OK, folks, thanks for bearing with all of the pictures. As far as I can predict, this will be the last post regarding snow or Sunriver for quite sometime. As a sidenote, I've been working a lot with BookSmart and have finished about 75% of my book for 2006. I'm telling you, it is the coolest sense of accomplishment for me, and all of the pictures really make for quite a family history scrapbook. So, in the meantime, you get posts chock full of pictures - enough to make me think that my time with Blogspot will have to end at the end of the year because I will have surpassed my memory limit with pictures.
So, today, we made it up the mountain for our now, once-a-year attempt to go skiing/snowboarding. We set up in advance halfday lessons for the kids - snowboarding for Brayden, and skiing for Mikayla. That gave them some more much-needed instruction, and Mom and Dad a chance to have about a 2 hour date to play on the mountain together.
I'm very tempted to write a letter to Mt. Bachelor and give them a little constructive criticism on eliminating the total confusion that occurs for folks like us who want to do what I've described above. We had set out early, arriving at 9, for the 9:30 lesson time, only to discover we had about 4 stops to make here and there to order rentals, pay for everything, get our lift tickets, and finally check the kids in. There was a little "not telling the right hand what the left hand is doing" among the staff too - but, once we got past all that - we were "downhill from there" =o) (new smiley faces were stolen from Stephie's signature creation, I like them a lot!)
With kids checked in to what were practically private lessons - John and I ventured up the ski lift. COLD is an understatement for conditions at the top of the first lift (I can't imagine what it must have felt like at the summit!). But, fortunately, the clouds cleared not far down the slope, and John and I had an adventure together.
I did much better than last time, but still need to perfect the parallel skiing vs. the back and forth snowplowing technique I'm currently employing. Because of all of the new snow, a few times I got a little out of control in the deep powder and wiped out - at one point taking an extremely long time to get my darn boot back in the binding.
We only made three runs on the big mountain before joining the kids and marveling in their achievements and progress. It was then that I discovered the "Homerun" lift (aka Bunny Hill) and thought, "why haven't we spent the whole day here?". The lift was short, not a problem with cloud cover, and I totally felt in control. Of course, when you are paying for your skiing "by the run" the Bunny Hill is really not the most cost-effective choice!
However, it was PERFECT for the kids - and we were all able to take one more ride - John accompanying "star pupil" Brayden down snowboarding - and myself taking little Mikayla on her first ski lift ride and wondering to myself "How are we going to make it down, much less get her off the lift?" That girl totally surprised me. Not only did she make it off the lift with minimal concern, but after a bit of snafu with her binding, I let her hold the strap of one of my poles - and what do you know - we made it the whole way down without her falling once. She LOVED it - and I was so impressed. It took all of the knee and leg strength I possessed to keep as us from going down out of control by snowplowing...... but it was so worth it. Unfortunately, our camera had run out of batteries to record any of Brayden or our family runs - but the memories are priceless. As we enjoyed lunch in the lodge, we couldn't help repeating again and again how proud we were of our little snow-bunnies.