Monday, March 24, 2008

Changing Times...

Tonight we're sitting at the ranch drinking the latest batch of Hopzone IPA from our local brewery, the Bozeman Brewing Company. Check it out if you've never been -

Discussions fall from topic to topic. Justin is quite excited because he's put on about 10 pounds in the last few weeks. Like I said, we've been drinking Hopzone. He's on number five, I think.

We got onto the topic of Scrapple a bit ago. What makes Scrapple what it is to us? The soundtrack is perhaps the greatest out there, but really the movie epitomizes what living in a town like Bozeman is and should be. Steph mentioned that you must look past the acting, and once you do, you find a slow pace; a life lived for the joy of every moment; a desire for cool mountain mornings and never ending adventures. In any moment of despair in this place, Scrapple provides guidance and inspiration. It's kind of like having a video version of the New Testament. I think that I'm likely to go straight to hell for that comment. It does actually make me want to downgrade to a smaller ranch closer to the hills, in the woods, and hopefully including a yurt.

In other ranch news, we've been lucky to be host to a few former ranch hands in recent weeks. Patrick made his home here for about the past five weeks. He lived in the big room downstairs and we enjoyed having him. We ate brats, talked about leinies, and made inappropriate comments. What more could you hope for? As much as we loved having him here, we are happy for him in that he found a place all his own, near downtown. He just moved in the other day. At least now we'll have another place to crash on downtown nights in Bozeman. Perhaps he'll be back someday.

Julia also came for few days. You'll have to dig back in the Spring Creek archives to find the last time she was in town. It was great to have her back at the ranch, even if it was just for a few short days. She skied at Big Sky a couple of days, we got drunk and went to McKenzie, and we did plenty of other fun old time activities. I don't think that we watched Scrapple, though. Perhaps next time...

But these things come to ends. Julia left, despite my urging to stay for a while and have fun. Patrick, as previously mentioned, remains close at hand but isn't working full time at the ranch. Justin's future seems uncertain. He's still working on finding his Seattle job, and it will come. It looks like he'll at least be around long enough to participate in the beer festival.

Steph and I will be here throughout the summer, holding down the show. We're searching for more ranchers, but so far the future is uncertain. Until then, keep you stick on the ice.


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Faceshots and Faceplants

Does life get much better than today? After hearing about the second part, you will probably think to yourself, "Yes, it does get better. But, just a little bit."

Perhaps we should start with a recap from yesterday, just to put it into perspective. I was supposed to work, and I did indeed show up. However, with few lessons in the morning I decided to ski. Neil and I went to the trees of Dakota lift, which may be my new favorite area on the mountain. We made it back by 12:16 for our 12:15 check in, got a quick lunch, and reported for afternoon line up. We occupied ourselves cleaning the magic carpet to avoid getting assigned a group and then got ready to race, since, of course, Tuesday is race day. Tom Marshall came in freaking out about the lack of a race course, so we all decided to head over to Dakota again. It was still good. Deep. We skied really fast through the trees and still found fresh tracks at 3:15. Amazing. Around the end of the day it was snowing about as hard as it possibly can, so I got amped to come up for my day off today for even better skiing. We drove home, had a trip to the brewery, and a potluck at Dan and Evan's, and I convinced Justin to go to Big Sky with me.

Skip to this morning. I woke up at 7 and checked the snow report. 1" new. You have got to be kidding me! Bridger had 4. So, after contemplation and bacon, we opted for Bridger where we found epically deep snow on the ridge. Blower. White room. Schralp. Gnar. All of these terms apply right now. We had faceshots galore. The first run Justin and I both forgot to zip up our side zips on pants and promptly filled them with the cold smoke. We got three hikes total, and I had two fantastic faceplants. It was my first day on teles in a while. So, if you like snow going over your head, go to Bridger tomorrow. You know it will still be good.

So, we got back, and I spent most of the afternoon reading and copying information out of the PSIA childrens manual for my upcoming children's accreditation. That was a lot of hours. Oh well.

In the final piece of news, Tucker and I managed to have a video chat with the new computer(s). It's absolutely amazing technology. So, let me know if you want to video chat. Peace.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The Snow Falls on Bozeman

This is a blog of the escapades of the 511 crew, and as such I found it interesting that there is little note of the skiing we all love. We are part ski-bums here in Bozeman aren't we? So, to remind those ranchhands who are far away, and to highlight the joys we all love so much, here is a tribute to the ski day.
Entering the kitchen this morning I was confronted by Tom who was informing me of the fresh pow up at the Big Sky. Much to my disappointment, I discovered that the same was not true for Bridger Bowl (a rarity). Tom quickly departed to go drop some serious cliffs and shred some raging gnar in all the new snow at Big Sky. I was still highly motivated and amped for a good day of skiing and I left the ranch shortly after Tom at around 8:30 this morning (again, had it been a powder day I would have left earlier). The approach to Bridger was classic, with snow falling, wind howling, and cars in a hurry. By the time we had our skis on Bridger had already received a few inches, and it never let up. Lift rides were sometimes great, feeling the excitement of the soft powder, and sometimes miserable, feeling the wind and stinging snow bite at your face. Each run was more enjoyable then the one before it as the snow just kept pilling up. The turns become effortless and your thoughts become suspended as you fly through the weightless white snow. Isn't this what winter in Montana is all about; the suspension of reality with every falling snowflake, the mind-clearing calm of the powder turn, the adrenaline rush when you free-fall through the air (probably doing a daffy, or a spread eagle)? That's what my day, our days, are like in the mountains around Bozeman. We ski for the freedom, for the friends, for the fun, and on these days when it is truly winter, truly bliss, that's what it's all about.

Monday, March 03, 2008

A New Dawn

A new dawn is upon us. Today, I am able to sit in my bed and write a blog. You may note that this is the first blog I've written in quite some time - avid readers, I apologize. However, my trusted old computer, the PC, is dying. Program errors, random restarts - many factors led to my eventual purchase of the MaxBook that I now write you from. It's absolutely fantastic. After nearly two hours of use so far, I have zero complaints. My computer and I are in love, I think. More to come.