In Junior High, our school was part of some experimental programming called "Life Time Activities". This was a "one-of-a-kind" activity program that offered up a huge selection of different activity choices for students to try. There were also some indoor activity choices, like bowling, but I gravitated towards all of the outdoor activities. Essentially, every Friday afternoon, there were no classes and we got to go outside and do something really cool. Naturally, I picked "downhill skiing" as my winter activity selection. I also remember taking Canoeing, Hiking and Biking as some of my warmer season options. Of interest - there was also a Computer Course available. It was the early '80's and this was considered a "leisure activity" - and was not part of any curriculum. To me, going skiing on Friday afternoons, was a BIG deal. The big yellow school bus would pull up in front of the school and take us all away - to the paradise of our little ski hill. I was in heaven. I was skiing instead of going to school! Yeah!
My parents eventually got in to skiing, because both my brother and I had taken to it. Fortress Mountain was my first "real mountain ski experience" and I was captivated by this wonderful sport and the scope, size and beauty of the mountains. I have no memories of being cold - but lots of memories of eating "french fries" in the day lodge. Fries were a treat, not something I ever ate at home and a "integral" part of my ski experience. Soon, we were taking ski holidays and making trips to Montana to ski at The Big Mountain. I had never seen so much snow in my life - Montana was a Wonderland of Powder and snow banks that were much, much larger than me.
After High School, when we were away from the Cliques of Teenager-dom - my brother and I decided we were cool enough to hang out together. As soon as he got a car, he was taking trips to the ski hill and eventually, thought it took a few years, I was included in the plans. It was an exciting time to be skiing, ski culture was taking off - and I met a lot of great people on the slopes. In 1988, after being excluded from a ride to the ski hill - I hitch hiked to the slopes for the first time. I had to be extra sneaky to do it, but NOTHING was going to stop me from getting to the ski hill for one of the last days of Spring Skiing. I HAD to ski, it had become the Most Important Thing of All-est. So, I took a public bus and then I hiked out to the city limits and I put out my sign: Sunshine. I looked like I was 13. I've been skiing at Sunshine Village every since.
Skiing has taught me many things and changed my life - too many things to mention in this simple post. Eventually, I met my husband on the slopes, moved to a ski town and thus began a Great Adventure. The fun and joy of skiing, skiing with friends and making fresh turns in powder, is still is a big part of my life. As the adventure continues, I'm so glad that skiing is still a part of my world. True, it's a smaller part of my world than it's ever been - but this doesn't mean I love it any less. I'm thankful for this silly sport and all of the good things it's brought me and hopefully, I'll be skiing through life for a long time.
Yesterday's turns at Sunshine Meadows