311 Personal Skiing

When the World Changed

On December 18, 2019, I interrupted a ski day with my friend Mark to order a concert ticket. My favorite band, 311, had scheduled a series of warm-up shows before their biennial 311 Day event and I wanted to get a good seat. The Saturday night show in Reno on March 7, 2020, looked like a perfect opportunity to attend my 36th 311 concert and squeeze in a day of skiing at a Lake Tahoe–area resort.

At the top of the Pioneer lift at Park City Mountain Resort, I left Mark and skied to the Summit House lodge to order my ticket as soon as they went on sale. I scored a front row seat to the show. Three days later I reserved a room at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino in Reno, the venue for the concert.

My skiing and 311 weekend was booked.

On December 31, 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) learned from media reports of a “pneumonia of unknown cause” in Wuhan, a city of 11 million in Central China’s Hubei Province.

I had read news about the mystery illness. It caused a brief pang of concern, but I figured it wouldn’t become a problem. A co-worker who traveled to Asia in mid-January told us about the new safety measures at the airports there. All the other new viruses that emerged in my lifetime either fizzled out or we learned to mitigate the risks and live with them. Why worry?

On January 30, with about 8,000 confirmed cases worldwide, the WHO declared the novel coronavirus outbreak (2019-nCoV) a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

Coronavirus Disease 2019, or COVID-19, a respiratory infection caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, was well on its way to becoming a global pandemic.

Favorites Hiking Travel

The Honopu Ridge Trail

On September 11, 1992, a category 4 hurricane named Iniki struck the Hawaiian island of Kauai, killing six people and causing billions of dollars of damage. According to NOAA, the damage was so extensive that, after a month, power had been restored to only 20 percent of the island. Wind gusts as high as 175 miles per hour stripped the green from the Garden Isle’s lush vegetation. And the Honopu Ridge Trail hasn’t been officially maintained since that day.

Twenty-six years later, I hiked the remnants of the Honopu Ridge Trail to the most amazing view I’ve ever seen. Photos don’t do it justice.


Powder Skiing at Snowbird and Alta

I arrived at Snowbird early enough to catch the first (public) tram to the top of Hidden Peak. Mineral Basin didn’t open yesterday, so I figured its south- and southeast-facing runs would be loaded with powder snow because of the storm’s strong west-northwest winds.

I was right. The 19 inches of fresh powder on White Diamonds was some of the deepest I’ve ever skied.


Time-Lapse Photography

I became interested in time-lapse photography a few years ago when I discovered the CHDK hack software for Canon point-and-shoot cameras. The CHDK software included an intervalometer script, which made time-lapse photography possible for the first time. I’ve enjoyed the process, and I have surprised myself with the results. Here are a few of my favorite time lapses:


Four 311 Shows in Five Days

There’s nothing particularly superlative about seeing four 311 shows in five days. There are fans that follow bands to every tour stop. And I know of one 311 fan who has been to hundreds of shows. I’ve been to a lot of 311 shows over the years, but seeing them four times in five days is noteworthy for me.


Utah Jazz VIP for a Day

I received an early Christmas gift tonight: a row one ticket to tonight’s New York Knicks versus Utah Jazz NBA basketball game at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. I’ve had a close seat to an NBA game one other time, but this seat was three rows closer. And those three rows make a big difference. In my opinion, watching an NBA game from close seats is the premier sports fan experience.


Oahu 2014

Last Thursday (October 30, 2014), I returned from a vacation to the Hawaiian island of Oahu. The trip was fun, but I wouldn’t call Oahu an island paradise. No paradise should be as crowded as Oahu, despite the more laid-back North Shore. Oahu is more like an island playground, which is not a bad thing.


The Narrows 2014

On May 17, 2014, I hiked a portion of the The Narrows in Zion National Park. The Narrows is a deep, narrow canyon carved by the Virgin River. Although prone to flash floods and significant flows from spring runoff, the river is shallow and most often flows at a rate safe for hiking in the river. The experience of hiking in the river surrounded by steep sandstone walls might be one of the most unique available in the National Park system.

Favorites Hiking Travel

Kauai 2013

Last Sunday (November 3, 2013), I returned from a nine-day trip to the Hawaiian island of Kauai. The trip was awesome. Kauai is an amazing place with ideal weather, awe-inspiring scenery, chirping endemic birds, and impossibly lush foliage. The island offers endless recreational opportunities and a relaxed, laid-back atmosphere.

And then there are the smells. Kauai smells! Sometimes it’s the pungent odor of fermenting fruit off to the side of a trail, but mostly it’s the sweet aroma of whatever tropical foliage happens to be prevalent where you are. I’ll never forget all of Kauai’s smells.


311 Day Weekend 2012

Last weekend, I attended 311’s biennial concert/convention that occurs on March 11. This year, for the first time, they decided to hold two concerts instead of one. I welcomed that decision because the 60-song 311 Day show in 2010 had too many intermissions, and I could tell the band (and much of the crowd) were exhausted by the end. Two shorter shows with more total songs sounded perfect to me.