Visit or Create a Zen Sand Garden

Barbie Woods


Diary Dearest, we are six ladies on a ski weekend in iconic Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Our group is bright, chic, curious and above all adventurous and GAME! DD, we also have the skill and ski expertise to command the Tetons and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.

To welcome my friends I have created a craft, an activity, and an adventure. A childhood memory made present and adult, sort of. An evening spent modifying Barbie dolls into our own likenesses. In essence, we will ski these Mini-Mes into Barbie Woods – I will explain – and leave them as our joyous sacrifices to the mountain goddess!

As any skier knows, many mountain resorts have leave-behind areas. There is the scandalous undergarment tree, a toss from the chair lift, memorializing one’s choice of granny panties or thong and the Mardi Gras tree, laden with beads and bangles. I believe only Jackson Hole has Barbie Woods.

The legend of Barbie Woods seems to have originated at the Kid’s Ranch, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort’s children’s ski school. The Woods are located in the trees halfway between the Gondola and Thunder chairlift. To reach this magical spot one must ski at an intermediate level. It is not hard to imagine the mindset of a child creating a home in the winter wonderland for a beloved doll. What is more difficult though is the image of skiing away and leaving her behind.

Barbie Woods loomed in my imagination, but I had never found the appropriate opportunity to do more than visit. The GIRLS’ weekend was just that moment. If not now, then when…

My inspiration fully formed, my planned activity was a mere iPad away. I went shopping for Barbies and their vintage ski clothing at the world market on eBay. And with the globe laid out before me I chose doll ski wear from the 1960′s through the heady heyday of the disco era. The dolls required looks as fabulous as the ladies themselves, naturally.

Next  I, along with help of Peyton of Copp Concierge,  collected styling supplies including accessories, scissors, needle and thread, makeup and sparkly yet demure wraps for the dolls. Nothing is more off-putting than a basket full of naked, name-tagged Barbie dolls!

On the evening of our “craft,” Diary Dearest, this group of friends gathered around the kitchen table: a tribe of women, talking, reminiscing and laughing in a shared moment of frivolity.

The wistful moment came with morning as it tends to. When after skiing with our Barbie’s tucked in our jackets we made our way down from the Gondola into Barbie Woods to leave our dolls.

We had a blast, decorating our tree in the ultimate form of self-expression. Each Mini-Me doll lovingly posed and strategically placed just right. Each a fully formed being, yet somehow made more complete by the virtue and bonds of friendship.

And, with a fond farewell to our dolls, we ladies laughed and hugged and skied on into our shared adventure.



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