Wednesday, February 10, 2010


There is a cross-country ski trail that goes around the south side of Silver Lake. Most of the tracks at this location are all groomed and smooth like this--
--lots of fun but not much of a challenge. Then there is the trail that warns you ahead of time—

It’s gonna be a bumpy ride. It is such a roller coaster that it can’t be groomed by machine. After a few skiers get through trashing their way down the path, the snow is the consistency of frozen mashed potatoes.

I am hopelessly clumsy and incompetent when it comes to anything athletic. And it has been several years since I'd taken on South Silver Lake Trail. This time the weather was beautiful and I had my skis waxed just right. I took a deep breath and started out. After a while I got into sort of a rhythm and was doing a pretty good job of not crossing my skis. Still, in the back of my mind I knew there was that double drop between the trees at the far end of the lake.

It is useless for me to try and remember to do all the things like: bend knees, low center of balance, edges into the curve---that stuff. Because when I am going very fast downhill my brain pretty much goes into panic mode. So when things get scary I sing to myself. This somehow loosens up the knees and overrides alarm systems.

I was almost out of the woods and had convinced myself that the double drop had been fixed and I had gone right by it when I saw the sign--

nailed to the tree at the edge of the long downhill.

“Don't think, feel. Ain't no big deal.  Just make it real and don't think, feel. La-la-LA!” And I pushed off. And I missed the trees. I went faaaaast. And finally came to a stop; still on my feet.  WOOHOO! 

Velocity had carried me ‘way past the double drop. So I turned around and came back to get a photo or two with my cell phone.
First drop

Second drop

While going back (what I do for blog photos) I went down a small incline, picked up a little speed, left the trail and found myself headed straight for a tree. At the last second I dove into the powder.

I ended literally up to my armpits in deep snow.

I rolled on to my back looking very much like an overturned june bug—arms and legs all wavy in the air. Finally I got my skis under me and traveled on down the track. ALIVE!


Laura said...

LOL the things we do for the blog world! I Love It! Now were you skiing solo? I would have loved to see you as a June bug in skies on your back covered in powdery snow.

I've been invited twice so far to go cross country skiing; each time I could not make it. But I will before the season is over. I swear I will and I'm sure I'll have a story to tell. But just in case I'll memorize your song...don't think, feel; ain't no big deal....

I hope that singing really helps!!!

Bill S. said...

Sounds like a lot of fun. We plan on taking the grandkids up there on Monday. Hoping for good weather.

Anonymous said...

Are you having fun living your life or what!! Up to the armpits in good times. Such happy memories Leenie, with that adventurous spirit of yours.Continue to enjoy... and thanks for your recent visit and comment.Much appreciated.xx

Linda Sue said...

LEENIE! you are such a thrill seeker! I would have broken every leg! I skiied ONCE!Or is that "skid"? I do hope you do not go out alone...Sassy you! Just a reminder- a broken neck can really hinder your singing...

The Weaver of Grass said...

Overturned June bug? I think it would be a February bug judging by the depth of that snoiw - terrifying.

kendalee said...

Fabulous snowy roller-coaster!!! I had a great mental image of you careening down the hill, slightly out of control and singing at the top of your voice (I don't if you were actually singing out loud but in my vision you were) - brilliant! I've never been in snow that was much deeper than mid-calf so I quite like the idea of being in powder up to my armpits but perhaps it's one of those things that's more fun in one's head?

VERY glad you missed all the trees! :)

frayedattheedge said...

I knew I was sensible never learning to ski!


" You're a braver man than I am, Gunga Din! " First thing came into my mind *grin* although it almost looks like fun.