Earning My Turns (with a little help from others)

Posted on January 30, 2012


Eaglecrest Ski Area Trail Map

Today was another day that skiers dream of and wish for. It snowed pretty much all night and it was still snowing when I left the house this morning. However, while backing out of my driveway, on my way to Eaglecrest, I got stuck in the stiff and icy berm that the City and Borough of Juneau left for us when they plowed our street. Is it too much to ask that the plow trucks lift their blades when they pass a driveway? It’s a good thing I decided to throw that shovel in the back of my car. Heading up to the mountain went off without a hitch, more on being there later. Coming down seemed like it was going just fine until I approached the North Douglas Highway. There is a stretch that steepens just as Fish Creek Road intersects the thoroughfare and warming temperatures kept my AWD from stopping, slowing down, or even steering out of it. I plowed into the snowbank on the other side that prevented me from going into the steep ditch, but I went in hard enough that I couldn’t get out. Thankfully the cars behind me chose different directions to slide and they didn’t crash into me. One of the drivers in the truck behind me was quick to jump out as I began shoveling, once again, and found somebody else to help him push me out. All I needed was a little extra push and I was on my way again. Once home I decided to dig out our mailbox so the mailman could deliver. The box was plowed into a berm about 10 feet from where the mail truck could drive. I set to ice picking and shoveling, alternately, and made little headway until a front end loader stopped and dug me out in three bucket loads. Yay for humanity! My faith has been restored.

The skiing was amazing and every turn was worth the snow hardship endured this day. I still wish that I was a better powder skier, but days like these are just what will bring my skills up. The snow is getting so deep that the trees are getting further apart and it is easier to shoot off into them without worrying about falling into a tree well or skiing into a trunk.

From our freezer I pulled a section of Bristol Bay Naknek River caught King Salmon. We will be enjoying it baked, in the simple way that I like to prepare salmon, with some Bhutanese Red rice. I bake it in a fully pre-heated oven at 425 degrees Fahrenheit, for about 17 minutes, seasoned with a little bit of salt and onion powder. To me, King Salmon has such inherently good qualities that if you let it speak for itself, it will do more than just that, it will sing.

Arteberry Maresh 2009 D.H. Porth Dundee Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

For a little harmony we will be having a 2009 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir that was produced in Dundee, OR by Jim Arterberry Maresh. D. H. Porth is considered to be Arterberry Maresh Winery’s “second label,” but you wouldn’t know it if you weren’t told. In my opinion the wine stands up and holds its own with some of my favorite Willamette Valley Pinot Noirs. Maybe I feel that way because I got such a good deal on a case of this wine from my wine guy in Portland, Michael Alberty of Storyteller Wine Co. Last year the case price was $159 and it has been really interesting to see how an already good wine has matured with a little bit of time. I believe this is the best value and the most I have gotten for my money out of a wine, ever. If you would like to read the write-up Michael wrote that convinced me to buy a case, here is the link to his newsletter archive:


If I had to pick a favorite food and wine combination it would, without hesitation or doubt, be Bristol Bay King Salmon from my home stream, the Naknek River, and Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. I have never found that the flavors overwhelm each other and the deep earthy, sometimes smoky, quality that is often found in Willamette Valley Pinots is unparalleled next to quality King Salmon. Except maybe a Pinot Noir from Burgundy, but the proximity of the Willamette Valley and Bristol Bay makes more sense to me.

Earning turns never tasted or felt so good.