Years ago, when I first lived alone after a seeming eternity of
sharing a room with my sister and then apartment sharing with friends
once I left home, I watched the movie “The Thing called Love.” It
stars, among others, River Phoenix and is essentially a coming-of-age
and love story about a young woman moving to Nashville to try her hand
at song-writing. For whatever reason, I got this movie confused
with “My Own Private Idaho” which also stars River Phoenix, maybe
because of the BoDeans song of the same name, or maybe because
I was so impressed by River Phoenix’s acting that I watched numerous
movies in which he acted during that time.
Regardless of the title, “My Own Private Idaho” (in truth, “The Thing
called Love”) resonated deeply with me. Newly single and with seeming
endless freedom, I spent many hours listening to music. Loud music.
Often late at night. It was the time of “Car Wheels on a Gravel
Road”, “Hell among the Yearlings”, “Revival”, and “Spyboy.” I dreamed
of going to Nashville and the Bluebird Cafe, or drinking Mad Dog
margaritas at the Chili Parlor bar in Austin.
Since that time, so emotionally vivid even at this distance, I’ve
secretly reserved the title “My own private ________” for a number of
things that I really wanted to do and that, either because of family
commitments or work responsibilities or something else, I couldn’t do
officially. I reserve this terminology for things that I feel deeply
about, to cherish and honor my memory of that time being single with
lots of loud music and popcorn for dinner. This year it’s time for
“My own private Sonot.”
I’ve tried multiple times to get to Birch Hill, both on my own and
with a friend, but with sick colleagues in my building at work and
the reality that I am one of two working parents that have recently
become home schoolers, it is just not going to be possible this year.
Instead, for “My own private Sonot” I am skiing from my house,
literally, on roads until I can make it to the trails in the
Goldstream. The neighborhood roads have not been plowed,
conveniently, and even better no gravel has been laid down. The 20 k
has been done in installments of roughly 5k at a time, and I have one
more installment to do. Hopefully, this evening before the next snow
dump. The first installment was probably the best, with dog walkers
asking me if I were on rock skis and the adrenalin rush from an
adolescent moose on the air strip adjacent to the trails.
This hasn’t been a good year for me in terms of distance skiing, other
responsibilities had to take priority this winter, and it’s as if a
bit of my soul went missing. (It’s recoverable.) There is little I
like better than skiing in the Fairbanks area on fresh corduroy or in
Thank you to BBB and others, and to all you who have posted your
“Virtual Sonot” results. They have cheered me tremendously in this
troubled time and, though I am jealous, the vicarious pleasures your
posts and photos have given and continue to give is invaluable.
Distance: 17 k and only 3 to go. Should be easily doable by 3/28.