Big flakes of snow have been falling like dandruff on a blue serge suit since noon, and are now piled up a foot deep on our island north of Seattle.
A late breaking news story interrupts the mellow music on KING FM:
"Thirty-eight inches of snow have fallen on Snoqualmie Pass in the last 24 hours. The pass is closed and so is Stevens and you can forget trying to get to Crystal Mountain because the Enumclaw snowplow driver couldn't even get home from the Friday night bowling tournament. If you have to drive east, you will have to go south to Portland and turn left."
Are you stuck in Seattle, 50 long miles from the nearest ski lift? Don't worry about missing that all-time powder snow day. You can carve your turns right here in town. Perhaps some cross-country skiing late in the day, a little apres-ski shopping, and then some fine wine from a Washington State vintner to top off the day. Any and all of this is available to anyone with a sense of adventure.
Powder Hounds can find the Steep and Deep stuff all over Seattle. For that first run, you can point 'em down Columbia between Fourth and Fifth and get an awesome Black Diamond, 21 percent ride. Even if you don't get first tracks in the middle of the street, you can still find a lot of untracked powder out among the parking meters.
Better be careful here and not run into anyone, because at least half of the guys standing around in this area by the courthouse are contingency fee attorneys trolling for their next client.
The steepest and maybe the deepest double diamond street in Seattle is a 23.3 percent out on Queen Anne Hill between Prospect and Highland. It's my favorite run and probably was my old man's too, because he named me after a run down it in a Model T Ford with a quart of prohibition whiskey under his belt.
Yes, my favorite run in Seattle is called Warren Avenue.
After a dozen or so runs in deep powder all over town it's time for a sidewalk Cappuccino and some other local specialties for lunch: a hot bowl of Ivar's Clam Chowder, or maybe some Pink Tofu, Kim Chee, or Sprouts and Yogurt.
Fire up your four-wheel drive after lunch, and head southwest towards Alki Point for some cross-country touring on the beach with Puget Sound and the Olympics for a backdrop.
Touring on the snow-covered beach, you can dazzle the locals with such statements as, "Sure looks a lot like Lake Geneva from the Swiss side, but the boats are bigger and there's a little more water."
Now, as the sun begins to set, it's time to buy a few mementos of skiing Seattle. Stop by the Pike Place Market for a big selection of Abalone Shells that light up, or maybe a colorful wallet that has the Space Needle painted on it in fire engine red.
You can even find a rare mink-covered holder for your fake Oakley's. There's a large, but quaint, selection of T-shirts sold by a large, but quaint T-shirt bootlegger who is easy to find because he is fat, bald, bearded, pony tailed, smokes a pipe, and wears a 12-year-old faded down vest with half a dozen feathers still left in it.
Now it's time for dinner. What about that darling little waterfront spot in Bellevue? Unfortunately, at this time of the evening, the floating bridge is the longest parking lot north of the Los Angeles Freeway.
Winding up at Scenery by the Sea, the menu is very Northwestern and just right to top off a day of making turns on the best ski runs in Seattle. There is fresh frozen salmon, prepared 12 different ways, some St. Michelle wine, stomped by local feet in eastern Washington. Here, you discover that you aren't the only people who have skied locally today.
A sunburned, loud group is hoisting some local brews to Hugo Slow. Hugo climbed partway up the Space Needle elevator shaft and set a world's record for a tip drop off of the Space Needle when he landed in one of the transitions in the nearby roller coaster track.
He dropped 53 vertical feet.
They are sending a video of his tip drop to KIRO TV, who promised to show it and interview Hugo as soon as he gets out of the intensive care unit at the clinic.
Yes, you can find steep and deep skiing all over Seattle.
(Copyright, 2009: WarrenMiller.net).
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