Most wouldn’t call the act of maneuvering oneself around various objects and people on a wooden plank an art, but I’m not one of them. Hearing the crunch of fresh snow compacting under the pressure of my snowboard as I sail down deep inclines while trying to avoid swift skiers crisscrossing the trail ahead and fallen beginners dotting my pathway could be considered the crescendo to the musical that is a day-trip in the Lake Tahoe region.
Much like many opening numbers, the trip starts out slow. Heading north towards Sacramento on Interstate 680 for nearly an hour before merging on to Interstate 80 going east and continuing on to U.S. Route 50, the drive takes about three to four hours to complete depending on speed and number of rest stops. However, once past the cityscape and its shopping malls and chain restaurants, a buildup begins. The tempo is picked up a slight notch as all semblances of modernity dissolve outside the car window leaving way for towering redwood trees and quaint towns with populations of less than 7,000 people. Small patches of snow grow with each passing mile, and each time one is seen, there’s a quick and high jump in the pitch of the musical, much like the quick slide of a bow over the strings of a violin.
By the time the car is parked in the lot of my favorite ski resort, Sierra-at-Tahoe, and the snowboards unloaded, the high-energy harmonies of the violins have completely taken over the musical. Pulling on layers of warm fleece and water-resistant shells, the pumping of adrenalin through my veins mirror the sounds of beating drums. Thump, thump, thump as I grab my snowboard. Thump, thump, thump, as I heave myself and my gear on to the ski lift.
“Are you ready?” said my boyfriend casually, oblivious to the pounding sounds of the drums and my heart.
It’s show time.