Man, what a trip that was. It’s impossible to describe everything what I’ve gone through or experienced but I’m going to sum it up into a list.
Mountain View, CA:
The trip opened with bad plane delays in Dulles, VA. Supposed to arrive in San Jose at 7 pm but finally arrived at 11 pm and checked into a hotel by midnight. Grabbed a burger and fries at IN-N-OUT. Was absolutely worn-out.
Woke up at 7 am to get ready for the tour/visit to a group of deaf students from CSDF. Gave a welcome presentation and another one about my job. Had a lunch with them. Funny, they couldn’t decide which cafeteria to go to since Google has 11 of them! with three more cafeterias due to be open. I enjoyed giving a presentation, ofc, in my native language, ASL.
Met Joseph Davis for a short time at Ohlone Community College in Fremont. Interesting campus as it’s on the hill. Was rainy and cloudy at that time. Had to catch a plane at 6 pm; sped down the highway. Caught my flight in time, whew.
Salt Lake City, Utah.
My first time being in Utah! Bak and Anthony picked me up. Went to University of Utah’s ice arena to watch Canada play against Sweden. Canada was beating them pretty badly. Then, we went to this bar called Port o’ Call. Saw many people there like Blake, Erwin (my old classmate), and the Arizona boys (entered same year at Gallaudet.)
Then I got myself a beer mug. When I was halfway through the mug, I hardly felt anything, then suddenly remembered that Utah limits alcohol content to 3.2% in every bottle. So, basically, I have to drink two mugs to get one mug’s worth. Ugh. Wish I could have brought my own flask with some rum to make up the absence of alcohol.
Park City, Utah.
After the bar, we drove to Park City, Utah where we’ll be staying for the next three days. A pretty nice town, obviously built for skiers and snowboarders. We stayed at this nice cozy ski cabin. The next day, we got up early and went to Park City resort. Huge resort. They had like thirty lifts. Not to mention, lift passes were expensive. They were supposed to be $77 dollars but with the Deaf Winter Olympics ongoing , they offered a discount to $55 dollars.
I tagged with Anthony while Bak needed some refreshing on his snowboarding skill since it was his first time back on the board since last year in Colorado. So, Anthony and I rode together. Then we kept wanting to get higher on the mountains, switching lifts till we got on the highest lift provided by the resort. We got all the way up to 10,000 feet! The view was absolutely beautiful. I’ve never seen anything like that in my life since I grew up in the cornfields in Illinois. I understood how some people couldn’t live without mountains. It was really breathtaking.
The snow wasn’t that great since it hasn’t snowed in a week but it was not that bad, not too icy but one deaf female Canadian we met at the top said she was disappointed with how snow had turned out. Oh well. I later found out she was a renowned athlete, being the only Deaf athlete to compete in the Sydney Olympics for Tae Kwon Do and former top athlete at Gallaudet University.
We rode for like seven hours straight and met up with some deaf friends like Blake, Charles, and Mark. Shit, they were speeders, zooming down the mountains and I tried my best to keep up with them.
By the end of the day, I was absolutely worn out by the evening and jumped into the spa behind our ski lodge. It was a perfect day.
The next day, we got up early again, ate at this really good breakfast place called the Eating establishment. If you ever got yourself in Park City, you must go there if you want to get some good hearty breakfast. We stuffed ourselves with eggs, home fries, bacons, and homemade orange juice. Boy, what an excellent breakfast.
Then, Bak dropped us off at a bus stop that would take us up to Brighton. I found the resort to be a lot different than Park City. For starters, it’s a lot cheaper, only cost us $23.50 for a lift pass with a discount for deaf people. It’s smaller but I found it to be a nice resort that has a local feeling to it with smaller paths, more trees and definitely more friendly for snowboarders like they have more jumps and parks. Park City was purely a tourist place where tons of skiers go there with huge wide paths.
We all rode hard. Later in the afternoon, it finally snowed! it was a picture perfect, with snow falling down and brushing our goggles. It was exactly what I envisioned. You know, walking up the mountains, holding a board in your hands, you have your goggle on, everything is white and watching those calm snowflakes falling. It was gorgeous. Also, my confidence kept getting better and I was riding down faster and faster. Jumps weren’t as terrifying as in the beginning and I go faster and faster on those jumps.
Needless to say, I was hooked to snowboarding. There’s nothing like riding down the mountains and carving up the snow. It was a great day of snowboarding. Lots of deafies were there. It was just awesome. We’re talking about doing this every year at different places. Vancouver (Mt Whistler), Colorado, Vermont, and Lake Tahoe. I must go to each of them before I turn 30 in four years.