A deceiving headline, I know, but essential in conveying what I felt when I first moved to Arizona. I was certain that this state was just that, a desert.
Two hours north of the cacti and dust, at a summit elevation of 11,500 feet, there is the Arizona Snowbowl. First, I came skiing a few years ago before I realized that entailed too many moving parts. My friend Joey will still remember the first time I went on the lift and ceremoniously dropped one of my poles in a panic as I tried to hold on to the seat.
I decided that a snowboard was more my thing, it being just one item. The first time I went to Snowbowl, I wondered whether Panamanians should really be sliding down icy mountains, because it just didn’t seem right as I quickly glided, out of control, toward some trees.
But I persevered and took some honest classes instead of just having friends act as teachers. In fact, the cost of the class — including lift ticket and equipment — is the same as renting and lift ticket. So if you’re a beginner or intermediate with no equipment, it’s definitely worth taking a class.
Although I cannot compare Snowbowl to other skiing meccas like Vale or Aspen, it’s beautiful, not too crowded and a relatively short drive from warm, dry weather. The Central American in me can’t ask for anything more. Well, I guess I could ask for a coast and an ocean.