausted. I wanted to tell Rue that he could go back and I would just stay in the car. I should have done that. But we went back. Rue took me up almost to the top of the mountain. The whole way up I was thinking about how tired I was and how I was worried I wouldn't make it back down the mountian. It would take about 10 minutes and that's if you were really really good at it!
We shot off the lift and, hallelujah, when I was shot off I squatted down and accidentally sat on my board and I glided off sitting on my rump and I came to a graceful stop completely clear of the lift. AH HA! I had discovered how I was going to get off the lift from now on! So I slowly made my way to the EDGE and the whole time I was dreading it. I sat down and told Rue how I didn't think I had the strength to make it down. Well, of course there is no other way to get down than to board down. So I clasped in and headed down. I fell many times on the first slope and finally I could not push myself back up anymore. I tried and tried with every ounce of strength I had left but I couldn't. It was getting dark and we still had a long way to go. Rue was really mad and I was crying. Finally he told me to take the board off and he had me sit on it. And down the moutain I went. Now that's the way to get down a mountain. People were hootin' and hollerin' as I flew past. At one point I tried to stop and stuck both feet straight out into the snow and all I saw was white! It took a while for me to stop and when I finally did my head was covered in snow. My face felt like it was frozen through. I had to wait a minute before I could turn around and look for Rue. Once he caught up with me I started off again! I think I must have reached the bottom in record time and broke some rules while doing it. Sledding is not allowed and I am guessing even if it is on a snowboard.
Well, we returned my board and got back to the car all in one piece but I was SORE. When you are sore right after you do something then you know what you will feel like the next day. The next day the only time I wasn't hurting was when I wasn't moving.
But I am determined to go back to the mountain and do it again! I am going to keep snowboarding until I get it. There is nothing like the feeling when you are gliding down the slopes. I have only done it a couple times but I plan on doing it more. And next time I will stop if I get that tired. I think Rue will thank me for that! :)