Day trip to June Mountain
Note 1: Brian skied with our dSLR, and posted many of the photos taken with it (including a bunch of me) on his site:

Note 2: The GIMP was instrumental in making these look decent. Apparently, photos taken of snow on a cloudy day tend to be lacking in contrast . . .

Lots of rain down in Pasadena meant that the mountains were getting dumped with snow. We'd been back from Boise for less than two days, but the prospect of all that powder was irresistable. We left around 3 a.m. and were skiing -- me on my new powder skis! -- by 10:30 or so.

* Brian started out driving, while I got in a fabulous nap under the green blanket with the heat seater on high.

* The snow level was insanely low. Like, there were inches of snow in the desert areas halfway there, on the Joshua trees and sagebrush and whatnot, and Bishop was a winter winderland. Fortunately, we were in a Subaru with all wheel drive, and having our chains with us was enough to get us past the checkpoint without actually having to put them on.

* So. Much. Powder.

* So much, in fact, when one of my skis came off on my third run, it took a good 20 minutes or so to find it. It was a little hard, for a few minutes there, not to get too stressed out over the possibility that it might be lost until spring, but I hadn't tumbled too far so there was a limited area to search, and eventually a guy who stopped to help us out called, "Found it!" Whew. (There were a couple other skiers at June that day who weren't so lucky.)

* Short stop for snacks, defrosting, and tea (Earl Grey, hot) at the mid-mountain lodge.

* Wall, a black diamond run we discovered that we'd never been on before. Brian had been eyeing it from below, not realizing it was an actual run (and therefore avalanche controlled), but after we went on a cat track through some wonderfully scenic trees, we found ourself at the top of it. It was just above the lodge and not super long, but there was a fun cornice to go off at the top, and the snow and inclination were just perfect.

* After a few laps on Wall, we made it back to the top just before closing, which is always satisfying.

* Brian told me how to properly navigate through all the fluffy mounds of snow (you have to turn just above them and then slide into them, rather than turning on or around them), and as a result I got new skis working really well, conquered the run that had tried to eat my ski earlier, and ended the day on a really high note.

* For dinner at "We Toss 'Em, They're Awesome" (a.k.a. The Pizza Factory) we ordered two medium pizzas and a large breadsticks. We ate maybe half the breadsticks and maybe a quarter of a pizza, total, which meant a week of delicious leftovers.

We didn't get too far after dinner before I started getting sleepy, so we found a spot next to a park in Independence, unrolled the sleeping bags in the back of the Subaru, and had a warm, cozy nap before finishing the trip back to Pasadena. (This was far superior to type of car nap where you just recline the seats and pass out, then wake up freezing cold once the car cools off.)
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