SNOW Much Fun in Flagstaff

Our alarm clocks sounded before the sun rose and we staggered out of bed to get ready for an eventful day ahead! With skiing on the itinerary, we knew it would be a memorable day.


Once we were completely awake, we drove through Flagstaff to First Chair Rentals. There, we rented ski equipment. Although we had coats, gloves, and hats, we still needed ski pants, skis, poles, and goggles. The entire process of renting ski equipment was lengthy, but we were entertained by, Zoe, the owner’s frisky dog.

SHSU, LEAP Center, LEAP Ambassadors, Flagstaff, First Chair Rentals

From the heart of Flagstaff, it takes about 25 to 30 minutes to get to Snowbowl.

SHSU, LEAP Center, LEAP Ambassadors, Flagstaff, First Chair Rentals, Snowbowl, Arizona

Being the middle of the week, there weren’t many people there, which was an ideal scenario for the three Ambassadors who were new to skiing.  Indeed, even unloading our car and walking to the slope was a challenge as we weren’t comfortable yet with the bulky ski boots.

Birch and pine trees populated the mountains and outlined the ski slopes. We were stunned by the beauty of our surroundings and impressed with the diverse landscapes around us. Once we put our layers of clothing on, it was finally time to put the skis on! We quickly learned skiing looks easier than it actually is (at least it was this way for us!). Ryan and Professor Yawn had previous skiing experience. Therefore, they were able to give us lessons and pointers on how to maneuver the skis.

After a series of trials in the snow, we moved to the bunny slope. The bunny slope gave us more practice because it had no obstacles and gentle inclines. Once we learned to ski down, we could get in line for a conveyor belt to take us back up to the top of the bunny slope.

The more practice we did, the better we got thanks to our great instructors! Brian did particularly well on the bunny slope and soon struck ambition to go down the green slope.

Although Christina and I were not too particularly confident about the green slope (or in Christina’s case, even the bunny slope)…

…we all went together to ride the ski lift and enjoy the mountainous views. For some, the trip down went better than for others, but everyone eventually made it down the slope just in time for lunch. The Snowbowl’s restaurant, named The Lodge, served American classics like (overpriced) cheeseburgers or chicken strips, but also salads, pizza, and paninis. We ordered and ate quickly to satisfy our grumbling stomachs and to get back to the slopes quicker.

When we returned to the slopes, Ryan decided to test his skills on the blue slopes while the rest of us warmed up again on the bunny slopes. Eventually, we made our way back to the green slope for more practice. Although we may have fallen multiple times throughout the day, we all enjoyed the new experience of skiing. Professor Yawn and Ryan proved to be good teachers who helped us to get our bearings and build confidence.

SHSU, LEAP Center, LEAP Ambassadors, Flagstaff, Snowbowl, Skiing

We took one last trip down the green slope before packing up our gear and driving back down to the rental shop.

Downtown Flagstaff

After a full day of skiing we took a stroll through Flagstaff’s Historic Downtown. We decided to explore some of their local shops and make the best of our last few hours in Flagstaff. As we walked down the streets, we decided to go into a local co-operative art gallery called The Artists Gallery. They had many beautiful and affordable pieces of art. One particular artist, who caught Ryan Brim’s eye, was Beth LaCour. Beth is known for her folded geometric paper vessels. She was only one of the many talented artists we discovered.

SHSU, LEAP Center, LEAP Ambassadors, Flagstaff,

After looking through the gallery, we visited Flagstaff Soap Company. The soap shop had many pleasant aromas and we purchased some of our favorites to take back to Texas. Ryan bought himself a Rosemary Mint soap bar and Kaitlyn bought a soap sampler. We walked a few more blocks to Sweet Shoppe Candy store and enjoyed some delicious sweets.

SHSU, LEAP Center, LEAP Ambassadors, Flagstaff

Kaitlyn and Christina purchased some chocolate covered pretzels and orange peels, while Professor Yawn tried their fudge. They also had cactus candy which we are excited to try once we get home!

Our final stop in downtown Flagstaff were the Old Town Shops. The shops were like a small mall housing a group of ten local businesses in the same building. Outside, we were intrigued by the murals done by local artist Joe Sorren that decorated the building.

SHSU, LEAP Center, LEAP Ambassadors, Flagstaff

The Historic district allowed us to experience a few of our favorite things such as art, sweets, and history.

SHSU, LEAP Center, LEAP Ambassadors, Flagstaff

As we headed to the Grand Canyon, we all agreed that Flagstaff was our favorite city thus far!

SHSU, LEAP Center, LEAP Ambassadors, Flagstaff

Just as we arrived at our hotel in Grand Canyon Village for the night, large snowflakes started precipitating from the sky. Before we were ready to get some sleep, we decided to go outside to admire the fresh, fluffy snow. It was an exciting end to a snow filled day!


Author: mikeyawn

Mike Yawn teaches at Sam Houston State University. In the past few years, he has taught courses on Politics & Film, Public Policy, the Presidency, Media & Politics, Congress, Statistics, Research & Writing, Field Research, and Public Opinion. He has published academic papers in the Journal of Politics, Political Behavior, Social Security Quarterly, Film & History, American Politics Review, and contributed a chapter to the textbook Politics and Film. He also contributes columns, news analysis, and news stories to newspapers such as the Houston Chronicle, San Antonio Express News, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Stamford Advocate, Greenwich Time, Huron Daily Tribune, Laredo Morning Times, Beaumont Enterprise, Connecticut Post, and Midland Reporter Telegram. Yawn is also active in his local community, serving on the board of directors of the local YMCA and Friends of the Wynne. Previously, he served on the Huntsville's Promise and Stan Musial World Series Boards of Directors. In 2007-2008, Yawn was one of eight scholars across the nation named as a Carnegie Civic Engagement Scholar by the Carnegie Foundation.

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