One of the most surefire signs that winter is coming lies in the Sun and it’s increasingly lazy morning schedule, only gracing me with its presence long after I’ve vacated my cozy sheets. It’s only going to get worse from here. Soon, I’ll be turning on my headlights to drive in to the office, or my headlamp if I’m feeling particularly energized and bike ready. I’ll sit in my 10×10- foot cube for the day, privy only to the monotony of my beige fabric partitions, not to the whims of the weather or the rays of the cheery winter sun. When the clock strikes 5, I’ll step outside into more darkness. To some, that’s what winter means. Cold, dark, and dangerous, with a constant chance of snow, ice, or a cruel combination. I used to be one of those people who dreaded the bitter cold of winter months. I would enjoy spur of the moment snowball fights or sledding down Horsebarn Hill on UConns campus, but I bided most of my time indoors with a cup of cocoa and some Holiday music, dreading the next time I would have to trudge outside in 18 layers of thinsulate and down jackets.
When you take up residence in a mountain town like Bozeman, you aren’t allowed to dread winter or wallow in your wool socks as you stare forlornly out the window at the demon flakes littering the ground. You’re expected to embrace the cold, smile through your scarves, and even extract your warm, mittened hand from your pocket to wave at acquaintances. Inclement weather means fresh Pow Pow Gnar Gnar (snow, for you non mountain folk) and there even exists a light downtown atop Schnees outdoor sporting goods that flashes jubilantly when Bridger Bowl, the local ski mountain, has a new powdery blanket. I used to scoff at this light, and the jarring amount of joy it would bring to Bozeman ski bunnies and dirtbags alike.
Well friends, I have become one of them. I think. I have succumbed to the call of the mountains, and purchased myself a shiny new ski pass for Bridger Bowl. That’s right, I am about to spend most of my winter willingly bundling up in preparation for the cold weather to send myself hurtling down the side of the Rocky Mountains on two death sticks attached to my feet. I paid money for this.
To be honest, I’m actually quite excited. Last winter, I spent a lot of time watching Netflix and being sedentary. This winter brings me something to look forward to; a new learning experience that, with a little luck, will be a lot of fun. I thought my skiing career was over after high school, but as the old saying goes, If you can’t beat them, join them! While I know I’ll never beat any of the gapers and Bozemanites down the steep slopes of Bridger, Hopefully we can all enjoy a nice après-ski and revel in the glory that is the infamous cold smoke of the Bridger Bowl.