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Road Trip

There are many perfect moments in skiing, but this is one of my favorites.

We’re deep in the middle of a road trip, far enough from the beginning that home is forgotten and distant enough from the end that stopping isn’t even a concept. There are three people in the car, which is the perfect number for a road trip. With three, you can easily swap roles and each one feels comfortable—the privacy of the backseat, the navigational and musical responsibilities of shotgun, and the focus of driving.

It could be night, or maybe not. I’m driving, which I like a lot because of how you have to pay attention to the road but can still let your thoughts wander where they want. In any other seat it’s too easy to get slack-jawed and drift off to sleep, but when driving your thoughts cruise along with the road.

Wherever we are, it’s very remote—Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nevada…someplace with big stretches of space, a straight black ribbon of road, and no other cars. The stereo’s off because we’re bored with our tapes and there’s nothing on the radio but static and evangelists. It’s been 20 minutes since anyone spoke, maybe more, and the silence becomes itself, becomes more than the space between words.

It’s the silence that makes the whole thing, that timeless and everlasting silence that says everything about the promise and expectation of skiing, road trips, friends traveling together, and the American highway. I wouldn’t trade that comfortable silence and the piece of mind that comes with it for anything in the world.

This issue, somewhat by design and somewhat by accident, is about travel. Rob traveled to Spain, Les went to Italy, and Gordon went to Montana and ended up living there. Travel seems to be as important to skiing as the silence is to the words, and this is the time of year when the urge to move, to go somewhere, anywhere, is the most intense. The snow is on the ground, the lifts are running, and the gas tank is full. Now I just need to find two friends.

First published in Powder Magazine, issue 22.4, December 1993. Copyright Steve Casimiro 2001. All rights reserved.

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