January 12, 2009
All that white stuff
The driving was terrible yesterday — the kind of winter driving I absolutely hate. Cold winds had dumped a foot or so of fresh snow onto the roads and fields over night, and despite the efforts of the big heavy-duty snowplows we have in this region, loose snow was still drifting across the roads as we drove along. But we left early anyhow, because I knew the tension of driving on snowy roads would be worth it.
What makes for bad winter driving makes for wonderful snowboarding conditions.
The lift lines weren't crowded at all; the bad driving had kept some folks away. And all the trails were open, even the ones that curve through the woods, far from any snow-making machines. I snowboard faster and more confidently when we've got all that fresh powder: I know that even if I fall, it won't hurt. But I didn't fall very often because new snow is easy for making turns, for carving back and forth. There were no patches of ice to send me crashing to the ground.
Perhaps what I love most about snowboarding is that it leaves me no time to think. Well, there are thoughts in my head, but they are immediate in nature: "Oh, no! I better head back the other way. Wow, this feels fast! Where did that skier come from? Oops!" Just staying upright takes all my concentration. I have no time to worry or obsess or think about anything stressful. Snowboarding is far more effective than meditation in just emptying my brain until it resembles a long expanse of snow.
Posted by jo(e)