Monday, January 21, 2013

It's Ski Bus Time!

Every year in early January I eagerly await the start of another wonderful activity - the midweek ski bus!

Size matters!  Click on any photo to enjoy a larger version.

A fun ride to the mountain!

Mt. Hood Meadows, my local ski resort, offers bus transportation for Portland area snow-riders during the week.  I've been a regular on my bus since 2001.  For a skiing maniac like myself, it's the best thing that's even happened.  Skiing on uncrowded slopes and not having to drive.  For more background about the bus, check out the blog post I did a couple of years ago right here.

Midweek skiing crowds....

I pick Thursdays as my ski bus days.  It's great to be at on the mountain on a weekday.  Lift lines and crowds are nonexistent.  Just me and the trees.

Rush hour on the slopes

Over the years, I've made many friends on the bus.  People you get to know well during the 8-week session, then you don't see for the rest of the year.  The first day back, it's so much fun to reconnect with everyone.

Linda and Judy pose for Mt. Hood

My streak of sunny ski trips continued with yet another day of bluebird conditions.  That meant more great views of Mt. Hood.  Here's bus buddies Linda and Judy posing with my favorite mountain.

The camera phone photo I sent my work friend

It was such a beautiful day, I couldn't resist snapping a photo of myself with my new camera phone and sending it to my friend Kim, hard at work.  I know - not a very nice thing to do!  (And my friend texted me back a word that starts with the letter "b" and rhymes with "itch")

I found the Tele Ladies!

The Tele Ladies also ride a midweek bus, although a different one than mine.  I ran into them after lunch, and of course had to tag along.

Yet another Mt Hood photo....

We headed up to the top of the Vista Lift to check things out.  On the way up, I couldn't resist snapping this view of Mt. Hood from the chair.  Gorgeous, huh?

Impressive clouds on top

On top of Vista, the snow was wind-packed and icy.  Ugh!  But we couldn't stay up here all day.  Eventually we'd need to ski through the crummy snow.  At least there were some good views to enjoy on the way down.

Icy tree and White River Canyon

The icy-crusted trees were especially scenic.  And you could see across the White River Canyon to the Timberline Ski Area.  In this photo, you can just barely make out the towers of Timberline's Palmer Lift (upper right hand corner).

Katie the tele queen!

The snow gods had dropped 6 inches of fresh snow overnight.  Sadly, by the time our bus arrived, most of it had already been tracked out.  But.....once we got past all that icy crap on top of Vista, Katie, Sue and I made a wonderful discovery.  Powder.  An entire slope of it.  Still fresh and not too badly cut up. 

Whoopee!  It was a blast sliding through this nice snow.  My friends and I had so much fun, we skied back through that crummy icy stuff and hit the run again.  And again.  To capture this happy adventure, I set my camera to "movie" mode and created a short clip.  Those of you wanting to see what a telemark turn looks like, check out the video above.

Mt. Hood plays peekaboo

After many happy turns, it was time to head back to the lodge and catch our respective buses.  On my last run, I spied this great view of Hood peeping out between the trees.  It was a moment worthy of Eastman Kodak!   Of course I stopped and captured the scene.  Now you can all enjoy it.

Bus mom Linda with the important beverage!

Back on the bus, our "bus moms" Linda and Dixie get busy serving us hungry skiers goodies.  Although the bus doesn't supply alcoholic beverages, they do allow riders to BYOB.  And most of my bus-mates are willing to share their vino.

Bus mom Dixie with the less important beverages

But Dixie also supplies sodas for those not wishing to imbibe.  She thinks of everything!

"Back of the Bus" gang

I sit with the notorious "Back of the Bus" gang.  Don't they look like troublemakers?  But give 'em some wine, and they turn into pussycats.  Cheers, guys!

I'm so happy it's ski bus time again.  Here's to another great year of sun, snow, skiing, and friends!


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