Max is so Helpful

Max is so helpful! He runs outside anytime we go out to plow the snow. He hangs around outside most of the time. There was enough snowfall last night that the first thing Peter had to do was plow. He uses the tractor we purchased from our sister & brother-in-law when they moved down south. This piece of machinery is the biggest blessing to us in the past few years. It makes a lot of the work done around here much easier on us.

But I wanted you to see this video that shows how helpful Max really is while Pete does the plowing during winter. I’m sure Pete appreciates his standing right in front of the blade where he can’t even see him. He even seems as though he is saying,

“Yep, I’m right here waiting on you Dad”.

“What! Do I have to move?”

Okay then.

He jumps out of the way at the last minute and runs alongside. Max is a crazy dog and we love him.

Dashing Through the Snow

08SledRoad07One of my favorite songs is, “Dashing Through the Snow“! What a delightful white wonderland snow creates for us to play in. Don’t stay inside and miss it, an everchanging painting outside. I love winters with snow through each day. Magical, cold hard water on the lakes, and soft flakey water falling from the sky. A quiet and majestic coating on top of everything.08SledRoad43

Winter moisture is so very therapeutic to our planet. Cold precipitation gives us clean water replenished, and makes the insects decrease the following spring. Yay!08SledRoad11

You can see that this love of the Inland Norwest is introduced at an early age. We start by catching snowflakes on our tongues, and graduate to walking and eating handfuls of snow. Here is one of our grandkids learning from Grandpa not to eat dirty snow.

08SledRoad21FYI-Here is the definition of toboggan |təˈbäɡən|
noun
a long narrow sled used for the sport of coasting downhill over snow or ice. It typically is made of a lightweight board that is curved upward and backward at the front.
toboggan
verb [ no obj. ] (usu. go tobogganing)
slide downhill over snow on a toboggan: my kids love to go tobogganing in the park before Christmas dinner | we tobogganed down a steep hill nearby.
DERIVATIVES
tobogganer |təˈbäɡ(ə)nər| noun.
tobogganist |-nist| noun
ORIGIN
early 19th cent.: from Canadian French tabaganne, from Micmac topaĝan ‘sled.’ Isn’t is amazing what you can learn from books?

I still think sliding down a hill is one of the very finest things you can do in your life. Pete and I, both, plan to ski till we die because it is a truly real natural high. As I age, the winter activities get less radical, like, I tend to be much more careful on a runner sled, toboggan, or any kind of ski. I actually check out the route before I go because it is nice to be sure you will avoid where your car is parked. Sorry, it is a family joke.

Loving the snow!

4″ of Snow

Max Hurley Val 05

We got about 4″ of snow last night and it looks like a white sparkly fairyland outside this morning. It is gorgeous. It is not heavy snow like we have had in the past, but it is covering everything and will do just fine for sledding.

Max Hurley Val 06

I put on my Santa hat and grabbed the camera going outside for pictures. Have you ever tried to get two excited dogs to stop and pose for the camera?

Max Hurley Val 02Good luck Val, really! Hold still you two. Ha Ha!

deer tracks snowYou can tell that these two woofers love to go outside and play in the snow. Max runs everywhere in a cloud of white powder smelling all the deer tracks in the snow. He makes the whole perimeter circuit in a flash.

Max Hurley Val 07Hurley prefers to roll in the snow and jump up and down in front of me, as he tries to cool off from his heavy sheepdog-type curly coat.

Max Hurley Val 08

It is nice powdery snow and we look forward to much more so we can start skiing this year.

Bluebird Ski Day at 49º North

Ski Day

Bluebird ski day at 49º North 2
49º North in Chewelah WA

Today was a bluebird ski day up on the mountain at 49º North Ski Resort in Chewelah Washington USA. The sky was ultra blue and the conditions great, with a new layer of about 10″ of fluff to play on. Any questions?

Bluebird day at 49º North 3
49º North in Chewelah Washington USA the view from on top the mountain on a bluebird day. #ski49N, #bluebirdSkiDay

The world’s best ski buddy, my husband Pete, took this photograph at the top by chairs #1 & #5. In the second photograph, the colors are so vibrant with scenery that almost looks too perfect going off into the distance.

Possible Painting

Pete truly has a great eye for taking pictures. I love the way the shadows in this picture are adding intriguing shapes to the composition.  Also, I am marveling at the amount of color on this winter day. The whole day was just absolutely beautiful, outside, in the Inland Northwest. Honestly, skiing is like experiencing heaven here on earth.

A Basin

A Basin in Colorado
A Basin

Long ago my baby-time ski hill was Arapahoe Basin or “A-Basin” in Dillon, Colorado. Isn’t it beautiful in the Fall? “A-Basin” is where I learned to fall and get up, then turn and finally ski like a bandit. Time spent on this hill with my Dad and family created lots of fun memories in my heart. I remember a one-armed lift operator there which I realize is a strange childhood memory.

Arapahoe Basin
Arapahoe Basin in Colorado

I am so utterly grateful that my folks did what it took to allow me to learn this wonderful sport. Because the mountains are still my favorite place during any season. Truthfully, the possibility of skiing makes me look forward to snow arriving every winter.

Relativity?

I recently discovered an added caveat while having some extensive heart and vascular repair surgery. The doctors commented on the unexpected strength and size of my heart muscle. Well, while standing at the base of “A” Basin the sign says 10,000-foot elevation. No wonder my heart muscle grew so big and strong. I spent my winters above 10,000 quite a bit of the time skiing my heart into shape. Wow. Skiing may be what saved my life this year, along with a great team of doctors. Just saying.

Ski Hill Memory Treasures

I found some birthday Ski Hill Memory Treasures while going through old photographs. We have been loving outdoor skiing sports for a long, long time.

PeteVal1Pete and I were married the year before, and I remember that wonderful soft beard of many colors? In January of 2000, we were the parents of two young teenagers.

It was my daughter, Rachel’s 16th birthday, so, where did we have her party? Why, up at the ski hill of course! Skiing, what better way is there for a teenager to spend birthday energy? With a total in attendance of eight people, we had three newbies with us; Allison, Sarah and Colleen. Then there were the old-timer ski hill bums Cody, Patrick, Peter, Rachel, and myself. You classify as a ski bum if you go up on the hill every day off you get.

Newbies

AllisonPat
Allison skiing with Pat boarding by her.
Sarah
Sarah falling only a few times.
Colleen1
Colleen snowplowing
Colleen2
Colleen conquering the bunny hill.

Old Timers

Then there was the rest of the gang…

AllisonRachelSarah
Allison, Rachel, and Sarah

Not a lot of money but good food, friends and laughter.

AllisonRachelCody
Allison, Rachel, and Cody

Expressive body language…

RachelCody
Rachel and Cody
Cody
Cody

Lunchtime had soup sandwiches and birthday cake at our table. Cooler and thermos experts we were and still are. Remembering these days and your friends bring a warm chuckle to my heart. I wonder how everyone is doing now. You guys were a really fun group to hang out with, and I treasure these memories brought back by a small packet of photographs taken in January of 2000. We know that is the date because of the irritating red neon date on the bottom right corner.

Winter With Family

Let it Snow

Winter with family in the snow can be so much fun! We were fortunate to have our cousin’s son, Sam, and his lovely fiancee (Jess) over for the weekend at the start of their ski vacation trip. Yay! We are so jealous!

Always a fun time with those two and their furry critter Hilti! Our dog Max and their Hilti are best friends, totally! Here are both.

Holland Sam Jess

Now, the real personality comes out!

Holland Sam Jess 2

We spent Saturday up on the hill at 49 Degrees North Ski Resort, what a blast. Got a workout and great sunshine all day, who says winter has to be dark?

Crooked TreeOn Sunday we were able to walk near our house to the “crooked tree”. What a destination huh? It is about a mile and a half walk for us, which is a good stretch of the over-skied and boarded legs from the day before. Crunch, crunch, crunch. However, it must be about ten miles for the dogs running in circles around us as we go. BTW, it is amazing what nature will overcome?

Check out this old tree, wonder if it could talk what would it say? Pete proves that he is truly a tree hugger and a tree-sitter while we are there.

Pete Tree Hugger

When we got back home we had breakfast with Rachel and her family to celebrate her birthday which was the day before. A great winter weekend.

 

Skiing at 49 Degrees North

Ski Conditions

Skiing at 49 Degrees North in Chewelah WA this weekend varied a great deal. Yesterday (Saturday) we skied up on the hill we had good snow to try out our fat skis. Now I see why everyone loves their fats. There were 3-4 inches of fluff to float over and practice on for me. Pete went up to the top to check it out and found that the cloud cover was so thick that he was skiing by feel. We opted to stay on the lower hill by chair two and play in the Hobbit forest because visability was only 1-2 feet on top. Quite a fun day!

We saw a white little weasel, and of course no camera ready. He popped his head out of the snow and looked like he was going to get Pete. They are hard to see but so much smaller than I thought they were. Then he just popped down and dug over a few feet and popped up again. Found one on YouTube kind of like it here.

Snow Today

Today (Sunday) we drove up to the ski hill early and saw beautiful bluebird day sunshine but there were some strong gusts of wind and some chill in the air. Anticipation was really high. The wind increased as we climbed and although there is 4-5 inches of fresh snow it is on top of a solid ice base. A fluffy skating rink. It must have melted yesterday afternoon or rained, then snowed during the night. The parking lot was interesting to traverse, very very, carefully. With those wonderfully comfy, ski boots, ha ha …. the walking across a parking lot skating rink was very interesting!

The lifts were delayed starting about an hour due to the wind being too strong on top. I decided to go only on chair 2 to check it out since I promised myself no injuries this year. Additionally, with learning a new type of ski “fats” it is so easy to make a mistake. Good choice, self! The wind was blowing the fluff off and drifting. This wimpy old fart decided to call it a day and live to ski another when conditions were easier to survive.