13 February 2008

My Snowy Valentine II

Jesse (having napped extensively on Sunday) woke up before the sun on Monday. He went out to see what a business day brought to Cedar City. He wasn't gone long. He filled up the car with gas, and went to the grocery store -- basically visiting the only businesses that were open. I got an orange muffin and orange juice out of the deal, so I couldn't complain.

We eventually had a real breakfast at Denny's, then went back up the mountain. We had planned to snowboard all day. But then we decided it would be too tiring. But then we thought anything else would be too boring. So snowboarding it was. We filled out the waivers, got fitted for boots and boards, and learned that I am "goofy - footed."

To be goofy, one must rely on one's left foot. As in I use my left foot to pedal a scooter, or if someone pushes me from behind, I use my left foot to stop myself from falling. I thought Jesse made that last part up just to push me, but the guy behind the counter corroborated.

Naturally we went to the super-baby-bunny-slope. I've never locked my feet together and slid you know. And while Jesse would have had us all believe he's a snowboarding master, he hadn't done it since I've known him -- and I have known him a long time. But he showed me what to do, and was a good teacher. I clicked my boots in place, slid down the pre-super-baby-bunny-slope, and fell. It's just not natural. But I (Jesse) picked myself up and tried again.

I don't think it took me long to get comfortable sliding and eventually falling. I got to a point where I didn't have to fall to stop, but I never got the hang of turning myself or "carving," as Jesse called it. He got bored and went up the lift to the "First Time" slope. He did that twice before insisting that I was ready to do it. I insisted I most certainly was not. But Jesse out-insisted me. And it was the officially beginning of the end.

Going up the lift was fine, although I can't say I've ever been on anything so high without any safety precautions. I thought that was a little reckless. I fell getting off, because the instructions were not clear to me. I stood up, clicked in, and tried to stop to take a picture. Instead I just started to go. I quickly realized Brian Head expects a lot out of those on the "First Time" slope. There was a lot of slope and not a lot of "first time" flat areas. I quickly threw myself to the ground -- under the guise that I needed to take a picture. In reality, I was beginning to panic.


Once down, I couldn't get up. Jesse was already down a bit waiting for me and eventually he had to come back up to set me upright. Then he "sent"me to one side of the slope. I was supposed to be heading to the side, but I knew I was heading down. I leaned and leaned and threw myself to the ground. A line had formed just off of the lift. It was made up entirely of people waiting for me to get out of the way. Embarrassing? You have no idea.

Tempers were flared. Tones were raised. Shouts were whispered. Blame was passed. Labels like "chicken s***," and "quitter" were placed. And we were only about a quarter of the way down.

Eventually Jesse believed me that it was OK to go on without me. He was not in comfortable cozy snow pants and as he was sitting in the snow waiting for me, he was cold and wet. I had spent so much time dragging my hands and pushing myself up, that I couldn't feel my hands. I needed to warm them and ring out my gloves. We were just not in the same place, and he snowboarded off in a huff.

It took me a long time to get down the slope, but I did it. And I did not have to do it on my butt. I got some good speed, learned to control my upper body better, and got really close to learning to carve. I also had some cartoon-like falls, where I really thought I could turn into a giant snowball. I was so excited when I got down. I mean I wouldn't go back up to the top, but I was ready to rip the super-baby-bunny-slope apart! However my grumpy instructor had already given his stuff back. So we wrapped up our weekend, and headed home. It was fantastic