Whiteout in Wyoming

Monday, February 21st
I flew separately from the family on our vacation to Jackson Hole. On the plane, I am stuck between Babushka one and Babushka two, who seem to be doing crosswords in Russian. I flip through the Skymall catalogue, mentally scoffing at anyone who orders from it. Connecting with the family in Denver, Mother mentions she bought a drop-down screen for the back door on Skymall. “It’ll be perfect for the family,” she notes.

Some knowing people whisper “There’s Air Force Two,” and in fact, Dick Cheney’s plane is sitting on the tarmac. “Is he the President or the Vice-President?” my brother asks. “Vice-President,” my Dad replies. “Oh yeah, because it’s Air Force Two and not One,” my brother replies.

In the airport, I jokingly mention to my dad that I have yet to see any minorities. We both look around and see lots of white people. “Lets make a bet,” he says, “first person to see a minority wins a dollar.” I agree.

Tuesday, February 22nd
Our house is right on the slopes of Jackson Hole. We tend to go all out for rooming, since for the past four years we’ve had a blizzard wherever we go skiing. It blizzarded in Kirkwood, Park City, Vail, and partly at Whistler. It didn’t blizzard in Mammoth because it rained.

It is, in fact, snowing, and we find that a giant cloud has settled over the mountain. You’ll go up to a certain point on the mountain, and the giant fog bank will cut off all visibility. “We should get above it,” my dad says. “If we get above it, we’ll have to ski into the cloud,” I point out. “Yeah, but we still need to get above it.” he replies.

On one of the lifts there is a tree below us decoratively covered with bras. I’m struck by the many colors and styles, but right in the middle there’s a pair of boxers. “I wish someone would take the boxers out. It kind of wrecks the tree,” my brother critiques. I agree. We go to dinner at a rib joint. Minority count: 0.

Wednesday, February 23rd
It is blizzarding. My spirit is broken. I stay in bed and watch a Pokemon marathon while the family goes out. Unfortunately, they’re all reruns. They have me keep one of the walkie-talkies, so I get to hear their conversation. “I can’t see you guys!” “We’re standing next to the big sign.” “So am I!” “Oh, there you are. I didn’t see you with the fog.” “That’s not us.” I decide I am a Weather God. There is no other explanation for how clouds follow me to major ski resorts.

After lunch, I head out with everybody. In accordance with my Weather God theory, the wind kicks up and the storm gets heavier. My brother and I decide to go home. “We should take that route,” I say, pointing to an area slightly to the right of a double-black cliff. “OK,” says my brother, and jumps off the cliff. Feeling some obscure family loyalty, I follow him. Forty minutes later, I emerge, carrying my skis and covered in snow. That day, we see no minorities.

Thursday, February 24th
Today we go snowmobiling. Sitting in the lodge, my dad and I watch the door as the first minority of the week walks in. His name is Will. He’s Asian. We will be snowmobiling with him and his fiancee, Amy. She’s white. Since we saw him simultaneously, nobody collects on the bet. We consider rock-paper-scissors to settle the matter, but discard the idea. After snowmobiling, the family goes to dinner. “You know, Berkeley has made you a lot weirder,” my mom remarks. My brother then walks up to me, cocks a leg, and lets fly with a fart. The family laughs.

Friday, February 25th
I go home early. The plane ride is unexceptional, and the clouds follow their beloved back to Berkeley. My cab driver’s name is Ahmed. I tip him extra.