Skiing in New Mexico

This week, I focused on sliding on snow as much as possible. New Mexico has many options for skiing and I intend to slide down as many hills as I can find.

My first outing was to Enchanted Valley Nordic center. The drive was about two hours from Cha Cha’s house. The best part was visiting The Red River Valley. What a beautiful place. The Valley has high, rocky walls, and the road is dotted with these signs:

I actually saw one – it was walking on the shoulder of the highway.

Red River Valley is a mining town and an active downhill ski area/resort. The Nordic area was another five miles up the valley. While the ski area was well run, the day I went, the snow was thin and the grooming was a bit old. There are several yurts among the trails you can rent. I did a big loop, about eight miles worth, around the area. My goal for the day was to practice the skills I had learned in Ogden. Score!

View down the Red River Valley

On the way home, I stopped to check out a trail that follows the West rim of the Rio Grande. Wow! Rock climbing, mountain biking, hiking, trail running! Beautiful!

Trail marker
The Rio Grande with some nice rock climbing in the foreground

Thursday was my designated downhill day. I have never skied at Taos. What a treat. Lift tickets are reasonable at $85 and buys you a LOT of vertical. The top is 12, 481′ with much of the mountain black diamond runs. So nice! The snow was marginal……some ice, some crust. I think the conditions are much better in Washington right now…….However, when there is new snow this mountain would be mind blowing. I tried to check out a variety of runs which included some hiking up, and some chuts off of the top peak, Kachina, some tree skiing, all were challenging and most importantly, fun!

The day started with sunshine and just a breeze. By 3pm, the snow was dumping and the wind was strong. Time for me to go. I might have to return for one more day, especially if they get a dump of snow.

Top of Kachina Peak
Hiking to catch a new run
Looking down the valley towar Taos (the town)

After skiing, there is nothing better than a soak in the hot tub. Cha Cha’s has a phenominal view. The perfect apres ski activity.

Keeping up with Cha Cha

Friday was a bit crazy. Enough said about that.

Saturday we rafted the Rio Grande.

The crew

Sunday we drove up to Taos to do a hike. The hike started at 9200 feet and went up from there. We took the (happy) dogs. What a beautiful wonderland.

Williams Lake
Cha Cha on the trail
Happy Dogs Aldo and Alfred

Thank goodness for Monday so I can get some rest! I do plan to go back to Taos for a full day of skiing. That place is huge and has some amazing terrain!

Cha Cha and Linda

Today’s drive was beautiful! The sun was out, the roads were dry and the scenery was stunning!

I started the day with a trail run in Moab.

Hidden Valley Trail near Moab
Morning Run

Then, it was Colorado – where I stopped in for a soak in the “Hippy Dippy Hot Springs” of Pagosa Springs. Next thing I knew, I was in New Mexico!

What a joy to be here with Cha Cha and Linda, Albert, Aldo Leopold and Chama.

Tomorrow, I am going to try to stay out of a car!

Made it to Moab

I got up early, and headed for Ogden. After a stop at Costco (who let me in an hour early because I’m old – thank you!) I headed out to Ogden Valley Nordic ski area. Wow, what a beautiful drive through a canyon!

I was heading there to get a two hour, private, skate ski lesson. Don was my instructor and he was awesome! He taught me SO MUCH in just two hours. The snow had not been groomed for over 12 hours and there was about 4-6 inches of new snow, not ideal conditions for skate skiing. That didn’t stop us. We forged ahead and I learned a lot about what I can do, and pratice, to become a MUCH better skate skier! After today’s lesson, I am on my way. Thank you Don!

Don, my ski instructor

After skiing, I headed toward Moab. I have really lucked out on the driving conditions. From Ogden to Moab the sun was out, the temperature was about 38, balmy, degrees and the pavement was dry. Easy traveling.

The road to Moab
Cool sky

Moab has sure changed a lot since I was last here about ten years ago. Corporate America has taken over. Every block has a chain hotel – or two. There are large grocery stores, and big gas stations. Of course. Every city in the USA looks like this. I hope it’s good for Moab. Downtown Moab has a store called Tumbleweed. Sweet!!

My playa name

I sure wish I had my mountain bike. I didn’t want to bother with it…..Oh well, I will just go for a trail run instead of a bike ride. All good.

Tomorrow I get to see Cha Cha and Linda. Whoot!!

Every day seems to top yesterday

How lucky am I? Today was SO FUN! I got up early, drank a bunch of coffee, packed up and waited for my ride! David Brown picked me up in Anaaconda and we rolled up to Discovery Ski area. David’s a local so was my guide for the day. He’s a fantastic skier and we had a blast tearing up the slopes.

David Brown

And what an area it is! The snow was great, there were zero lines, and the terrain is varied. We skied hard from opening through to our lunch reservation at 12:30. After lunch we skied hard for another hour – plus.

Dave being a good sport and posing for me

Then I headed south on I-15. The road conditions were great. Dry pavement the whole way.

Sunset in Idaho north of Idaho Falls

I made it to Pocatello just in time for a crazy windy, blowing, snowing storm to hit. I had to park my car up the road from the adorable yurt I am staying in (which I highly recommend) and slog down the driveway to the yurt. As soon as I stepped inside, I started a fire, made a cup of tea, and now get to post for the day before I crash out.

Yurt in Pocatello ID

Tomorrow, I am heading to Odgen, UT for a Skate Ski Lesson. What a great way to break up a long drive!

A day of firsts

What a fun, fun, fun day!

I woke up in Missoula, Montana this morning. It was 12 degrees at 5:00 am when I got up. I had coffee, went to the fitness center (one person at a time) in the hotel and then walked through downtown Missoula. I was using up daylight hopeing it would warm up enough that I could ski without freezing my face off.

The temperature crept up to 16 degrees, and I decided it was a “go”. I had on 3 coats, a balaclava, a hat, and heated gloves.

Purchasing my ticket, I got my first – ever SENIOR citizen discount. Yup – first time ever. They gave me $3 off for being old.

Bundled iup

Riding a chair lift in the 20/21 ski season is my next first! I have been on my downhill/BC skis 12 other times this season and today I caught a ride. I even had to wait in line (for about 3.5 minutes). It was a holiday, after all. The snow was fair, visibility was good, the area was decent and it was great to just do laps.

I’m a SR!

My final destination for the day was The Hickory House. An adorable B & B in Anaconda, MT. It’s so cozy! I have a huge room – large enough to file my edges and wax my skis 🙂 They provide a big fuzzy bathrobe, a full kitchen for guest use, tea, snacks, common areas (of course, with Covid they are empty) with big couches and lots of books. It’s a great spot to stay when you are sking at Discovery.

Half of my room

David, whom I met kayaking a couple of weeks ago, will be picking me up so we can share a day of skiing. What a treat to learn the mountain from a local.

Anaconda is an interesting, old, mining town. I walked around town this evening, just in time for some blue sky to poke through. The architecture is lovely and the homes are small and quaint. Many homes and buildings have plaques explaining the history, which gives much life to this small, quiet town. My favorite discovery in town, is the skating rink, which is a frozen pond or fountain. One person had the entire rink to herself. I wish I had ice skates!

Skating rink in Anaconda, MT. Where is everyone?

A (nother) fun, fun day.

Made it to Missoula

My original plan was to work on the plane through Monday, but the weather forecast was not cooperative. There is a storm coming. The weather service said “travel through the Idaho panhandle could be difficult or impossible”. I am a whimp when it comes to driving, so that forecast sent me down the road ahead of schedule.

Working on the plane in my Antennae (from Auds)

The trip was easy, whew!

Roads were mostly like this the whole way.

So, now, tomorrow I have all day to ski around Missoula – something I have never done. Sweet!!

So Cold!!

I hear that the snow is falling in Seattle.  Snow is rare enough in Seattle that it always feels like a holiday when the snow flies.  Over here on the East side of the state, it’s just frigid!  Today at 3pm, it was 18 degrees without the wind chill.  The wind is supposed to run the temps down to minus 10-15 degrees.  Ouch!  I am not so sure living in a trailer in this temperature is a great idea……thank goodness for the electric blanket!  

Amazing how spaciousness 420 sq ft can feel

I am leaving the tiny house tomorrow to head back east to work on my plane. Back to my adorable trailer which is less than half he size of the tiny house. That’s why if feels so spaceous here!

The tiny house is so cute (as I mentioned in a prior post) and I now have the photos to back up my statement.

Sam and Jerry are artists! Their medium is wood. I love the simplicity of their work, which consistently produces function first. Cindy worked the textiles, which add color, and quaint.

Outside with prayer flags
From the stairway
From the front door
From the kitchen
The toilet paper dispenser
Downstairs Flooring. Just plywood!
Upstairs flooring – different plywood – particle board
Dish Towel holder (and home made curtains)
Toothbrush holder in the tiny bathroom.
Curtain ties. Makes opening and closing so simple.

Every inch of space is in use, and they still have room for climbing holds. This place rocks!

Climbing holds

Fun on the water

I drove to Seattle on a Wednesday. Leaving the trailer early left me tune to skin up Hyak for three great laps! There was even some sunshine!!

Cindy and Jerry let me stay in their adorable tiny house. After living in a trailer its downright spacious! The tiny house is truly a work of art. I love it!! I need to add some photos. Check back for those.

I stopped by my house to pick up some paperwork I need for benefits. It gave me the opportunity to drop off a bunch of stuff I packed in the trailer that is only taking up space. It’s amazing how little I really need. Traveling light feels so good.

Next, I boarded a (completely full) flight to Vegas. The adventure: a 55 mile paddle down the Colorado River. This is an area I raced and also paddled with Scott, Nancy and Toby. This trip sent us further south than I have gone. The group was from a trip planned in 2020 that was Covid cancelled and included me, Halvy, Thomas Kelly and David Brown.

We launched from Willow Beach and headed south.

Loading the boats (provided by Thomas Kelly) David (L) and Halvy (R) in photo

Spending 24 hours a day in the great outdoors is so good for me. The leisurely pace, the beautiful weather the solitude, made for a joyous week.

sunset on our first night
glassy water
Chef Thomas with a little help from David
Hiking around
Just hanging out at camp
Desert love

I’m returning to Seattle, and the tiny house for a couple of days before I drive East to continue working on the plane.

One thing I know for sure is that I want to be on the move again very soon. This is the life for me.