A couple of years ago while having a cup of coffee during a ski break, one of those free ski gear buyers guide you find at ski lodges had the following editorial. I liked it so much; I tore out the page and put in a rarely used ski jacket pocket. A few weeks ago I rediscovered this treasure. If you love the outdoors you’re going to enjoy this…
Glen Plake, the Mohawk-headed Pied Piper of American skiing, once told me, “Skiing is the best way of wasting time that I know.” And honestly, I can’t think of anything more simply pleasurable than going up and down a snow-covered hill.
It’s worth remembering in times like this how good the wind can feel in your face, with the world speeding beneath your skis, spinning like a wheel. Chairlifts make it better. Good friends make it great. And helicopters make it superb. But all you really need is gravity, and snow.
When I graduated from college I moved to Jackson Hole and skied more than 600 days over four years. I delivered pizzas and planted trees, and was out of work each mud season in the spring and fall. But I always had enough money for a new pair of skis and a season pass, and there was never any shortage of beer.
Billy D, my roommate from that time, sent me an e-mail when the 2008 economic crisis was snowballing across the planet like the wreckage of a small moon that said, “I bet we could get back our old jobs.” He’s an investment banker now. But other than his wife, his kids and their impending college tuition, he says he thinks about those seasons we spent skiing more than anything else he did. “Yeah,” I told him, “Me too.” Which is the difference between making memories and making money. No matter how hard you work to earn either, only memories consistently pay you back over the long haul. That’s why, no matter what happens with the economy, I’m skiing as much as I can this year. Because the dividends are guaranteed, and the (re)turns are unbelievable. I’ll see you out there. – Pete
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