Monday, December 04, 2006

Ski Season is here!

Yesterday I headed up to the slopes for the first time this season. I’m itching to try my new skis, but with only a 50 inch snow base I didn’t dare to bring them. I’m a creature of habit, I enjoy the old and familiar. I like my old, red, Pre M5a’s (hand made in Park City, Utah... or so they say); they had actually become a conversation piece when I rode the lift with strangers because they were so out of style. I’m also a bit frugal, and I hate to waste (visions of filled landfills depress me!), so I keep my gear forever. But last year the paint started coming off my skis in huge chunks which I took as a sign that I needed to replace my 10 year old “straight” skis for the modern, short, parabolic ones. Hopefully they’ll revolutionize (ha, ha) my skiing. Hopefully we will have a few storms soon so I can give them a try. Funny thing about those ski resorts, they can report a 50 inch base yet still have plenty of rocks on the runs. I’m sure they hide that snow measurement stake out in a drift in the middle of the woods. I only hit a couple of rocks, all in places I should have known to avoid, but I was following Matt, and I forget that I actually turn with my skis on the ground in places where he, well, flys. He jumps over everything. Everything he does on skis looks effortless, and he just plain looks cool. It sure makes me wish I’d learned to ski when I was 4!.

It was a lovely, blue skied and clear, but cold ski day. I did have one new piece of gear to try out- new goggles (Thank you TJ Maxx for h,aving $14.99 Bolle ski goggles this year!). It’s funny how in tune, and attached you get to your ski gear. It was nice to have pristine, non-scratched goggles for a change, but they are definitely a different shade of amber than my previous pair. I spent the day feeling like I was skiing in perpetual sunset. It was sort of an interesting, surreal feeling. I imagine I’ll get used it.

The extreme (for Utah) cold snap we have been having made for a slightly harrowing trip down the canyon. Ever have one of those days when you’re not sure what the road conditions are? Can you say "black ice”? The road was white from salt, yet had this slight sheen that made me suspect it could be slick, even thought we hadn’t had fresh snow in days. I kept commenting to Bob and Matt that I thought the road was slicker than it looked, but I just wasn’t sure. Matt, the 17 year old driver thought it looked fine - thank goodness he rides the bus to ski. I felt compelled to granny drive, and was sure I was ticking off the car behind me. That was until I we reached the first tight curve, where there was an SUV, minus its whole back end, slammed into the canyon wall. At the next curve, a van was down the embankment laying on its side in a parking lot. By now I was really granny driving, which was good thing because as we approached the next curve, one of those huge monster trucks came round the corner, and started skidding and then slid sideways straight toward us. Luckily I was able to pull off the road and stop, and even luckier the other driver regained control of his truck. I don’t ever recall such a slick day when there was no fresh snow. I guess that sometimes being a neurotic, old fart, granny driver really pays off. I’m sure hoping yesterday's drive was a good lesson for my son. It is sometimes scary having an (over?) confident teenage driver in the house.

1 comment:

ellen said...

Hey, Linda - you'd think living almost my entire life in MI that I'd be a skiier. Nope. I have CC skiis but we haven't even done that in several years. Maybe now that we're both retired, we'll get out in the forest.
Your description of driving down the canyon made me sick to my stomach. Curves and black ice - not my favorite combo.