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Ski Trip, March 2002

First off, sorry about the lack of pictures this time around. No one carried my camera while skiing or snowboarding, and my friends don't like pictures while eating... so that left basically no time at all to take any interesting pictures!

Spent Sunday night in Berkeley, eating Fat Slice and then going to bed. Got up (kind of) early, drove to Tahoe-- stopped in Roseville on the way for lunch @ Mel's Diner and to gawk at Fat's Chinese Bistro, the restaurant where Helma's dad works. I'd never seen it before, and I was quite impressed by the building! (we didn't stop there)

(text below basically ripped from my Blog on 3 April 2002...)

We took 80 (instead of 50 like last time)- it's a much easier drive!! Went to Sugarbowl, where Erik and Laura snowboarded and Jimmie and I rented skis. Predictably (and painfully) I'd forgotten how to slow down, turn, and stop in the last year. First real wipe-out happened, too. Went up one of the lifts (Nob Hill? Or was that the easy one?) to an area of intermediate runs... discovered there were like 5 ways down the mountain. I took off after Erik when Jimmie said the slope he was on was pretty steep. Turns out the path Erik took led to at least 2 runs, and I took the "easiest" one while Erik took another one. Skied out of control about 100' down a (300? 400? 500? foot) slope, ROLLED and TUMBLED another 100 feet. Shed my beanine, ski googles, glasses, skis, and ski poles, basically anything that wasn't clipped or zipped shut. OW! Took while to collect myself, then tried to get my skis back on while on what seemed like a 45 degree slope. Finally another skier helped me ski down the friggin' slope, and an hour later, wet from snow EVERYWHERE, I made it down. Erik and Jimmie even talked to the operators at Sugarbowl about arranging a search for me. =P

Spent the night in Reno at the El Dorado (Nice rooms, GREAT deal we got for 2 nights!), Erik and Jimmie overstuffed themselves at the buffet. hehe... played a few games at Circus Circus, had some drinks, and went to bed. Next day we got up early and went to Squaw Valley USA. No one felt like carrying a camera that day either, so no pics- sorry! Erik skied and Laura snowboarded, and since they already owned their own equipment they took off to High Camp while Jimmie and I rented skis and I signed up for the first-time skier lesson (given my traumatic experience yesterday... I thought it was prudent!)

Got up to High Camp... still couldn't remember how to ski, but thankfully my ski lesson started shortly thereafter. =) I think there were about a dozen people in my ski lesson group- some Japanese tourists, a small African-American group, some other tourists, three 4th years from UC Berkeley, and myself... and the instructor, Billy. Cool guy, the entire class got the basics- I think- like kicking your heels out and attaching/removing your skis. Those drilling exercises really helped, as I was actually in control of myself the rest of the day. (woohoo!) Next drill... slowly ski down a super-gentle slope. A few of us make it all the way down and don't know where to stop so we keep going... while half the group gets bogged down at the top of the hill. GRRR! The Berkeley people and I took off back up the slope to keep skiing. "You've done this before so you can show us, right?" is what they said. Trusting Brian for ski instructions? 'Scary thought! hehe... but from what I saw at the end of the day they all did ok!

Made it up the lift without incident, saw our group still stranded on the slope... skied down again... ended up totally separated this time from Katherine and Jason and kept skiing with Cindy. Ran into Erik for a few minutes, too. *waves* Hi, Cindy! I think she did pretty well- fell a lot less than I did my first time. =) Finally found our instructor and (what remained of) our group at the bottom of the slope now, and, uh, we basically kept skiing and got a little advice at the end of the lesson and that was it. I hope she had fun, especially after sort of figuring out why she kept turning to the left. =P T'was fun. =)

Skied most of the remaining 2 hours or so by myself, trying to figure out parallel turns and stuff and realizing I enjoy skiing this time... now that I'm not totally out of control! Back to Reno... TGI Friday's (of all places!) for dinner and a few more drinks. Played some blackjack, ended up ahead $5. Then... packed up the next morning and left. I can safely say that it was a fun trip, but when I'm already tired, I don't need alcohol anywhere near me! As if skiing doesn't tire me out enough! hehe...

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