We've been here for about a week now and have settled into a daily routine. And it goes a little something like this:
7.30am: alarm goes off. Head downstairs, I fix us a leisurely breakfast (please excuse the Americanism) - a combination/selection of blueberries/fresh melon/bananas/grapes/strawberries, porridge with soy milk, bacon and scrambled eggs, pancakes and maple syrup, granola and yoghurt - depending on how the mood takes us. We definitely need a hearty breakfast to set us up for the morning's riding. It's so nice to be able to sit down to breakfast together every day - not something we were able to do when we were working. Make up a packed lunch for us to take up to the mountain if it's a powder day - no point in wasting the day travelling back and forth!
8.30am: get kitted up in our snowboarding gear. I haven't yet given up my safety blanket of helmet, knee guards and (extra) bum padding so it takes me a bit longer to struggle into my 'outfit' than it does Jon. Get the boards etc out of the downstairs storage cupboard and load up the SUV (baby!).
9am: drive up to the resort, which takes about 10 minutes (or 20 if there's snow and ice on the roads) in time for the first lifts opening. Powder Mountain is an upside-down resort, meaning that the resort centre, slopeside accommodation and snowschool are at the highest point on the mountain. There is a regular free shuttle bus service that picks up skiiers/boarders who have skied off-piste to the bottom of the mountain and who wish to come back up to do it all over again.
9.30am: play around on the groomers (pistes) or in the powder in the backcountry (off-piste) if it has just snowed. Utah snow is legendary - super-light and plentiful. Powder Mountain receives an average of 500 inches of the stuff each year! There are ridiculously few people out on the slopes during the week and though the weekends see a few more pow-hunters, Powder Mountain is still very much a local's well-kept secret. There are 13 skiing resorts in Utah and the well-known ones are obviously the busiest, e.g. Park City, Snowbird/Alta. Not so Pow Mow; all the lifties are surprised to hear our Estuary/Home Counties accents and most have never met a European person before.
12.30pm: break for lunch - either a hot chocolate and sack (packed) lunch in the Powder Keg restaurant if it's snowing or we'll head back home to Moose Hollow for something filling. We save an incredible amount of money this way - lunch in the resort centre ends up costing about $20 each day, which is money we definitely need elsewhere.
1.30pm: back out on the lifts! Powder Mountain has (only) 7 lifts which access approximately 5500 acres of terrain -pretty immense! There are 124 groomed runs on the mountain so the majority of it is backcountry and ripe for exploring - a freerider's dream! It's so uncrowded and vast that it's pretty easy to find a route where you can make the first tracks down the slope, even if it hasn't snowed for a week or so. There is a catskiing service which allows you to access an additional 1500 acres of backcountry - although we haven't used this yet - and you can hike to the rest of the area. It's certainly making us fitter!
4pm: stop off for a well-deserved beer in the Powder Keg bar. There's live music at the weekend, everyone seems to know each other and they are very welcoming to us too, which is very sweet.
5.00pm: drive back home (very carefully and most definitely under the drink-driving limit, folks!) and unload the car. Attempt to dry out our wet snowboarding clothes.
5.30pm: shower. If we've pushed ourselves then we will treat ourselves to a jacuzzi/hot tub (which is located in our bedroom, no joke!)
6pm: admin stuff. Start preparing dinner. We've been eating really well since we've been here as the food here is ridiculously plentiful and incredibly cheap, presumably due to the low transportation costs (most of it is locally grown and gas/petrol is v cheap too).
7pm: eat, drink, be merry.
8pm: totally shattered by now. Still not quite over the 7hr jet lag yet, nor the work-induced sleep deprivation, but we're getting there. Probably read or watch TV for a bit - all the usual shows. The new series of 24, Heroes and Lost are on here which makes me very happy.
9pm: bed! Our virtually monastic lifestyle enables us to get up again in the morning ready to do it all over again!
I think you'll see that we're not quite true travellers just yet, but are enjoying every second of this home-away-from-home lifestyle nonetheless. The roughing-it will come soon enough, I'm sure!