But maybe I made his dreams come completely true!
Do you remember the first time powder… soft, dry, untracked, endless powder touched your board? Oh it is most certainly addicting. Were you addicted? Did you feel that all other pursuits up to that moment were but silly contrivances? But wastes of your time?
Oh the thrill!
Except would you like to hear about the first time that soft, dry, untracked endless powder touched my board? Let’s rewind five years.
I had just married snowboard legend Circe Wallace. We were in Jackson, Wyoming to see her wonderful client Travis Rice. Now, being married to a snowboard legend already presents a constellation of problems. LodgeGrit principal Willie McMillon summed it up thusly. “Yeah. You snowboard. You’re not a snowboarder.’
And he is exactly right. Trying to follow Circe down the hill in those early years was an exercise in humility. I could snowboard, yes, but I was not a snowboarder and the subtleties of difference here are vast.
In any case, I had also never ridden powder. Ever.
And back to Jackson. Travis, though, was going to makes dreams come true for a Make-A-Wish foundation younger man who wanted to, above all, snowboard in the presence of greatness.
Make-A-Wish, for those who don’t know, is a fantastic non-profit involved in allowing kids with life threatening illnesses to experience the thrill of a lifetime. Race car driving with Dale Earnhardt Jr. Watching a Laker game from the bench with LeBron James. Snowboarding with Travis Rice.
I think that it was only expected that Travis would take the kid on a couple groomers at the resort. Travis being Travis he booked a heli to take the kid into the back-country. For some reason I went along.
Having never ridden powder. Ever.
As we soared over the beauty I was quite impressed and the kid was over the very moon. Here he was riding in a helicopter with Travis Rice getting ready to bomb hills straight outta Art of Flight. The dream!
We landed somewhere and piled out. Travis was a vision to watch. He is a big man yet floats like a butterfly. The kid was super impressive, laying turns in the deep. Circe was Circe. A ballerina. And then it was my turn.
I shifted forward, kept my weight on my front foot for stability and… rolled. Head over heals down the entire hill.
I did this time and time and time again while everyone watched me from the bottom. We would hop the helicopter back up and I would repeat.
Shame burned in all of my sinews.
But at least I felt like I made-a-wish too. The kid looked like a pro next to me and the smile shown brightly on his face.