I’ve been meaning to check in and tell you what a blessed holiday I’ve been having. It’s a recap. Currently, I’m in the middle of a week and a half-long vacation. It began with boarding in Mammoth for a couple days. We crammed 18 people into a small condo, which was walking distance to Canyon Lodge. The second night we were there, we played Rock Band II (without the drums) and were so loud we didn’t even hear the noise complaint because we couldn’t hear the neighbors knocking on our front door. They were gracious enough to give us a grace night by waiting til morning to warn us to not do “that” again or they’d simply call the cops if they heard noise after 10pm the next night. That night, we watched bad cable movies and Futurama DVDs. It was on Sunday during a lunch break in our usual riding session as we were standing in line for the grill when I found my right pocket unzipped and my new Blackberry gone. Gone. Next came panic mode. The realization that you have to replace something that has, on one hand, become so pertinent to your day-to-day life and, on the other hand, also costs hundreds of dollars, is a hard one to absorb. It makes you pause, reflect and maybe even ask yourself why you didn’t have that crap phone within which to insert your SIM card for days on the mountain. It would be completely stupid to take with you a phone model that has only existed for about one month, unlocked versions of which eBay for $500. But that’s exactly what I did. And the phone was gone. I alternated from praying for signs and praying for hope to systematically rearranging finances in my head to make room for the new BlackBerry I’d be forced to purchase. The thing about a phone falling out of your un-zipped pocket is the most likely scenarios are either when you’re sitting down to strap in at the top of a run or rest in the middle. As in, rest on choppy, once frozen-over moguls of powder such as on the double black run called Dragon’s Back. My “crew” graciously helped me retrace our routes. We checked Eagle Lodge (a smaller outpost) lost & found, repeated 4 runs including through trees before going to Canyon Lodge to check the lost & found there. It was where our cabin was, anyway. I had planned in my head to tell the guys to go ahead on home so I could ride to Main Lodge myself to file an official report, but got an inkling to slow down and check Canyon first. As I walked up to the lost & found counter, I told the girl solemnly that “I lost a BlackBerry.” She asked, “Like a pretty new model?” And I knew then that the little bit of hope I had gotten back wasn’t for naught. “Yes - the newest, or second-newest,” I responded. And as she held up my BlackBerry Bold - complete with the Mammoth Mountain trail map as its wallpaper and TwitterBerry, Google Maps and BlackBerry Messenger as the top applications on the menu - I lowered my forehead to the counter while chanting “Oh my god” and “Thank you” five times. Each. Hallelujah. The two excruciating hours spent searching for my phone while simultaneously praying and checkbook balancing were humbling. The lesson of the day might have been as simple as remembering to zip your pockets on your snowboarding jacket or getting a shoddy cell phone for use on the mountains but the fact of the matter was that the outcome of the experience renewed my faith in humanity. The notion that whomever had found my phone could have easily turned up $400-$500 richer but chose not to out of the goodness (or indifference, or ignorance) of his/her heart wasn’t something I was about to take for granted. For the record, I’ve turned a cell in at Mammoth before. Though I’m for certain that its value wasn’t as much as my BlackBerry, I’d like to think that I somewhat paid it forward way back when. Or that the Mammoth trail map wallpaper struck some sort of karma chord in its finder - perhaps he/she was another season pass holder. Whomever you are, this is for you. Thank you for all you did (turn my phone in) and didn’t do (sell it on eBay). I’ve sent up some good thoughts for you and am hopeful you will reap your reward!