So my husband and I left early on Friday morning hoping to get out of the house by 5am; ended up leaving around 5:45am for our snowboarding adventure. Not too bad and we also made pretty good timing on the road as we arrived at Dodge Ridge shortly after 9am.
Now we had no idea how long our little trip would last but we based it on our years of experience out on the mountains given temperature and traffic. The runs were not even tracked out until the end of the day and we determined then that Saturday would not be a good day to return. For one, the snow would be 2 days old, tracked out and of course so incredibly crowded and both of us would be more susceptible to injury for which we have both been on very crowded days. We've both been run into a couple of times by kids and adults on those crowded days out on the mountain and its best to avoid more injuries.
We got to go snow boarding all day long on very fresh snow from the night before so if felt like we riding through a mountain of powdered sugar. If you fell, which I only did maybe twice the entire day with only 8 runs (we left at 3:30pm), it literally felt like you had fallen in a feather bed. I took it easy for our first day out on the mountain and didn't do any jumps at all. We got to go through the trees a few times and make our own tracks through the snow. It was so incredibly amazing. I loved every minute out there on the snow and actually every minute we even got to spend together.
Now mind you I started snowboarding in February 2000 and each year we went up usually around 10-12 time skipping the 2002-2003 (initial cancer diagnosis and chemotherapy) season, and the 2005-2006 season (no snow). I only got to go up a handful of times last season and of course in 2003-2004 only 3 times in between multiple surgeries and 1 just 6 weeks after (of course I wore a girdle so that my insides didn't fall out on the mountain - how unpleasant would that have been?). I was so stir crazy being in the hospital so many times and for so many weeks in a row; I had to go and of course I had a blast each and every time.
During that same year of all the surgeries, I went to the Bear Valley with a friend from work and only 2 days later I would have my fourth major Abdominal Surgery.
During that particular day it was spring conditions but still very cold on the mountain. My friend was having some problems with the altitude and had to refrain from boarding after just 2 runs. She was kind enough to allow me to stay and board for a couple of more hours. It was icy on the mountain on that particular morning and I rode down the run pretty fast and under estimated how incredibly icy it was.
As I boarded down to follow the main path, I slid too far and went past where the main path was to continue down a steep drop down the mountain and I guess it was a good thing that I was facing the mountain where I could use my hands and fingernails just like a cat to attempt to slow myself down from sliding further down this mountain. I was heading down a 45 degree angle sliding down the mountain pretty fast and for about 300 feet down.
For some odd reason I had forgotten to put my gloves on during this particular run and ended up losing quite a bit of skin all the way down that mountain. It was a steep angle and no matter what I just couldn't gain control; just allow myself to slide down to the bottom. I was already leaning against the mountain and when I got down I had some handy road rash on both elbows and hands. When I got down the mountain I immediately headed to the lift for another run! I was far more careful the next couple of times.
Then two days later I had the horrible, horrible abdominal pain and needed another surgery. I thank god I was able to have the fun day in the snow for which I will never forget. I do chuckle thinking of myself sliding down that mountain.
These are just the many reasons I have to go back; to face nature and to enjoy and treasure it. It sort of adds some more life to me and gives me hope and strength to continue to fight this horrible, horrible disease. I really do have faith and hope that one day I will cured of this cancer.
Now back to our most recent trip and our first day out on the slopes. After we left the slopes, we headed to a little town called Senora. Now the GPS had not been updated in a while and we got to experience what that was like and it wasn't very pleasant. It got us so incredibly lost when my poor husband had to go to the bathroom so bad. Oh and I had to go number 2 dozens of times through out the day. I was at least thankful that I wasn't constipated as I had been many times before. My husband drived while I manned the GPS. I told him the directions to go while the GPS kept reconfiguring and giving us whacked out directions to private residential areas and we just kept getting more and more and more lost. I finally decided to go to the text portion and at least read the map to see if this stupid device really did have a plan for getting us out of here. Sure enough it did, we just needed to mute the directions and follow the text and sure enough we got back into town with out any further problems. We just wanted to be in our room to relax.
We stayed at a pretty janky hotel but it was cool that there was a creek behind us that made it sound more relaxing, but it was that 2 layer motel look with all the windows that look the same. You walk outside to enter and for the bathroom there was just a shower, tiny little towels to dry off, 2 beds and a really, really old air conditioner that also served as the only heater. It took a while to get started to heat the cold room and it emitted a very strong oder. I was hoping it wasn't carbon monoxide but it could very easily have been. I got a little sick from the air conditioner but we slept OK.
Blue Belle was a good girl the whole time except for one little thing frustrating. Another dilemma in having a girl doggie or girl sheltie is that they are very particular at where they go pottie. For Blue Belle, she likes a fresh batch of grass. A beautiful lawn preferably. No concrete, no carpet, no wood floor, now it needed to be fresh snow or grass. The ice I think got her little snatch where she was like "ughhhhh!!!!!" when she touched down. My husband took her on a walk trying to get her to go and nothing. He found an icy batch of grass and still nothing. He could not get her to go. We couldn't get her to go all night long.
Then finally at 6am, she jumped up next to me and stared right into my eyes, and then looked down and the reacher left paw up and touched my shoulder. She even hummed a little tone very quietly. I immediately got up, got dressed and then walked her around this beautiful little town. We walked about 6 blocks up the street past a bunch of beautiful Christmas Windows decorated so perfectly for Christmas. It was the day after Christmas and we still got to see some beautiful Christmas Decorations. Then finally we walked past more beautiful window displays and then another 2 blocks and finally we found the perfect patch of dirt and pebbles for her pottie. It was a such a great feeling for both of us as we watched the sun come up over the mountains as she peeed into infinity!
To be able to watch another sunrise after seeing the sunset last night while we were lost in the middle of no where land, no houses, just woods and fields with cattle; most of all we were together and should have been enjoying the moments together rather than being stressed out and lost. Then this morning to be able to witness another gorgeous sunrise and this was just the great start for our fun day together. It was absolutely lovely.
I stopped at a coffee shot that was open this early for coffees and a fresh warm cinnamon bun and even stopped for a muffin for my husband at the free continental breakfast as our motel. It was just a very small breakfast to at least hold us over for a day.
It was unanimous that we would not go boarding on Saturday. All the families get to have that whole mountain all to themselves on this very busy, busy day. It could very well be for both of us a very dangerous day to go with so many children out on the mountain; you really do have to be careful and not go too fast; always watch out for others. But most of all what would make it more dangerous for injuries is the temperature which may or may not get up to 40 degrees which makes the snow melt and become sticky. With two day old snow its not quite as fluffy as what it was the very first day (which we were privileged enough to experience). Today we would walk around this little town and do some shopping, relaxing, eating or what ever. We didn't particularly know if we would stay another night or just go home.
We stopped into a consignment store where I purchased a few things as the ladies loved on Blue Belle. They had the best stories for every item in that store, great prices, and most of all original clothing that you will NOT see another one of. I almost bought this one fur coat with delicate stitching. An old woman had brought in the coat and her husband had purchased it in 1957 as they had cruised and vacationed in Norway. Can you imagine? I didn't buy the coat because the sleeves were too short. It fit perfectly everywhere else. I didn't get a photo of that coat but there were plenty of others we should have photographed. It was a store where a woman who loves to shop could literally spend hours enjoying. I thought of one of my best friends from a few years ago who I loved going shopping with; we always had a blast and in fact in this very photo I am wearing a shirt from her favorite consignment shop. Kimberly! I miss you!
Anyway, my husband and I continued exploring this small peaceful town and even went inside an old War Museum. A whole room of World War II items, even photos of Elvis in military gear and his autograph. My husband being a veteran himself as I sat in amazement as he told of his duty on the DMZ in Korea. He still remembered many of the towns and so many great stories. The guest book contained names of people from all over the world who had served in many wars and tours of duty. They had the most amazing memorabilia in there.
We started to get a little hungry as the day wore on and decided to look for the micro brewery Restaurant in Standard, CA. We also wanted to at least check out Jamestown as well. Jamestown was a neat little town but did not have not 1 single bar in the whole town.
There was maybe 2 churches?, maybe 2 religious gift stores, only 2-3 restaurants, and an excellent Olive Store with all local olives (they had the most amazing Basil Olive Oil and a fig Balsamic Vinagar!-mmmmm); most of the cute shops were closed. We did see a few motorcycle and leather stores and then the Jamestown Harley which looked to be closed and hopefully not for good as the Santa Cruz Harley shop has done a few weeks ago. We wanted our Jamestown Harley shirts. Here is a very cool old school motorcycle parked right out front. The doors were all locked and the hours posted actually appeared that it should be open by noon on Saturday. Hopefully these people still have their jobs as we can only hope for the best for them. We walked into another leather shop which had lots of cool leathers and jackets. It smelled wonderful in there and the woman in the store was very bright and cheerful.
My husband and I started to get really hungry and decided to go find us a restaurant to have our lunch. We walked along the peaceful little town and found nothing to really eat here (both restaurants closed) so we decided to go look for that Lumberyard brewing company. Once again we used the GPS and browsed the text for the correct directions instead of a wild goose chaise in the woods. We found the restaurant, enjoyed a great meal and continued home. What a great day and I'm still regular:)
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