Silver Mountain and Schweitzer Basin, Idaho
January 10-13, 2008

Naturally, the Idaho ski trip to Silver Mountain and Schweitzer Basin was all that was promised and more, us being in the hands of those old pro's and fun guides, Mike and Sandee Miner, an' all.

Flew out of SEA-TAC to Spokane on a flight so short, there was barely time to gulp down our choice of water or juice. They call it an "abbreviated beverage service". Aptly named.

The charter bus was waiting when we arrived and we had a pleasant ride to Kellogg, Idaho, stopping at a Safeway enroute to pick up foodstuffs and wine for a potluck the next evening. Stayed at the Morning Star Lodge. Really nice condo-style place with a roof-top hot tub and right at the base of their famous gondola, longest in the world. Next day we had epic powder and toured the whole mountain, stopping only for lunch. The chicken roll and beer was a favorite. That night, we herded into Mike & Sandee's room for a spaghetti feed, with Caesar Salad tossed by the tossing team of Jack Gillette and Laurie Huston.

Bright and early the next morning, we are back on the bus in full ski attire and headed for Schweitzer Basin. Offloaded our gear at Selkirk Lodge (another nice place) and immediately headed for the slopes. Despite a bit of fog, we got in a good day and a good feel for the terrain. Some folks left the cold snow early to watch the Seahawks lose in the cold snow of Green Bay. At least Mike and Sandee had the good sense to get back on the slopes for some night skiing. That night, most of us pigged out at the hotel grill which had great food, and (thankfully) unlimited supplies of wine...

Next day, we had mostly clear skies and great snow on well-groomed slopes and a nice variety of really good runs. And no crowds! The gladed areas through the trees were especially fun. When the day wore on, Mike would share his Peppermint Schnapps from his always-handy plastic squeeze bottle. Or Jack would pass a shot from his sterling silver, bullet proof flask, with his own, secret liqueur blend, which we dubbed "Doctor Jack's Special Elixir". Talk about some powerful stuff ~ it would make a mule mellow.

Poor Laurie suffered through a spate of losing things. Left her gloves in her room, then later dropped one off the lift, and then lost a pole off the lift. Suspicion was that she had an overdose of Dr. Jack’s mule medicine…

The day ended with us forming a "Skihawks baggage brigade" to portage all our gear across the snow from the lodge onto the bus. Then onboard and down the mountain to Spokane for the flight home. Sandee brought fresh baked pizza for the bus ride and somehow (gasp!) wine appeared, so we launched a mobile party and basked in the thoughts of three great days of skiing just passed and planned for more great trips with the Skihawks. Colorado anyone?               Dean Wilson

Skihawks at Schweitzer

Photos courtesy Sandy Papacek