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It's good to be in Ashland after 5 hours in the car.

Editor's Note: Longtime ski racing coach and videographer Robin Cressy is on assignment in Ashland this week for the Oregon State Championships. Here's his first update, wired over from a motel in Ashland after a long day in the car followed by In-and-Out burgers and a 40-person hot tub party. Shred Hood will be running his updates as they arrive this week, with video, photos and stories from States. 

Finally back to my motel room!  Here's what's gone down so far:  

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.....sorry........couldn't resist....;) But yeah, a 5-hour drive including 2 rest stop bathroom breaks and a trip to the gas station in Grants Pass.  After dumping my stuff at the motel, I headed over to the opening ceremonies at the Historic Ashland Armory where they had a rock and roll style Star Spangled Banner music video to kick things off followed by an intro to the festivities by State Race Chair Brian Beattie.  They served pizza, salad and cookies galore before the DJ cranked up the tunes and the kids got their groove on.
I interviewed a handful of kids and a couple coaches from 3-Rivers league, and none of these high school kids had ever been to Mt. Ashland.  Over at the coaches' meeting at the Windsor Inn Best Western, a half dozen coaches all said the same thing: NONE of their athletes had EVER been to Mt Ashland before today.  Kids are excited to be here. 
Team Southridge stopped by the one and only In-and-Out-Burger in the state of Oregon in Medford for dinner last night.  At the end of the coaches meeting, I was told to go over to the hotel swimming pool.....that's where I found roughly 40 OISRA kids smushed together in the hot tub.  I was able to get them to do a group "welcome to Mt Ashland" on video. 
Word on the street is that the mountain got lots of snow in December, but not much since then.  The snow is firm and a bit icy, so that should lead to good race conditions tomorrow.  A rep from Mt Ashland talked about possible wet weather tomorrow for Day 1 of racing.  But this is Oregon after all.
Racing starts tomorrow!