Skiers vs. Snowboarders
Sliding down mountains on the white stuff is a ton of fun! It doesn’t matter whether you’re skiing or snowboarding (January/February 2012) as long as you’re outside having fun at a time of year when most folks are holed up inside.
Both writers miss the point. I signed up for the Bay Area Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's cross-country ski team eight seasons ago—and every season since. Along with participating in a great cause, I can vouch for the serenity (even on the busiest trails) and the spirituality of cross-country skiing. And with only the toes locked to the ski, there are challenges galore. As cross-country skiers like to say, we earn our downhills.
Ah, the ski versus snowboard conundrum. More years ago than I care to admit, I strapped sticks to my feet, launched off the lip of Squaw's Shirley Lake run into a wilderness of fresh powder on the rumor that they would have the lift dug out by the time I reached the bottom. This happened more times than I care to remember. I experienced the despair of watching my tips re-appear in the snow in front of me in unexpected places, knowing it would end badly. Try to imagine my delight when I stepped onto a nice, wide plank in 1993 and launched out into the white and blue, carving big wide turns in that pristine pillow, and going downhill so fast that the trees were a blur. Other shredders did a doubletake when they noticed the gray in the beard wrapped around my grin.
A Historic Main Street in Richmond, Calif.
It’s gratifying to know how many Towns with Historic Main Streets (January/February 2012) are in California, especially three that are close to home for me in the Bay Area. I recommend visiting Point Richmond. The buildings in its historic downtown date back to the early 1900s. You’ll also find that the first bank of Richmond predates the 1906 earthquake.
Blazing Words About the AAA Photo Contest
In the January/February 2012 issue, we announced the winners on page 13. From the first-prize winner, who received a $700 digital camera for her photo of the AAA bumper sticker on the back of an antique fire engine at Burning Man in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert:
My camera came! It will take awhile to figure out the bells and whistles, but it’s going to be so helpful for my job working with Alzheimer’s patients! I read every issue of VIA cover to cover. One of my favorite articles is about the endangered state parks. It brought me to tears because my dad was an architect in California and he worked on all of the state parks.
Burning Man has a “no advertising” ethic. Participants are encouraged to conceal corporate logos of all sorts, even in the remote parking and camping areas. Can you understand how it must feel for members of the Burning Man community to see an award for first place for an image of a AAA logo near the temple? It’s about as appropriate as rewarding a graffiti vandal for spray-painting a cherished public monument.
Winter Driving Quiz Skid Question
I was shocked to read in Winter Driving Quiz (January/February 2012) that AAA advises a driver whose vehicle is skidding to “steer in the direction you want to travel,” when the California DMV recommends “turn the steering wheel in the direction of the skid.”
Terri Hickok Stockton, Calif.
In putting together our quiz, we were as surprised as you were by the advice on what to do in a skid, having been taught to steer into the skid. In recent years, AAA experts have worked with thousands of teens and adult drivers and found that it is more effective to advise,“steer in the direction you wish to travel.”
Most drivers haven’t really thought about what “steer into a skid” actually means, and it is difficult to figure that out in the middle of a crisis. The AAA advice is the same for front- and rear-wheel drive. Steer where you want to go, so your tires will grab and go there as soon as they regain a grip on the road. —EDITOR
This article was first published in March 2012. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.