It is magnificent here. We got here yesterday after a pretty leisurely five-hour drive from Los Angeles. As the drive progressed, the terrain gradually turned from So-Cal valleys to desert to High Sierra mountains. The vast expanse of nothingness was impressive and humbling.

The road went ever upwards, marked occasionally by elevation signs. We passed 2000, then 3000, then 4000 feet. By the time we hit the town of Mammoth Lakes, we were at 8000 feet above sea level. We checked into a very nice condo townhouse with two bedrooms. Dad and I are sharing a room, and Wayne and Aesook have the other room.

We went out for a very rich and very delicious French meal last night to celebrate Wayne’s upcoming birthday. I had a spinach salad, a walnut encrusted stuffed chicken breast, and creme brulee for dessert. There was a nice bottle of Chateauneuf du Pape wine to go with it. Yum.

Skiing today was perfect. I can’t remember a better day of skiing, actually. The skies were blue, the temperature was slightly below freezing, the sun took the edge off the cold, there was no wind, and there was 24 inches of fresh powder snow on the ground. I was a bit nervous at first, since I haven’t been on skis in about 13 years. When I used to ski, our skis had straight edges, and turns had to be done with some pretty precise weight transfers and body postures. Now, the skis have curved edges, and they do all the work for you. Knowing how to ski is like riding a bike. You never forget. But coming back to skiing and finding these carving skis is coming back to biking and finding that they all have training wheels now.

We made it up to 10,000 feet of elevation today. It’s just high enough to give you a bit of shortness of breath because the air is thinner. The view was stunning though: mountains as far as the eye could see, brilliant sunlight, ancient redwood trees, and powder snow as fine as sugar.

We’ve got two more days of skiing left. I can only hope our remaining days are as perfect as today, although I might start to feel a bit guilty about that…