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We had an impromptu Colorado Bears gathering today in celebration of cgeib's visit to the Centennial State. Many of you have probably already seen the bad news of the day. Heal fast, Ric, our hearts and prayers are with you!

I would, however, like to express my amazement at an otherwise incredible start to my season. For my first day on the snow this year, I shared it with cgeib, Rick (Fastman), Weems (Westfeldt), Mike_M, Ric (VSP), Bruce (bong), my friend Mike Dee, and a number of Copper instructors (Don and Jack and there may have been another). We saw Tom Burch, but he taught so didn't join us.

I am going to pump the ESA right now. For those who have never had the pleasure of meeting or skiing with Weems, you will not want to miss an opportunity to do so. Furthermore, as Mike_m said on a lift ride, folks just do not realize the caliber of instruction that will be available at the ESA. Do whatever you have to do to get there! With the exception of the PSIA Academy (open only to PSIA members), there is no better coaching available anywhere.

So, I spent the day chasing these tremendous skiers around the mountain. Guys like bong have 6 or 7 days in already this season. I got the 5 minute version on waiststeering from Rick before we started for the day and played with it off and on (more on my day over on the carving thread in the Technique Forum). But, for me, just watching Weems' amazing skill at carving his Allstars down the mountain and getting my occational glimpse of Rick laying down his arcs together with the overall talent of the group was a stupendous time for me, and one I hope to repeat.

That said, I want to end as I began. Ric, you are a very generous guy. You have helped me a lot since meeting me as a wet-behind-the-ears level I in Spring '04, and have always been quick with insight and guidance. You have my heartfelt thanks. If there is any way I can help with your rehab, just let me know. Godspeed...