Journalism

Postscript: March 2017

I stand over Mt. Hood Skibowl, situated across the highway from the mountain itself, on a Saturday in late March. (Photo courtesy of Frank Mueller)

I stand over Mt. Hood Skibowl, situated across the highway from the mountain itself, on a Saturday in late March. (Photo courtesy of Frank Mueller)


It was around noon when patrollers started rolling back the fence separating anxious skiers from acres of untouched, shin-deep snow.

I spotted them as Jeremiah and I reached the top of the chairlift, and we rushed their way. Over exuberant, I nearly clipped one of the patrollers as I passed, leaving a jet trail of apologies while speeding toward Tom Dick Peak.

We coasted as far as ski wax and gravity would take us before stepping out of our bindings and hoofing it to the modest 5,100-foot summit.

I had about three hours and 56 miles separating me from the start of my Saturday shift. Time to play.

I dropped in first, linking a few turns and speeding toward a path lined with snow-crested pines. A barrage of bumps at the trail’s onset sent me board over boots, and I emerged from the powder as Jeremiah whizzed past, sporting a sympathetic, see-ya-later look.

I never heard from the guy again. And I don’t really blame him; we met minutes before, and I’d just made a fool of myself on our second run together.

I sprinted through the next three runs, wasting little time between chair, trail and fresh tracks before schlepping to the car around 1:30.

I was at my desk some 90 minutes later.

Snowboard before work 2017: Check.

***


Mt. Hood Skibowl

A few inches of fresh snow coated the evergreens at Skibowl on a Saturday in early March.

Portland park bench

While there’s still plenty of snow in the mountains, it’s looking like spring in the valley: Blue skies are still outnumbered by cloudy ones as temperatures mostly hover in the 40s and 50s.

Banks–Vernonia State Trail

Oh, yeah. We’ve seen flooding and landslides, too. Part of the 21-mile Banks–Vernonia State Trail was closed because of downed trees in mid-March. Ashley and I went around.

Banks–Vernonia State Trail

This old shell of a building, which is a quick jaunt from the trail, made for a good photo op.

Puget Sound

A rainy forecast gave way to bursts of sun during a quick trip to Seattle the next weekend. Here, a cyclist looks over the Puget Sound.

Puget Sound

Ashley, her friends and I strolled along the water, to a point where waves were coming in from the left and right. Pretty cool.

Puget Sound

Portlanders are conditioned to have a certain disdain for the larger city to our north. But I have to admit, Seattle grew on me this time around…

Steven's Pass

That may be in part because the wonderful Stevens Pass is less than two hours away. I spent my last few hours of winter skiing in a sweatshirt. Life is good.

I was pleasantly surprised to snap a reasonably sharp iPhone photo as Frank swooped down Scotty's Way at Mt. Hood Skibowl on a Saturday in late March.

Frank and I experienced rain, sun and snow during our first day of spring skiing this season. I was pleasantly surprised to snap a reasonably sharp iPhone photo as he swooped down Scotty’s Way at Skibowl.


For your consideration…

The tone chilled an already tense courtroom as Bradley stared with his left eye, the one that still worked, directly at Hernandez. He tilted his head to the right and shook it in fury at his old friend. These were no empty words, no posing. Given the chance, Bradley would almost certainly kill Hernandez. And vice versa, at least if Hernandez learned that when it comes to Alexander Bradley, it takes more than one close-range shot to the skull to finish him.
— Yahoo! Sports, on Aaron Hernandez, former NFL star sentenced to life in prison

A short drive up into the Hollywood Hills is the Simmons manse. It is the color of buttercream. White Corinthian pillars divide its Grecian facade. The lace curtains are drawn. A Range Rover sits in the short crescent driveway behind a white iron gate. There is no buzzer, and the mailbox — a miniature copy of the house itself — appears to be sealed shut.
— The Washington Post, on fitness mogul Richard Simmons

Are you better or worse off going missing in a national forest than from a Walmart parking lot? I thought I knew the answer. You can see an aerial view of my firewood pile from space on your smartphone. I thought that in the wild, someone would send in the National Guard, the Army Rangers, the A-Team, and that they wouldn’t rest until they found you. Now I’m not so sure.
— Outside Magazine, on the hundreds of people missing on American public lands

She wanders Phnom Penh’s Street 136 for hours, trudging past girly bars, gingerly approaching tourists laughing over frosted glasses of draft beer, holding out a thin hand to passersby.
On a good night, she pockets 10,000 riel, or about $2.50. On a bad night of begging, she walks away with a few hundred crumpled riel, having spent the hours rejected or ignored.
— The Cambodia Daily, on street kids

If you loosen and lighten when you want most to tighten, you can bend instead of break.
— Powder Magazine, offering good life advice

***

You should listen to this series of FiveThirtyEight podcasts about the future of America’s predominant political parties.

This month I’m reading Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World” for the first time. If you’re like me and somehow haven’t already read it, I recommend doing so soon. It’s an easy conversation topic, too, because pretty much everyone read it in high school. You know, for when you’re talking books at the bar.

I’ve reported this month about Mount Hood being hammered with snow and a skier whose body was was recovered more than a week after he was reported missing.

***
As always, thanks for reading.

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My name is Jim Ryan, and I'm a breaking news reporter for The Oregonian and OregonLive in Portland. I'm an Ohio University graduate from Gaylord, Michigan.

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