by THE INLANDER & r & & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & I & lt;/span & t's become the official kick-off to the Inland Northwest ski and snowboard season, and this year it was bigger and better than ever. For two days, Nov. 16-17, at the Spokane Convention Center, Ski the Northwest Rockies (with an assist from The Inlander) set out some fresh meat and hordes of winter worshippers came buzzing around. With a packed house of booths, and even a full-on rail for jammin', it was a one-stop preview of coming attractions. Heck, even the Border Patrol had a booth to help all those headed to the Great White North. (More than a few wary ski bums had to do a double take on their state trooper-esque duds before realizing the coast was actually clear to pass to the next booth.)
Over at the rail jam, a steady stream of young 'uns kept the masses entertained as they made their way up (trudgingly) and down (awesomely) the man-made ski hill. Meanwhile, lots of tiny shredders gathered around the edges, with dreams of making their parents cringe dancing in their little impressionable heads. And over in the theater, the Poor Boyz gang screened Yeah Dude, a ski film shot, in part, at our very own Schweitzer Mountain Resort -- which looked mahhvelous, by the way.
All in all, it was a great start to the season -- but still only a taste. The real stuff is going on out in the great outdoors right now. The Snow Show is over; now it's time for the Snow Reality, brought to you by Mother Nature. Enjoy! (And we'll see you next year.)