Enjoy friendlying up the sweet-natured husky-mixes as they are hooked up in their halters. Watch as said doggies become crazy-excited in anticipation of getting to pull a sled, barking and yapping and jumping for joy.
Talk to professional mushers about the ride ahead, discuss their experiences participating in the Iditarod, wish you could ask the dogs what it was like for them. Hope and assume it was as good for them as it was for the humans.
Have husbands go skiing while moms and kids dogsled, both to cut the weight of the sleds and to avoid resentment from disinterested dads (okay, okay, I know you said you were into it, but come on, we get it, we do). It was blizzarding, after all. Cut a deal with own husband such that he would hang with kids after dogsledding, allowing a private excursion into the virgin powder.
2. Prepare for, and execute, two totally unplanned days of powder skiing. As in serious, champagne powder, as the locals call it, and believe it, they know of what they speak. Laugh when you can’t get your skis to move on the flatter terrain. Laugh some more when immediately after yelling out, “Check it out! Untouched powder!”, you feel your skis come to a screeching halt while you contine to careen forward. It’s called a “face plant” for a reason.
Since the extra ski days were icing on the ice cream cake, enjoy the first ever opportunity to sleep late on a ski vacation, eat a protein-rich, late breakfast and still get a heft portion of quality skiing in without ever having to break for lunch. Study trail maps in order to hit all trails that were begging to be skiied but would not have been skiied but for a serendipitous extended stay.
Be happy that the sun seems to always come out in the afternoon after the sky is done dumping two feet of powder. Be happy also for the fact that lift tickets go two-for-one at exactly 12 noon. Be happy not to be a morning person.
Be excited for your husband and friends’ safe return from that double black diamond run that requires a hike up a long, steep snow-covered trail because there’s no lift to take them there. Acknowledge their bravery.
Laugh good heartedly over the photos of them sliding down the steeps on their butts. That’s what butts are for.
3. Take kids to hot tub. Again.
Not that it is exactly a hardship. Be happy when you realize that no matter what time you start skiing, the lifts always close at 4 (some earlier, depending on how high up), and there is always time for a dip. Wonder, what is it about skiing and hot tubs? Why do they always seem to go together, especially outdoor hot tubs? Then ask why ask why.
Regarding the little ones and the outdoor tub: recognize that in order to provide the busy little hands with something to do other than throw snowballs into the hot water, provide plenty of empty water, soda and gatorade bottles for creative play.
4. Take that group portrait you had been meaning to take but hadn’t gotten around to.
Who knew there would be time for such things?
Oh, and don’t forget to get one of all the kids.
5. Enter (and win a gold medal in) the NASTAR (National Association of something or other having to do with skiing and racing) ski race.
6. Visit Steamboat’s downtown.
Wonder how it was that you didn’t have time to make it downtown the whole week you were there, and only found the time when you were given an extra two days, thanks to airline incompetence and extreme weather.
Eat Chinese food served by a midwesterner, drink hot sake without worrying about the high altitude hangover because tomorrow, you can sleep late and STILL get some “icing on the cake” skiing in.
7. Go back downtown the next day to take a dip in the Steamboat Hot Springs.
8. Practice your flute while getting a break from the sun and the wind. The folks back home don’t quite understand a goggle tan.