The Freakin' Weekend

Preston and I had a party hanging with the whole Smith family this weekend!
 For the past couple of years I have been lucky to be able to tag along as the girlfriend (although the smiths have always made me feel like family) on these family ski/snowboarding trips. Typically we would stay in the lovely city of Logan Sunday night and ride all day Monday but this time around was a treat having a cabin for the whole weekend and being only a ten minute drive from the Beave - one of our favorite little resorts ever!
The cabin we stayed in was right over the summit as you drive down to Bear Lake.
(Below is a photo at the top of the summit, the sea of clouds you see there are covering all of Bear lake!)

 It had plenty of room for the 10 to 14 of us there, plus a hot tub which was a blessing after an intense day of riding for our sore, broken bodies!
Saturday I got to go riding with my husband and the boys - Devan and Hazen. It was absolutely beautiful on the mountain, way 'warm', too (mid thirties). We had blue skies all day, it was a joy being above the inversion and breathing fresh air for once in the last few weeks!
Just so you all know, Preston is pretty much a pro at snowboarding, so you can imagine the patience he has to ride all day with his avid but easily worn out snowboarder wife. In highschool riding every weekend and nearly every day of Christmas break was NBD, (especially because highschool season prices are stupid cheap compared to adults/college student rates!!) but now, only going a handful of times a year practically guarantees that the following day will be full of sore neck, arm and leg muscles along with some random bruises, mostly on the knees. Ok, its only ever that bad when you happen to do an intensive leg work out + challenging yoga the night before (not to sound like a uppity gym junky, I honestly don't go as much as I should. Sorry presto!).
Really, despite the whining, riding was so much fun and nothing beats the feeling of riding through deep, fresh, hardly touched snow, creating new lines and dodging trees left and right or speeding so fast down a hill that you are giddy with fear of crashing.
Back country or 'tree riding', thanks to Preston, is my absolute favorite kind of riding now. I never really enjoyed the terrain park, i can 50/50 a fat, short box like a champ but that is the extent of my skill there. I am so glad preston shared his love of back country with me, and am grateful for the patience he used to teach me and for slowing down a couple hundred notches so I could mimic his maunuvers until I became more confident in my own abilities.
So with this born-again love for snowboarding how could I turn down riding off the back side of Beaver down to the road in the fo-real back country powder (pretty easily actually, I was exhausted) with my guy? So at the end of a long day, Dev and Hazen went on a few more runs, mainwhile Preston and I headed up "Harry's Dream" (I love lift names) to begin our quest off the back side. I have done this ride with him and cool uncle Wayne before, and that was just funny. I pretty much rolled, plowed, and face planted down the whole thing. This time I knew I was tired, but also that I had improved so much since then! Typically we can ride off the back quite a ways before it starts going flat and then you need to hike but the combination of sun and winds made for some icy riding which resulted into much more hiking than usual for us. Hiking in snow, especially when carrying a long awkward object, is always a joy! Luckily for us, the ridge is beautiful with breathtaking views off both sides. We felt a little bit like Legolas and the gang ("they're taking the hobbits to Isengard!"), but with a simpler task at hand.
yes, the snow was that deep

We, well Preston, decided to take off from the first peak rather than the third, my extreme panting probably helped make his decision.
He talked of cruising through clearings  of untouched snow on our ride up Harry's, however this is not what we experienced. We went through the thickest, gnarliest bunches of trees with sparse clearings maybe 4 feet in diameter, not to mention the ice snow, crusty and anything but smooth. So thick we were forced to make our way over a boulder patch or two which I am sure was really good for the bottoms of our boards.  It was way more challenging then I expected, though half way through we did hit I nice big clearing and a cliff drop for Preston to hit, he is so cool!
the "thick of it"

When we thought we were nearing the end of our exhausting adventure, we realized we had ridden our selves not far enough to the left or right but perfectly down into a gulch. I wish we had pictures of us hiking up the steep side through snow up to our waists, using our boards to chop into the snow in front of us and then pulling forward one tiring step at a time. Now, if I didn't paint the
picture detailed enough let me just throw it out there that I was wiped out and so ready to lose it! Not of Preston, not on the mountain but on myself and my lack of endurance, this is where my new theme popped into my head, and was repeated over 100 times "I CAN do hard things"! Guess what? I can do hard things, and I did, with a smile on my face (most of the time... A fraction of the time).

We got our selves out of the crack and back up the mountain side, strapped out boards back on and took a narrow, icy sharp trail down the rest of thr moutnain, fianlly arriving to our final destination.
Doubling the time it would normally take someone to finish that ride, I am glad Devan and Hazen a) didn't go for help, b) leave us stranded by the side of the road.
The rest of the trip was easy going with games, movies, good food, and the greatest company.
More stories & pictures to come! 

xoxo Amanda

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