Wednesday, January 07, 2009

I am smelling like a rose on my birthday deathbed

It's freaky warm today. But it has been snowing and snowing at Big Sky.

I will get my turns in on Friday, Saturday and maybe Sunday, depending.

I generally try to get 30 days in each year, and so far, I have been successful. I find it satisfying to look back on a season and say I spent an entire month of days on the mountain.

In a ski resort community, though, 30 days is not a remarkable number. It's respectable for someone with a job and a mortgage, to be sure. For the true ski bum, however, 100 days is the benchmark.

What does this mean, in real terms?

It means you work a job that allows you to ski all winter. The options are typically a seasonal construction-type gig or a night job, like bartending. You could also work at the mountain, slinging lifts, making french fries or ski-patrolling.

I know a lot of guys who live this life. In fact, just go to Mr. Hummer's bar at the base of Big Sky, and you can meet them.

Typically, it is the province of the young, college-age guy or girl, but I know plenty of guys in their 40's and 50's who are still, "living the dream," as we say in Bozeman.

There are many varietals of this lifestyle: surfer dudes, fishing bums, golf pros, kayakers, etc.

I know many of you are thinking jeez, no job, no 401k plan, no house... what's going to happen when the ski bum is 60?

You may even echo the thoughts of Jeffery Lebowski, a.k.a., the Big Lebowski (not to be confused with the Dude), "I'd suggest you do what your parents did. GET A JOB, SIR!!! YOUR REVOLUTION IS OVER!! THE BUMS LOST!!"

But broke isn't that bad if you are happy, I guess.

Shoot, we've got billionaires throwing themselves in front of trains these days, and plenty of people who worked and saved for the future, only to see half of their savings evaporate in a few short months.

Makes you think.