Last Friday Stefan was able to take a day off and we had planned to go sledding on Mt. Baker. That's the huge mountain that we're facing. It was a near 2 hour drive and the kids immediately got onto this ledge after hopping out of the car. That's me trying to wrangle them up, and slowly ease them down the dirty snow. On the other side of this (don't read grandmas) was a HUGE drop.
We were only there for about two hours, but Lukka could have stayed all day. Ani only did three runs, and I don't blame her. The first run down with Lukka, her, and me she got sprayed in the face the whole way down. It took her nearly an hour to go down again!
If you can see towards the top right of the photo above, there is blue, blue sky poking through.
The only time I happened to pick up the camera to take some shots was in between sled trips down, and back up, and it was during a three minute spurt of overcast. It would become bright blue and gorgeously sunny, then back to overcast with sleet within minutes. Then it would stop and repeat. The whole time!
There were just a few other families on the hill, and in fact the reason you don't see any skiers or snowboarders in these photos is because this is actually over a frozen lake. There are no 'runs' right here, it's the free part. Our kids have never snowboarded, skied, and I have a lousy track record myself. Stefan brought the snowboard and had a few runs. I think he had a lot of fun. It's been nearly 10 years since he's been on one! There aren't too many mountains in Nebraska....
I tried the snowboard on but chickened out going down the hill, I just kept remembering that time in high school, when I was never more black, blue, and defeated with a sport in all my life! We own one, though, and we live close to the mountains, and gosh darn it! I'm going to learn if even if me makes me cry and look like a fool.
Speaking of foolish, just walking on top of the snow would sometimes land you thigh-deep in a snow-hole. I practically had to army crawl out of one, and thought I'd really lost my shoe in another!
There were two other families, one from Texas, and one from Florida, who had never seen snow. I know it's common, but how is that possible? What kind of world would it be without snow? I can't imagine. I love being so close to all types of climates, though I do not miss -at all- the heat and humidity in the summer. I'm actually looking forward to summer this year. The last time I did that I was probably 11 and could stay home by myself, and had a pool pass.
After two hours, it had started snowing fairly hard and the kids' hair was soaked. It was too hot for a lot of layers, but I knew we needed to get inside, get warm, and come down the mountain before it got dark. We hopped over to the lodge for a bathroom break and some warm french fries to share, and then left. We hadn't been to the famous Edaleen Dairy before so I talked Stefan into stopping before we got home for a little delicious ice cream.
It was such a fun way to squeeze in a little family day-cation. The kids already want to go back. I'd like to try my hand at cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, downhill skiing (again) and when I have no more excuses left, snowboarding. I just have to get over my fear of breaking a major bone and looking embarrassingly silly in the process.
We live in a great environment to enjoy the outdoors year round. There is no excuse not to go outside and play when this is practically in our backyard.