Sunday, February 26, 2006

Any Mountain (???) Any Snow

When I lived in Chile, one of my favorite things to do was go skiing. The first slope I ever skied was in the majestic Andes Mountains. Do I need to remind anyone that they are much higher than the Rockies?

Since returning to the U.S. in June of 1994, I have skied a grand total of 5 times:
  • 1995 in Chile (it was a terribly blizzardy day, and I didn't have that great of a time)
  • 1999 at Eldora Mountain in Colorado (near Boulder) with my son's band, Brother John
  • 2001 at Arapahoe Basin in Colorado (it was Memorial Day!!) and the snow was really slushy. I had to stop skiing early in the afternoon because of a thunderstorm. It was the first time ever for me to ski in the rain!
  • 2005 in Chile (we had a wonderful time)
  • This past Saturday (in Missouri!)
The first time I saw a ski resort in Missouri it was between Springfield and Bolivar, and I think that in a very wintery winter, their season lasted about 2 weeks. I remember thinking (when I drove past it once--out of season) that I would really have to be hard up to ski there.

Last semester I was enrolled in a doctoral level course at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. One of my classmates works at a private college in the northeast. She is a National Ski Patrol trainer. In an online discussion, after we had discussed pertinent course material, I commented on snow skiing, how I missed getting to do it, that I had skied in Colorado two days since moving back to the U.S. in 1994, etc. Another woman in the class, who has worked at William Jewell College near Kansas City for over 25 years, asked me if I knew about Snow Creek Resort near Kansas City. I did not, but I did check out the website. I thought that if I couldn't get to the mountains, maybe I could try it out.

I had a free Saturday, and decided I might try to go. On Thursday night, I talked to my wife, Rose about the possibility of going skiing on Saturday. She thought it sounded all right. On Friday, she invited our daughter Charissa who wanted to go. As it turned out, Rose had a pretty sore back on Friday, and dropped out, but Charissa was looking forward to a Dad/Daughter type of date. I picked her up about 7:45 AM, and we drove north to Kansas City. As we drove into the area, of course, there was no snow anywhere. The resort was easy to find. About a half mile away I saw the sign on the road. We drove back into the parking lot, and voilá, there was snow! Man made snow, but snow nonetheless.

We got our tickets, got our skis, and hit the slopes. It was much larger than the one I had seen near Springfield. They had a base of near 60" of snow, and 10 runs open. We only used two different lifts. The chair lift near the bunny slope was usually crowded. I found out that it used to be at the place near Springfield. There were some places that were a bit steeper, but the entire place was skiable. We had a good time. We skied until a little past 5:00 PM, then headed back south. We stopped to eat at a Chili's restaurant in Kansas City, then got home around 9:30 PM. It was a good day.

Any Mountain (??) Any Snow? Well, you can't call where we were skiing a mountain. It was snow, though, and as Charissa said, "I've done without this for 12 years. I can certainly come up here once a year." My sentiments exactly. I'd rather ski in the mountains, but if that can't happen, give me Snow Creek.

I was happy to ski!



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Snow Creek was a blast! I would recommend it to anyone who can't get to a real ski resort to ski. I also had a great time with my daddy. :-) - Charissa