Yesterday was a gorgeous day. The sun stained the lingering morning clouds pink before rising brightly, and the air was clear. Tony and I took off at 8:30 for our last rides down the slopes at Shanty Creek for the season. The snow was slow, but the resort was uncrowded, so we didn’t mind. We played in all our favorite places, and then tested the (frozen) waters of some steeper runs that we had avoided on account of they were either too bumpy or icy. The fresh powder gave me the confidence to suggest we tackle Kingdom Come – a quick 450-foot drop down the face of Shanty’s biggest and steepest hill.
Looking 450 down Kingdom Come
My heart was slamming, my palms were sweating, and my legs shook a little as we stood at the top…not able to see any of what we were about to ski down. I would be lying if I said I did not briefly entertain turning away; I did. Instead I stuck it out. After my first couple of turns down the shockingly vertical face, my adrenaline subsided as I realized I was firmly in control. Now that my legs felt solidly under me, going where I wanted them, I loosened up and let go – actually having fun. We ended up doing three runs down Kingdom Come, outracing my former demons. It was a fitting farewell to the ’12-’13 season.
After lunch at home, we decided to soak up some of the blue skies by touring on the Old Mission Peninsula. It was only 25F (-4C), but with the unimpeded sun, it truly felt like a pleasant spring afternoon. As if to prove the point, I left my coat in the car all day. Yes, I might have been layered in three shirts from the morning’s skiing adventures, but it still counts.
The day’s intermittent breezes created interesting patches of blue riffles/reflections on the lake’s surface – and depending on your viewing angle, you could either see those reflections, or you could see the water’s intense color. That’s one of my favorite things about touring up here – you can get to the other side of the lakes: one side is all reflection and the other lets you see the actual lake…which up here are often blue or green, and almost always clear.
Grand Travers Bay from various angles
All day we had gotten text alerts regarding solar activity. The entire afternoon – while the sun was super bright – we were under an impressive solar storm, and folks a good bit east of here captured impressive photos of the aurora. By the time twilight rolled around to this arc of the globe, though, the activity had petered out. Not entirely, but it wasn’t exciting any more. However, after a day like yesterday, the northern lights were merely the sprinkles on the sundae.
What sprinkles did you have on your sundae? (Sunday?)