Photos courtesy Sandi Braget, Sandee Miner, Sandy Papacek
New Year’s 2009 at Mt. Hood

I want to thank the most wonderful group of people I know - the Ski Hawks - who have started me off onto probably the best year I will ever have! I have never been welcomed by such open arms and wide smiles. Who would ever think I could go almost 200 miles from my home for a New Year's Eve Party and find over 50 people who I may sincerely call my friends - not acquaintances - FRIENDS!!!! This is SPECIAL!!!
   It snowed, it rained and the wind blew - the major ski area, Mt Hood Meadows, closed all but one lift and stated it was the worse storm in five years - but all of this did not keep the Ski Hawks from a wonderful - eventful time - NO - it gave them an excuse to use their creative minds and come up with a list of even more things to do for three days -
   Some kept on going to the ski areas - the large one shut down - we'll just go to the small one, Cooper Spur,  where the sun keeps shining - or - we will find the Naked Winery that will bring in music for a special party just for us and give each lady her own tattoo - or - go to a pub that has "horse" in its name and has the best happy hour snacks and IPA beer I have ever had - or - a brewery (Full Sail) that gives tours - or - or - or --- the list is as big as the imagination of the club members - the list is HUGE!

   Thank you - for allowing me to feel so included in a group of wonderful people - my first trip will be remembered - treasured - for a very long time - I really cannot wait for the next trips and find out where the excuses for having fun takes me.

A very lucky club member,

Submitted by Peggy Stegner

    The suburban left Olympia for Hood River on New Year’s Eve day with Sue, Petra, Peggy, Diane, Connie, and Bettie Westcott with her husband, Paul, at the helm. We were joining 40 plus Ski Hawks at the Hood River Best Western for three nights and three days of skiing. Our third floor room overlooked a very moody, gray Columbia River caught in winter’s grip, but still home to the undaunted duck population paddling along the river’s edge.
   Over 50 Ski Hawks and guests ushered in 2009 dancing to a fantastic live band with laughter and spirits. In retrospect, News Year’s Day was one to stay off the slopes. The skiing conditions were dismal with vouchers issued to those who ventured out. For those explorers, there was not a duel moment and this trip was full of options. Groups went out to venture, finding the second highest year-round waterfall in the United States, the Multmonah Falls, also the Bonneville Dam and Fish Hatchery was a good choice for tours and others found the unique shops with a lot of personal touch and handmade merchandise in the little town of Hood River. The following day conditions improved and our caravan headed to Cooper Spur – a small family-oriented ski area with no lift line and occasional sun breaks, and some good ski tips from Paul. Then there were others who again found their perfect spots for the day, such as the Carson Mineral Hot Springs Resort with hot mineral baths and a afternoon body wrap. Friday evening meal we rendezvoused in Sharon and Sandi’s suite to a potluck feast of yummy hors d’oeuvres. Not to be upstaged by any (Ski)Hawk, Sandi’s colorful Eclectus Parrot kept trying to steal the show. With tummy's full, some of us headed to an intriguing winery called, "The Naked Winery." While sampling good wines named "Naughty", "Tease", "Diva", etc., with frolicking outlandish descriptions of the fruits and tannins, some got seven-day tattoos on socially acceptable body parts. Listening to live music by an accomplished guitarist who could really belt out a song brought Ski Hawks to their dancing feet.
   It was a busy Saturday at Mt. Hood Meadows. Due to potential avalanche hazards, some chairs were closed, but the skiing was good and we thoroughly enjoyed every run, winding up the day with a gourmet lunch before heading north to home. Couldn’t resist drawing a parallel among our adventures, the intrepid little Columbia River ducks, and the Naked Winery’s advice to its patrons, "Get uncorked and enjoy what life unexpectedly brings you."

Submitted by Connie Fraser add-on by Sandi Braget

   Our journey throughout New Year’s was an adventure from the start.  Theresa Turco went to pick up her skis and they did not have her new bindings on and they had lost the paperwork!  So, she ended up with upgraded bindings, but a late start.  We all arrived New Year’s Eve around 6:00 in time for a cocktail party with good Skihawk friends and then off to dinner.  There were several tables of Skihawks having a great time and some were already toasting the New Year.  At 10:00 pm the live band started playing and the Skihawks took over the floor~~ dancing fools were seen everywhere!!!  What fun!!  Some of them even closed the party down.  Waking up to a snowy morning, several of us had breakfast and left for Cooper Spur to try out our snowshoes.  The back road was very snowy and beautiful, but the higher we went the rainier it got.  By the time we reached Cooper Spur, they had shut down the lifts, it was raining torrents and trees were falling down.  Needless to say, snowshoeing was out.  Sooo, after coming back, we changed clothes and headed to town and met other Skihawks in a bar for beer and appetizers.  Our group then had dinner waiting in our room for 6 and then played a rousing game of Taboo!!   Lift tickets were purchased for the next day, but when we arrived there, one chair was running, the parking lot was an ice rink, and the wind was blowing like crazy, so off we went down Hwy 35 and snow shoed at Pocket Creek Trail which was protected from the wind.  Several Skihawks had departed for home, but the party in Sandi’s room was fun and it was interesting to hear what everybody had been doing the previous 2 days.  On Saturday, our group went up again to Meadows and stood in the long, long lift lines.  I snow shoed in the sunshine up Heather Canyon since it had not been open all year and the snow was soft and the trail wonderful.  I was coming back down and decided to sit down in the trail in the sunshine with no coat, gloves, hat, etc. and have my lunch, when~~~~ what to my wondering eyes did appear?  A PACK OF SKIERS!! They had just opened the canyon!  I quickly gathered my belongings and hit the deep powder and shoed back down to the safety of the car!  By the time Mike, SandyPa, and Cliff found out the Canyon was open, they had already closed it!  They did have a wonderful day of skiing, and had been able to make first tracks off the Shooting Star Chair tho before the crowds got there. They seemed to ride the ole slow Blue Chair the most and ski 1, 2, 3, and 4 Bowls.  It was great to see the sun!

   Even tho the conditions had not been great for all the days we were there, it was so much fun to be together with everyone to celebrate the New Year.  The hotel treated us well and Sharon and Sandi did and great job.  Thank you very much and let’s do it again next year.  It is fun to get away and only a 3 hour drive!

Submitted by Sandee Miner