Some Art, Some Running

Even though it is March and the days are getting longer, it still 100% feels like winter out there. Despite the temps, B and I forced ourselves to be out and about last week. Thursday night we hit the Retna opening at Chase Contemporary. I have been a fan of his for a while. Here is a sample of his Bowery wall mural, as I saw it in March 2012. Anyway, we saw some equally awesome stuff at the gallery opening on Thurs.

That being said, I kind of feel bad for anyone who opened an exhibition last week in NYC, because the town was all abuzz with the fact that Banksy was back in North America and had put some work in NYC. So much hype that even the local news covered it, hahahaha. Lordy, it was like listening to a couple of elderly ladies talking about “the grime raps” or something. Speaking of the Bowery Mural, B*nksy has turned it into his latest propaganda piece.

I haven’t made it over to see that one yet. But we did wander into Chelsea to look at the rat. Here are a couple of snaps, along with a couple of my faves from the Retna opening.

Aaaaand finally, B and I both ran the NYC half on Sunday. It was a new course, starting in Prospect Park, ending in Central Park. The course went over the Manhattan Bridge, which was awesome for me since I mix that bridge into most of my longer runs anyway. The difference being that I usually have it to myself instead of sharing it with 20k other runners. Back to the weather…. this was probably the coldest race I have ever run. It was fine, once I finally got going and the sun came up. But man, waiting for it to start was brutal! New course is amazing. B got a PR. Overall, a really decent day. Here is a crappy pic from my celly of my fellow runners freezing their booties off in Prospect Park.

Rainy Weekend

Same Brooklyn, different weather. Some of these are from walking around doing errands on Saturday, shot with real camera. Some are cell phone shots from my Sunday morning run. I normally don’t take a phone with me when I run, but I did in the rain? Go figure. Try to spot Lola. She was wearing Camo.

Upstate Winter Vibes

One of the crazy things about upstate New York is that it is like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. In the summer it is so green, lush and vibrant. In the winter it is like a dystopian wasteland. Anyway, we were in the Catskils over the weekend doing some research. It was kind of snowing, kind of raining, generally gross weather. We came across some dilapidated mansion/hotel looking structures that I had to pull over to get a couple of snaps of. I also love these awesome little trestle bridges where the highway goes back and forth over the river. Here are a couple of frames from the drive.

Tahoe: 4 Resorts in 4 Days (Final Part)

Day 4

Continued from Part 3… Monday morning we woke up to a thick blanket of fog socking in South Lake Tahoe. We threw all of our gear into the Jeep and headed toward Kirkwood, which was about a 30 minute drive away. As we turned off of the main highway and started to head up the windy canyon road, we quickly broke through the cloud barrier. Above the fog, it was another bluebird day with the sun blazing overhead. Since it was a Monday, and we showed up on the early side, we were able to get an amazing parking spot right at the base of the lift. It was so warm that we took our time suiting up, before meeting our Expedition Kirkwood mountain guide for the day, Chris.

Our first run was off of chair number 5, “Solitude.” We felt the stoke settling in as it became apparent that we were going to have this mountain mostly to ourselves, with tons of snow and virtually spring weather. Chris lead us down a couple of groomers to get a sense of our riding ability before taking us to a back bowl that was capped in a giant cornice famously called “the wave.” We rode the “Sunrise” lift for two or three runs, each time stopping to take in the view from the shoulder of Thimble Peak. Thank you to mountain guide Chris for the photo directly below.

Chris took us back to Mountain Village from the back bowl, where we caught chair number 6, “Cornice Express.” From there we traversed a massive cliff section to Sentinel Bowl. We alternated between tree runs and cat track switchbacks. I could tell that this zone would be insanely fun with a couple of inches of fresh. Even with the sun softening up the top layer of 5 day old snow, it was some really good riding.

At lunch time, we soaked in some sun and enjoyed a locally brewed beer at Mountain Village. As the afternoon waxed on, we explored various runs off Wagon Wheel Bowl, and a few other spots on the main mountain. When it came time to call it a day, we were totally spent. This was the first time in recent history that either of us had spent four days in a row riding all day long. It was pretty amazing.

After going through the longstanding ritual of changing clothes in the ski resort parking lot (at least it was sunny and nice out), we packed up the Jeep and headed back toward Reno. The drive was pretty quick and painless. One suggestion that I have for anyone taking the Jetblue red-eye to NYC out of Reno: eat before you get to the airport. Every restaurant and bar shuts down at 8:30. One more pointer, the Jetlbue desk at the Reno airport is not open until 8:45. So, take your time getting to the airport.

When B and I boarded the plane, we saw a familiar face. One of our NYC based friends was working the flight. She hooked us up with neck pillows and blankets, which is the last thing I remember before landing at JFK. This was the soundest that I have ever slept on an airplane. Once on the ground, we picked up our board bags and grabbed an UBER home. The flight landed early enough to miss rush hour for the most part. We were back in Manhattan in less than an hour, in time to shower and head to the office. And that… is how, from NYC to Reno, we rode four Tahoe resorts in four days.

Tahoe: 4 Resorts in 4 Days (Part 3)

Day 3

View from the Heavenly Gondola on Sunday Morning

Continued from Part 2… Sunday morning we woke up at the crack of dawn, walked across the street and met up with a legend. I don’t use that word lightly. Along with “extreme” and “epic,” I feel like “legend” has become a little bit diluted from overuse. This dude, however, is the real deal. His name is Kevin Cooper. Everyone knows him as “Coop.” As we came to find out during the course of the rest of the weekend, he is the type of guy who should have his own Wikipedia page. If he ever writes an autobiography, I would stand in line to buy it. Anyway, we had some breakfast burritos at Heaven’s Little Cafe, which is literally a snowball’s throw from the entrance to the gondola in Heavenly Village. The burritos were legit. As we fueled up, Coop gave us the lowdown for the day of riding that lay ahead of us.

View from the top of Tamarack Express (Photo Cred: Kevin “Coop” Cooper)

Our first taste of the surreal scenery that Heavenly offers was riding the gondola from Heavenly Village to the Tamarack Lodge. I tried to snap a couple of shots through the gondola window with my celly (top photo), but it really doesn’t do it justice. The gondola deposited us at the base of Tamarack Express, which provides access to the California side of the resort, as well as the rest of the Nevada side. We spent most of the morning hitting groomers on the California side of the hill, just carving up corduroy. Before lunch, Coop took us through some nice tree runs off of Sky Express. We also took a quick lap through the terrain park, which was still being built out for the season.

After lunch we headed back to the NV side of the resort via Skyline Trail. One lap down this thing pays for your lift ticket. It is a slow narrow cat track that feels like an amusement park ride. I say that because there is so much scenery going on in every direction it is difficult to know which way to look. The experience is akin to being on the observation deck of at 30 Rock (better than the Empire State Building) or the top of the Eiffel Tower. Sadly I did not get any photos from Skyline. Honestly, they would been insufficient to convey what being up there is like. There is no lens wide enough to accurately capture that experience.

Coop had another engagement for the afternoon, so B and I spent the latter half of the day exploring different tree runs on the Nevada side of the resort. The afternoon sun had softened up the snow considerably, and it was quite forgiving even in the dense pines. After 3 full days of riding, it was a nice reward to be able to take in lake views once again, riding the gondola back to Heavenly Village. I should add that there were two lovely ladies handing out warm cookies and hot chocolate at Tamarack Lodge. B shot me a look as she collected her free cup of hot chocolate as if to say “now I see why they call it Heavenly.”

Headed back toward Heavenly Village

B and I headed back to the Becket for a little apres ski, before meeting up with Coop for dinner at Kalani’s. We drank local wine, ate some amazing fish and had some great conversation. The highlight was Coop telling us stories about his father-in-law Dick Reuter from the days he was enlisted to develop the terrain at Kirkwood Mountain. Listening to him recount all of the close calls that Dick and his crew had with dynamite, had my abs sore from laughing. It was an awesome day from start to finish. B and I both slept like rocks that night, dreaming about what our last day in Tahoe would have in store for us.