Lesson: High Altitude, natural sunlight exposes all.
We went to Tahoe with a crew: My mom, dad, Mamacita, her husband, their two kids (under the age of five), my older brother, his fiancé, Seawolf and my brother-in-law’s sister. That’s eleven people ranging in age from 1 to 57 years old, and in ability level from first-time skiers to double black adventurers. Think National Lampoon: The Griswolds gone skiing.
Somehow, amongst all of this chaos, I found myself alone in chair lift line with Mamacita. I glided next to her tapping my pole against hers.
“Is this what I think it is?” I said
“What?” Mamacita replied defensively.
I stared at her through my goggles, a playful grin expanding across my face.
“Do we have an entire day ahead of us where all we have to do is worry about us?”
She let out an exhale, her shoulders dropping with her breath. As a mother and wife not having to worry about anybody else’s needs was a rarity. I looked sideways, assessing if I could sway her towards the trees.
“I want to check out the top section of the mountain but I can’t figure out how to get there.”
“It looks like you have to hike. I don’t want to hike.”
I shrugged my shoulders remembering some of my best Park City descents accessed only through hiking.
“I don’t know sometimes the little effort it takes to hike is worth the payoff of the descent. At the very least it’s worth inquiring about.”
I was itching to get into the trees hopeful we could find some hidden patches of powder. We rounded the corner and waited behind the gate; to my left I noticed a whiteboard that read:
Morning Trivia: What is California’s state bird?
I mulled over the question as we advanced.
“Looking for morning enlightenment, what is the state bird?” I asked the two snowboards working the lift.
The one with wispy brown hair sticking out of his cap answered,
“It’s the Quail and that is one sweet suit.”
I looked down at my one-piece Roxy suit and back at his white-toothed side grin. He looked edible and relaxed. His compliment made me feel good. On the plane ride I was wondering if my suit was outdated and if I was going to feel like an old head trying to be hip.
The chair circled around the conveyor belt slowing behind us. I watched my skis lift off the ground, higher and higher into the air.
“Who knew? The quail.”
“I don’t know, I’d double check that before I’d take it as fact.”
Now I sighed, to me it didn’t really matter if it was the quail or not, it just felt good to be making small chat with an attractive guy. I wondered if the luster of these types of conversations wore off after you got married, and if so then how many other things changed. We sat in silence as Mamacita pulled out her phone and answered a text from ‘a husband’. I looked up at the sky; a dome canvas of bright blue. I turned my body to look behind me at the white capped mountains surrounding the lake, and then over at my sister in a state of pure Mother Nature bliss.
“Do I have a mustache?” she asked me.
I studied her upper lip, “Nope.”
“Oh good.” She answered relieved. “Well you do and it’s pretty bad.”
“You bitch.” I said laughing embarrassed I forgot to wax my lip before the trip.
A Warrior Princess