Wednesday, December 19, 2012


I'm a little behind.  It's been a hectic few weeks, but in the midst of the chaos there were three beautiful days in the snow in the mountains with good friends and food and beer.  This year Bert and I returned to the Hemlock Butte Cabin, bringing our own additions to the "Parking Lot People," Max and Peter.  This year we knew what we were getting ourselves into.  We had our party clothes, overpacked sleds, plenty of food, 30 rolls of toilet paper, a pinata(!) and high expectations.

 Eric out on the range

 The snowpack (or lack of) was fickle for most of November.  Luckily, right before the weekend a respectable amount accumulated in the higher elevations; enough to get us into the cabin and up Bailey.  Once all 80 lbs of turkey were distributed amongst the sleds, our train of determined skiers slogged up to the cabin.  Once I was there, I completely forgot about the last ten straight days of work and the impending conference for which I was not yet prepared.  Sitting on a bench in front of the stove with a hot drink in my hand was all I cared about.

Bert and Max

That night we ate deep fried turkey and candied yams and mashed potatoes until we couldn't eat anymore.  We drank porter and whiskey and swung our ski poles around at a pinata with "Happy Thanksgiving" printed pleasantly on the front.  We danced to keep warm in the soft glow of the christmas lights strung around the room.  And one by one we retreated to the warmth of our sleeping bags.
Porter manning the deep fryer

Some agressive elbows

The next morning, groups made their way up Mt. Bailey.  The weather was clear and windy, Thielsen's spire cut the sky and Crater Lake sat on the horizon to the south.  We dodged rocks and stumps on our way down, then skied right up to the door of the cabin where the kegs sat, offering the perfect apres-ski.

 Kate at the top

 Jack barely makes it

 Brooke is still smiling though

 Mt. Thielsen

A cold Jimmi

That night, we donned our onesies and some brave souls took off down the luge course.  

And in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I must say that I am thankful.  I'm thankful for these people that I get to spend time with, all so enthusiastic about life and adventures.  I'm thankful for the beautiful state that I live in and the opportunities I have to explore its backcountry treasures.  I can't wait until next year!