- 6:00 AM- The buttery aroma of fried eggs woke me, as Dillon and Renae prepared to depart for work in La Grande.
- 6:20 AM-12:20 PM- Oh blessed sleep…how I have missed thy warm embrace.
- 12:20-5:00 PM- As I prepared for my imminent departure from Baker City, I washed laundry, repaired my left binding (it got caught on a tree), repacked my suitcase and boarding backpack, drank copious amounts of water in preparation for my ascent in altitude, and in general rested up for the next leg of my journey.
- 5:00-6:00 PM- Dillon’s and I packed my luggage into the well traveled Valley truck and departed for the Weatherby rest stop where I would meet Uncle Marshall’s.
- 6:00-10:30 PM- Bid Dillon and Renae farewell whilst transferring luggage to Uncle Marshall’s vehicle. We then sojurned unto one “Idaho Pizza.” That being said, we continued onward to Kale and Lynette’s where we had the privilege of eating some truly delectable bread pudding for dessert. Amanda, her husband-Jared, along with baby Summer were their saying their goodbyes as they depart for their new home on the morrow. A lovely evening it was with good food, lively conversations, and most of all-people I can call family.
This evening, while at Kale’s, the gravity of this journey impacted me as it never had before. As a child, I remember thinking snowboarding was the neatest thing but I never thought I would learn how. I remember paging through Transworld Snowboarding and deciding which board I would choose given the opportunity. Mom and Dad fostered this dream of mine when they purchased a plastic snowboard from Walmart. Many an hour was spent on the snow pile in our backyard that served as my “mountain.” As I got older, I bought my first snowboard at a thrift store for $12. It (surprisingly) was in excellent condition and, paired with $20 boots, rode like a dream. Time progressed as well as my skills. After moving to Michigan, Dillon and I truly discovered snowboarding for what it was to become-a lifelong passion.
My first real snowboarding excursion took place at Snowsnake, Michigan. Hours were spent there mastering the basics: standing up, stopping, linking turns, and eventually carving. Oh, it was not pretty. Black and blue knees, a strained ligament in my shoulder after a particularly nasty fall, and head to toe soreness were all common side effects of learning. Then one day at Crystal Mountain, I had it. Just like that, I had lost my debilitating fear of falling and for once, I could control my board without fighting for every inch.
When I moved to Colorado, I had to relearn to snowboard on this “powder.” At first, I hated it. It was slow, unpredictable, and if you fell, it meant a lot of stuggling and a few near death experiences. After time elapsed and some great storms, I fell in love. I learned to love the soft groomers, the deep caches of powder found nestled between towering pines, the steeps you could straightline without fear. So began the hunt for powder and, as previously mentioned, the planning for this Odyssey.
I got a little sidetracked; I will admit that tends to happen when I reminisce of snowboarding and winters gone by. Anyway, as I was saying, I have dreamed of this journey most of my life. And now, I have had the privilege to be casting off, setting my own course, and following where the winds might take me. Blessed- that’s what I am.