Saturday, February 26, 2005

We Interrupt Your Environmental Report... bring you a ski report!

Not that Sacramento isn't a nice destination in its own right--every city has its draws--but Sacramento is equidistant from two major destinations, San Francisco and the Sierra. In about 2 hrs I can be in the City or I can be pulling into a parking garage at one of the casinos on Virginia Street in Reno.

On Thursday I headed up Interstate 80. Boreal is 80 minutes away, and Reno is 40 minutes beyond that, so my plan was to ski at Boreal for a few hours and then stay the night in Reno. As it turned out, it was a good plan.

I got to Boreal a little before 3:30. You can get a half-day ticket at 3:30 and ski till 9pm under the lights. I didn't ski that late, but night skiing is amazing. There was between 111"-177" of snow; I skied the same place over Christmas when there was about 2-3", and that was man-made. This time it was amazing. Powder and packed powder everywhere. It got into the 40s during the day with only a few clouds in the sky so there was a little ice, especially at night. But still, freakin' amazing. And, it being Thursday, there weren't that many people on the slopes. Several times I would come off a run and ski right onto the next chair going up.

When I left I kept heading east and went to Reno. The Sands Regency sent me an offer of a $17 room so I took them up on it. Played a little, lost a little, played a little, lost a little--get the idea? Then I went to this little karaoke bar I know of not too far from the Sands, and did karaoke for the first time since "the incident" of a few years ago. This time I did songs I was reasonably comfortable with and they were fairly well received. Not that many people singing, so I actually did 4 songs (a new record for me): Turn The Page by Bob Seger, Only Wanna Be With You by Hootie and the Blowfish, Margaritaville (complete with margarita in hand) by Jimmy Buffett, and Sundown by Gordon Lightfoot. After all that, it was time for long winter's nap.

Got up Friday morning, checked out, and went to Atlantis. They used to send me free goodies but apparently I'm not so high on their list anymore. The best I get now is a buy-a-night, get-the-2nd-night-free deal. Played there for a little bit and then went to the Cal-Neva for my $4 breakfast--it's enough to feed a platoon. Then I started home.

Clouds had moved in over the summit that night, and as I passed Boreal it got kinda dark. By the time I was approaching Baxter there were flurries coming down! Baxter is where you usually put on chains, but that's when heading east, and the snow wasn't even sticking to the road--yet traffic was at a dead stop. I was only about 200m from the accident but it was a doozy. Crunched cars on the right of the freeway, couple cars in the snowbank on the left, and one SUV upside down against a tree on the left. Not too much beyond that accident, heading the other direction, there was obviously another major accident. All I could see was serious gray smoke coming from behind the trees, but the traffic was stopped eastbound for miles and emergency vehicles were trying to use the left shoulder to get to it. I counted at least 3 ambulances, so you know that's not good.

Got home and put my clothes in the washer--darn, does everyone in Nevada smoke? I guess in that regard I'm kinda spoiled living in California.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled environmentalism report.


EdWonk said...

Anytime that you go both skiing and gambling and yet still manage to return home safely (and with a couple of dollars in your pocket) you have to declare the trip a success. ;)

Austin said...

I definitely agree with EdWonk. =) And I'm glad you were able to get over "the incident." I'm sure everybody there loved it.