Ski Partner In Paradise

Posted on February 22, 2012


Mari in Fresh Snow

My daughter has a day off from school because of parent/teacher conferences and I managed to pry her away from her Anime so we could go for a ski. At sea level it is still rainy and wet, but it has been snowing steadily at the base of Eaglecrest and higher. The downhill area is closed until tomorrow so we hit the cross-country trails. We planned on going out on our skate skis, but the trails had not been groomed and the snow was too deep to skate through comfortably or efficiently. Mari doesn’t have any classical skis so she used the old skis that she learned on, the ones that her brother is using now. They are pretty short for her, but she made them work. I switched over to my old classical racing skis and picked a kick wax that I thought would be in the right range, but the snow was a lot warmer than I expected. Not wanting to go back to the car and change out wax or equipment again, I just stayed out and flailed around the trail. Although I didn’t set us up for an ideal experience, it was fun and worthwhile. It’s pretty hard to beat the energizing electrical feeling that you get from freshly falling snow.

Mari's Last Year in the Backpack, Touring Hatcher Pass photo courtesy of Martin Johannes Lindeke

Mari has been my ski partner since before she was born. I skied a lot when she was in my belly and as soon as her neck was strong enough to hold her head steady she started skiing with me in a backpack or a sled. We have logged a lot of kilometers together and it was good to get out in the winter wonderland and ski with her today.

Paradise Cafe Bakery Counter photographed by Wendy Dembeck

We topped off our ski with a visit to Paradise Café in downtown Juneau. Joan Deering has set up a most hospitable little spot that I love returning to. Joan makes the best Americano I have ever tasted and when she is not there to make it, I have learned not to bother ordering it because nobody else can do it like she does. Her puff pastry is world-class. She takes the time to make it from scratch and the difference is evident. The layers puff apart into just the right golden flake to accompany sweet or savory combinations of goodness. Mari has been lucky enough to order a hot chocolate when Joan had some leftover chocolate mousse and got a dollop of that in her drink instead of whipped cream. If you feel like eggs, there are a number of options that you can choose and none of them will disappoint. Joan also offers Saturday cooking classes and special dinners on some Friday nights.

To learn more about Paradise Café visit