Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Our Own Winter X Games

The boys are really taking to snowboarding. As I've said before, I'm glad they're settling into the local mountain culture, and that they'll always have these memories of mountains and snow, no matter where life takes them.
Sunday afternoon, Jeremiah and I drove up out of the valley into snow country to meet Isaiah and his friends at the local ski hill. They were already there after a sleep over at one of the boy's house.
It's a small town, family ski area, and everybody gets to know everybody else. One of the runs is named after a family in our church who helped establish it and run it years ago. Isaiah said he felt good to be getting to know the people running it now, and to be getting known by them. He and the boys got there well before opening time Sunday morning, and he said the man who was opening up said, "I've seen you here before," and gave them free lift tickets for the day.
This was the third or fourth time the boys have been there this season. They graduated from the bunny hill this year, and are old hands at the chairlift now.
On one of the trips up--and down--I let Isaiah take my camera with him. These are his shots:
When the boys weren't going up and down the mountain and I wasn't taking pictures we were in the lodge by the fire enjoying something to eat. They make very good cinnamon rolls and serve them heated with a pat of butter melting in their center.
Interestingly, Jeremiah never did stop to warm up or eat. He made up for lost time. He had taken a couple of runs on the bunny hill when we first got there, to "warm up," and he later said, "I shouldn't have wasted my time on the bunny hill!"
All the boys went through another rite of passage; they braved the run called "Face" for the first time. The run they've been doing is "Heavenly" and runs not too steeply through the trees. "Face" heads right down the open face of the mountain. Here they come with a friend of Jeremiah's who was already there, and who has probably made this run before; his folks help run the place.
I could see lots of improvement in both boys. Both of them watched parts of the Winter X Games (they'd turn the channel when skiing was on and check back for the snowboarding) and there were a couple of sixteen-year-olds competing in the snowboard events. That gives Isaiah four years, and Jeremiah five years to get ready.
Might could happen. Meanwhile, we'll get back there some more before Spring rolls in. Isaiah keeps challenging me to ski. I made the mistake of telling the boys of my skiing exploits in the good old days. I taught myself how to ski with a book I checked out of the library by Jean Claude Killy. Anyone remember him? But that was 30 years ago--in Iowa. But, I'm here, and the opportunity is here, and I know a man here--the one the run is named after--who was still skiing when he was 91 years old.
If they ever have a Senior Winter X Games....

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