11 November 2006

Patience Schmatience And Mt. Hood Brewing Company

Nothing could have eroded whatever patience I might have built up about the upcoming ski season/patrol apprentice year quite like going up to Government Camp and seeing all that snow.

Yeah, it was coming down big time up there. Didn't think to bring a camera, since I figured I'd be too busy. See, I was up there at the Ski Patrol building to help with some pre-season prep, like getting splints repaired, sled packs packed, first aid packs re-stocked, marking new splints, and all sorts of ski patrol-related stuff to get things ready for the season.

With all the rain we've been having in town, I figured there'd be snow up there, but the reports I'd seen didn't seem to indicate all that much. So, I wasn't too worried that I'd forgotten to throw the chains in the Sorento.

That very well could have been a mistake. As it was, I had to put 'er into 4WD low to make the final few turns on Highway 26 before climbing into Government Camp. There was easily 4" or so on the ground near the patrol building, and close to 6" in the lot over at Ski Bowl. It was really coming down and really starting to look beautiful.

After all the work was done, we met with some of our sled training coaches as well as other patrollers at the Mt. Hood Brewing Company brewpub just down the street from the patrol building. It's a nice-looking place, with friendly staff, good grub and excellent beer. I had the Hogsback Oatmeal Stout, and it was excellent. Smooth, malty, roasty, and strong, the way I like it. Hints of chocolate, coffee, and molasses, reminding me somewhat of Bridgeport's Black Strap Stout. I've also had the Ice Axe IPA once before, and their Cloudcap Amber. Hopefully, I'll get to go back and sample some more of their stuff.
To eat, I had a chicken sandwich that had pepper bacon on it, and it was very tasty. The fries were pretty good, too. I bought a couple of their logo pint glasses, with the logo on one side and "The Microbrewery with Altitude" on the back, to add to our collection.

We conversed with our coaches and patrollers for a while over the beer and food, watched the snow fall outside, and just generally enjoyed the afternoon. I drove home, excited about ski season, and satisfied with a decent day's work and some good beer.

Saturday night, we had dinner at Old Chicago, and I tried Anderson Valley's Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale. Pretty good stuff, with some spicy warmth to it. Not thick and hearty, but smooth anyway, and a hint of sweetness from the caramel and crystal malts. Just a little darker than your average amber ale. I'd have some more. Couldn't find it in bottles, but we only checked a couple places. After dinner, we watched the Ducks get their posteriors handed to them over at Rick & Brandi's place, then played some poker. I hadn't seen so many full houses in a game as I did last night. Crazy.

Lost in the shuffle of all that was going on for us Saturday was the fact that it was Veterans' Day. I did take a moment by myself outside the patrol building while the snow was falling around me to silently thank those who served before me, those I served with, and those who continue to serve. Here's to brother Jim, pal Punk-san, and blogquaintances Jinxy, Paul, and Brando. And the vets that B works with and helps. And of course B herself.

Today was a lazy morning, got up late, milled around the house, then finally got out to take my skis to the shop, looked around G.I. Joe's for a ski helmet (found one I want, the Giro Fuse, but want to see if I can find it cheaper elsewhere), and then mailed back a DVD from NetFlix. Got home, raked some leaves, cleaned some stuff around the house, rearranged some furniture, and settled in to watch the Steelers-Saints game.

My boys got the job done today, with "Fast Willie" Parker breaking off TWO 70+ yard runs and gaining over 200 on the ground and a pair of TDs. Big Ben looked pretty sharp, with 3 TDs and no picks, and the team overall didn't turn the ball over. I really hope this is the team we see the rest of the season. Only bad spot was Troy Polamalu getting his bell rung hitting Reggie Bush. Sounded like a pretty bad concussion, but hopefully he's going to be okay. I'd bitch about the missed hold on Aaron Smith in the 4th quarter that led to the Saints' last TD, but the Steelers won the game anyway, so the point is moot.

Also, Arsenal put up 3 goals on Liverpool and substitute keeper Almunia posted a clean sheet for a 3-nil win. I haven't watched the game yet, but hopefully I'll get the chance soon. Anyway, good weekend all 'round.