Sugar Bowl ski trip 2016

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“Is that real snow?”      “Yes! Yes it is!”

Over Easter weekend 14 of us set out going north to find snow and fun. We found it at Sugar Bowl ski resort near Truckee CA. Leaving sunny Oakdale saturday morning in a comfortable spacious shuttle van our journey brought us past the state capitol, Berkeley and some gorgeous mountain ranges. For a few of us this was the first time in the snow, others it was our first attempt at skiing or snowboarding. After the 4 hour drive we arrived at the Veterans of Foreign War hall, set up our sleeping mats and bags on the floor and set out to find some snow. There was a field just beyond the river that had been untouched since the snow fell. There was no waiting to pack the snow in fist sized balls and launch them into the air at each and everyone standing in the snow. Most of us had rosey cheeks, not due to the cold or the wind but because we could not stop smiling and laughing. “No head shots!!” was called out and we tried our best, but the snow goes where the snow wants to go. There were attempts to make snow people and some were made under the direct fire of snowballs from onlookers. It was a blast!!

After our snowball event we headed back over the river to start dinner. Spaghetti, garlic bread, vegetables and salad. Best meal to prepare for a hearty day of snow sports. After dinner some of the kids thought it would be a great idea to play dodgeball and basketball in the gym above our sleeping area. Ouch! a full belly and now running up and down the court, luckily everyone’s dinner stayed with them. Many different versions of house rules were used during this competition, and I think the kids won over the mentors? Rematch!

Bedtime was easy. Some tea before sleep and all was calm in the night.

We woke to frost on the windows and our breath in clouds as the temperature dropped in the night. A simple hearty breakfast, a thorough clean up and gear collection before we left Truckee for Sugar Bowl. A complicated gear rental scene held us up for a little while but before we knew it we were out on the slopes getting lesson on how to have finesse on the snow. First lesson: learn how to fall and laugh at the pain in your butt. Second lesson: don’t give up. We spent about 2 hours on the slopes before heading down the hill for lunch; tired, sunburnt ( a little), excited and ready for home. After a short lunch we took some free time and practiced our newly learned skills on the slopes.

The trip back was very quiet. Mike treated us to Subway sandwiches and a side trip through some rural farm lands. Lots of pretty sights along the roadside. once back to Oakdale we helped bring the gear out of the van and up to the art room. We learned the meaning of responsibility and accountability and its importance with keeping us healthy and safe.

Many Many Many thanks to: Bay Area Wilderness Training  (BAWT) for gear rentals, Truckee VFW for letting us sleep in a warm and cozy building, Sister Stephanie for encouragement and transportation, Denecia, Noah B and Jimi for being awesome, patient and fun.

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