Sunday, January 24, 2010

I've been BUSY

Seriously busy.  I've been meaning to blog for the last five days, but I can honestly say I just haven't had the time (well, I could have used the phone, but that's just painful and frustrating).  Once again, I went on a road trip.  This time, though, I took pictures and actually have the gumption to post about it.  At least, post some photos.

Anyhow, I worked my usual 5 12-hour night shifts in a row, getting out of work at 7:30 am on Tuesday.  No, the fun doesn't start quite yet, as I head off into San Francisco for a dreaded dentist appointment.  I have boatloads of dental problems and, not coincidentally, boatloads of dental anxiety.  This appointment was for what to me is the worst possible dental procedure to have (with the possible exception of a root planing -- owie!!) -- a crown removed.  Not particularly painful, but the drilling and the pulling and all the pressure of having a cemented "tooth" forcibly ripped from your jaw after 10 years of functioning perfectly as a body part, only to fall (in pieces! that's the worst!) onto the back of your tongue, fucking hell it's the epitome of horrible dental dreams come true.  OMG just typing about it has me in goosebumps.

So I finish up with that lovely experience, got in the car, and got the hell out of Dodge (after spending an extra 30 minutes driving around SF, 'cause the one on ramp to the highway I know about is closed).  I then embark upon my usual 200-mile, 3 hour drive home, taking FIVE hours this time because, hey! have you heard about the weather in California?  I get home, hop in the shower, gather my things and get BACK in the car (in a lovely little nest in the front seat) and head out for a 9 hour drive to Utah.  Tom drove most of the way, while I drifted off into a drug-induced dreamless sleep.  I rallied for the last bit, and drove the last few hours to our destination in Eden, Utah.  We were looking forward to a few days of skiing in the "Finest Snow on Earth" prior to heading to Salt Lake City for a trade show that Tom had to attend.

Oh, it was such a looong drive -- I don't think I've ever spent so much uninterrupted time in a car!  We were soo happy to arrive!  We proceeded to sleep for something like the next 12 hours.  Tom has been really busy with work, too, lately -- we planned this little trip as a bit of a Lovers' Weekend, but it really turned out to be more of a Sleepers' Weekend.  We slept, and then slept some more.  Repeat.

We did wake up eventually, though, and managed to head out for an afternoon's skiing at a really little local ski resort -- this was about all we could manage this day, and it worked out quite well.  As we left our little lodge, I noticed what I had missed at 2 am the previous morning, namely this carved bear . . .

. . . looking like nothing less than a bear doing the pee-pee dance, complete with the look of panic at the possibility of incipient incontinence on its face!  Having had more than my share of bladder problems in my life, this is a bear that I can really relate to.  I laughed every time we passed it on our way in or out of the lodge.

Niether Tom nor I have skied much this season (and I have barely skied at all for the past two years) so a couple of hours at a tiny ski area just getting used to using those ski muscles was beneficial to us both.

The weather was a little overcast with lots of flat light, but the skiing was fine.   I even managed 1.5 miles on the treadmill!

We slept some more.

The following day we put on our big boy pants and headed out to Snowbasin, which I think is my new favorite ski resort.  Powder, powder and more powder, we were still skiing untracked lines at 2 pm.

I took lots of falls, as I am still not adept at powder skiing.  I am getting there, though, and hope to be able to finish off this season being more confident in the powder than I am now.  We both got a great day's skiing in, and felt really worked at the end of the day.  That really good muscle-achy o I'm so tired feeling.  Then, surprise, we slept some more.

It might seem a little odd that we leave Tahoe right in the middle of the presumed Biggest Storm of the Season to go skiing somewhere else, but this trip was planned (and paid for!) weeks ago.  Moreover, the skiing was a bit secondary to the main reason for the trip, the Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake.

This is a pretty cool trade show highlighting all the new products and clothing lines in the "outdoor" industry for the coming year.  Tom attends because this is his business focus (he's an industrial designer), and I attend to see the cute guys (kinda sadly lacking this year) and see how much schwag I can get my hands on (also a little sparse this year, but I got a water bottle, a cool little flashlight and a fleece sweater).  In past years, this has been a great place to get the first glimpse of innovative new products and technologies, but this seemed to be lagging a little bit too this year.  The most interesting things I saw were a few companies promoting the idea of avalanche survival using these inflatable balloon-type thingies designed to hold the unfortunate victim ABOVE the rushing snow.  Wearing what looks like a regular old backpack, said victim flips a switch and THIS happens in about 3 seconds:

The demonstration guy allowed Tom to strap the thing on and let 'er rip -- I wish I had caught this on tape because it was like an airbag going off, noisy and attention-getting.  I envisioned all kinds of trouble that I could potentially get into if I owned such a device, namely unplanned switch-flipping while in an elevator, the back seat of a car, or sneaking into a window intent on robbery.  Happily, I don't do backcountry stuff, so this just won't happen.

We spent the day walking the show, and hit Olive Garden for lunch.  Somehow, I have never eaten here before and I think I've found my new favorite franchise restaurant.  I loooove me some pasta!  As I have alluded to before, I have the maturity and mindset of a 14-year-old boy and, happily, so does Tom.  We find humor in the most ridiculous of things, and like to play with our food.  We left this for the waiter . . .

 . . . and booked it out of town.  Lots of miles for quite a short trip.  We got back on 80 and headed across barren Nevada, the site of much of our travels back in December.  I love this state and its empty ruggedness.  It's so unique!  Tom thought he might have found a Nevada treasure, the discount brothel:

. . . alas, it turned out to be just another gas station.

We spent the night at a dirtbag motel in Winnemucca, then got an early start for home.  Of course, pretty much all the time we were gone, Tahoe was getting more and more and more snow.  Remembering the hours and hours it took us to shovel out the last time we were gone for a long time, we were fearing the worst in terms of snow removal.

We were happy to find a couple feet of very light fluffy snow in the driveway, as opposed to the heavy stuff of last time.  The snowblower made quick work of it.  An hour later, the driveway was clear, and we headed in for showers and a quick change, back into the car and off to South Lake for a friend's wedding.  Much to my surprise, this wedding turned out to be on a 72-foot power yacht right on the Lake itself, and we all had a great time putt-putting around the lake.

The ceremony was really beautiful, and the whole idea of a winter wedding on a boat on the lake in the sunshine was really quite splendid.  This was followed by an after-party, then Tom and I returned to Truckee and yet ANOTHER party, not getting home until late last night.

Indeed, I feel like I haven't been home for weeks and weeks, mostly because I haven't been home for weeks and weeks.  We had a great time on this trip, and did lots of skiing and lots of sleeping and lots of driving and lots of laughing.  What did I not do?  Lots of running, lots of yoga, lots of eating good foods.  Like, no running and no yoga (there was some good foods).  For a week.  This is NOT how to train for a marathon.  Pretty typical!

Ergo, I am off to yoga this evening, and will try to get back on schedule with the running tomorrow.  It's cold and big-time snowy here 'round these parts, but I know that's no excuse for not getting out there.  Since I started the marathon training in the beginning of this month, I have yet to meet my weekly milage goals, though I got close one week.  I don't think this is too critical yet, but I can't slack off anymore.  I must keep in mind how important being well-trained for this event is, and not slip into my regular habit of going off half-trained for things.  I might've gotten away with it thus far, but I MUST go into the marathon distance well trained or I know I'll have a high chance of just falling apart.

I do not want that to happen!


ShirleyPerly said...

Where to begin?

First of all, you had me ROFL with the bear, Olive Garden plate, avalanche balloon things and Gas station photos. Then all that snow in Utah and where you live. I thought I might see all lot in Wisconsin this weekend but, alas, not anywhere close (in fact, I could have even rented a car and driven myself around!). And that winter wedding on the boat. Very different than any I've ever seen before. I don't know how you managed to do everything!

funderson said...

adventure! Sounds like you've been having fun anyway. I spent my formative skiing years at Snowbasin...I'm so jealous...
Enjoy your getting back on track.

Stuart said...

Holy smokes you've been busy!

Fresh tracks...not seen those in a while!