Snowbird Report from The Atlas Mountains

IMG_5209
All winter, especially when stressed, I’ve looked to the Atlas Mountains from whence cometh my strength.  Surrounding Marrakesh the  snowy sentinels protect my heart and mind, particularly when work gets stressful.  I take my lunch and take to the hills.  Literally.  Staring at their beauty is a breather that calms my soul.
Seeing pictures from home of Kentucky and Tennessee buried under record snow  made me want to join the fun from afar. When teaching there I prayed with my kids that Channel 4’s Snowbird (a puppet penguin) would say schools were closed. NEVER did I get the time off they’ve gotten this year.
With predictions that temps in Marrakesh would climb to the low 80s this week, we wanted to play in the snow at least once this winter while it remained.  So last Saturday I went to Oukaïmeden, a ski resort 75 kilometers from Marrakesh. There was one seat left in Ismail’s van which coworkers rented for the day.  Who else would we trust to drive us on possibly icy roads winding 10,500 feet up?
IMG_7295
IMG_7296
IMG_7297
IMG_5202
We left at 8 AM and by 10 were having jam, bread, and fresh squeezed OJ overlooking the slopes.
IMG_5201
IMG_5206
IMG_5205
IMG_5204
IMG_5203
Only one of us skied this trip, using a guide, while the rest of us sledded.
IMG_5210
.IMG_5274
IMG_5286
IMG_5282
IMG_5296
IMG_5277
IMG_5219
IMG_5234
IMG_5217
Even whiter and brighter than the snow on the bunny slopes were simultaneous smiles.  And even louder than the rap Red Bull played for the ski competition was the sound of laughter.
IMG_5261
IMG_5273
IMG_5260
IMG_5247
IMG_5228
IMG_5229
IMG_5227
IMG_5225
IMG_5221
IMG_5230
IMG_5254
IMG_5240
IMG_5242
IMG_5238
IMG_5253
IMG_5257
IMG_7311
IMG_5266
IMG_5265
IMG_5258
IMG_5268
IMG_5292
IMG_5291
IMG_5290

Our Crew Photo by Laurie Neeno

Our Crew at lunch on the way back Photo by Laurie Neeno


IMG_7336

We ate on this rooftop.


IMG_7334
IMG_7332
IMG_7325
IMG_7324
IMG_7321
IMG_7318
IMG_7316
IMG_7314
IMG_5305
IMG_5304
IMG_5299IMG_7343
Location. Location. Location.  So thankful I can be at the beach in 2 hours west, the mountains in 2 hours east, and back in Marrakesh by a pool for sunset.