The best way to describe my first three days on the Sun Valley Mountain is with the color white.
I would say the majority of typical Spring Break trips verge on the glamorous and beach-going side. I’m not saying I would be opposed to a relaxing week on the Mexican coast; but the thing is, I found something way better. Driving from Berkeley, California to Sun Valley, Idaho on a rainy Friday afternoon turned out to be even more perilous than it sounds.
Our little Subaru hit what would be the season’s biggest storm, only about an hour into the drive. A quick Nevada City detour for lunch turned into a twelve-hour layover and by morning there was well over three feet of snow. Slow and steady, we ventured up I-80, finally passing Reno to get to the open stretches of highway that would eventually take us to Idaho. We drove for hours, and hours, and hours, burning through every Taylor Swift album (which I sang at the top of my lungs) and most of my iTunes library.
The best way to describe my first three days on the Sun Valley Mountain is with the color white. Snow fell at such a consistent rate that my snowboard tracks were covered by the time I got back to the top of the run. “White,” however, is in no way a negative description; I had never experienced such an abundance of snow. It felt as if I were slipping down the tops of lightly toasted marshmallows, effortlessly transitioning from turn to turn. Falling happened often and painlessly; I remember sinking back into the snow to catch my breath and taking in the way the forces of nature were so gently creating a snow sport’s perfect playground. When the cold finally got the best of me, we all headed inside for Sun Valley’s famous “Bowl of Soul” that warmed from the inside out.
If any of us thought those three days were amazing (I think the word heavenly may have been used) then we were certainly unprepared for the glory that would be the last day on the mountain. It was a quintessential bluebird powder day: multiple feet of untouched snow and a sky so blue it looked as though someone had thrown a can of cyan paint up into the snow clouds that had covered the horizon only twelve hours before. I don’t think I would have enjoyed the day any less had it been our first in Sun Valley. I do think, however, that my appreciation for the grandeur that lay before me was greatly heightened because of the voyage that had transpired. The memories made during that trip are ones that I will hold with me for a lifetime and I will always remember that the journey is half the fun.