Monday, January 30, 2006

I could be there in ten minutes or so
I've got my things
We'll make it up as we go along
With you I could never be alone

We explored a new (to us) area today... Bear Canyon.

It is just south of town.

The canyon was narrow, steep and very beautiful. We liked it a lot, and we will definitely go back.

The lighting was shitty, but here are a few photos.

We hiked around for a couple hours on snowshoes. There was a trail, cut by cross country skiers, but there was plenty of deep powder to tromp through.

If you have never snowshoed, there is really nothing to it... just walking with poles.

It is a hell of a workout, though, especially when you are cutting your own trail.

When we were done with that, we took the dogs for a spin up a different arm of the canyon. They had a blast.

After all that hard work, we took a soak at the Bozeman Hot Springs with a couple of India's girlfriends.

Then we hung out and watched 40 Year Old Virgin. Pretty entertaining movie.

All in all, I managed to avoid coming down with a case of the Moondays.

Little country store with a sign tacked to the side
Underneath that sign always congregated...quite a crowd

It was quite a day yesterday.

I went snowboarding with a friend from Bozeman, McC.

Now, I know what you're saying...

"He made a friend in Bozeman? That's like two, in eight months. Whoa."

Yes, whoa.

McC usually skis at Bridger Bowl, and only goes to Big Sky about once a year, so he asked me to show him what Big Sky is all about.

McC is a telemark skier. I imagine some of you have no idea what that means. Telemarking equipment is a cross between downhill and touring. Typically, the skis are downhill skis, and the boots are slightly more flexible than downhill boots. The big difference is in the bindings.

On regular downhill (alpine) equipment, the toe and the heel of your boot is locked down to the ski by the bindings.

On a tele setup, the heel is free, like on a cross country ski. "Free you heel; free you mind. Man."

During a traditional tele turn, the skier goes into a lunge, dropping a knee with each turn.

It is a very labor intensive way to ski. Imagine walking to your mailbox and back, dropping into a lunge with each step. Now imagine doing that for 5 or 6 hours down a hill.

McC must have figured something out in his years living and skiing in Jackson, Golden and Bozeman. He hardly dropped knee all day, and somehow made regular alpine turns most of the time. In short, he was the fastest tele skier I have ever seen. He absolutely ripped it up, and had no problem keeping up.

I punished him a little, though, as we covered the entire mountain. We skied just over 22,000 vertical feet, almost all of which was black or double-black terrain. (McC had a fancy watch with an altimeter that measured our progress.)

For those of you with no frame of reference, suffice it to say that we covered a lot of ground.

Hopefully, McC went home with a new appreciation for Big Sky.

We didn't do the Big Couloir; McC put the kibosh on that. Next time, next time.

Once I got home, I did an hour of yoga with India, which knocked the fight right out of me.

I do so enjoy watching her do yoga. She is really good at it; she makes it a beautiful, graceful thing. Through daily practice over the last three or four years, she has attained a level of competence that borders on artistry.

By contrast, I am a sweating, huffing, quivering mess. I imagine I look like someone withdrawing from heroin being forced to go mano-a-mano with a circus freak contortionist.

Or something like that.

Anyway, no pictures.

I know; I know... you all come here for the pretty pictures.

But cut me some friggin' slack.

I really didn't want the word "blog" to pass my lips, then have to go through some sheepish explanation that subliminally screams, "I AM A DORK! OR A TEENAGE GIRL! OR A FAT, PASTY, VERY LONELY MIDDLE-AGED MAN! OR SOME COMBINATION OF THE THREE!"

Even though I know a lot of people read this, it still feels like it is a solitary exercise- just me and the computer. Whenever this website and real life intersect, I always get mildly embarrassed.

I will be on the phone with somebody, and he or she will ask what I have been up to, and I will start to tell him. Shortly into my explanation, I will be interrupted with a "Yeah, I read it on your blog."

My face usually turns a little red and I stammer a little.

It's like a dirty, little secret that isn't so secret.

Since it is already 10:30 on the East Coast, and some of you are dying for your daily fix of dirty, little secrets, I had better cut this rambling mess short and post it.

India and I are going snowshoeing today somewhere pretty.

I'll bring the camera.

All of you should try to have some fun today.

Do something mildly subversive and drop me a line describing it.

After all, it's the least you can do after all the dirty, little secrets I have told you.