Saturday, March 04, 2006

Why Did We Do That Last Loop?

The question for the day is this: Can four of the best tacos in northen California compensate for some of the slowest, ugliest and most demoralizing skate skiing we have ever done? The answer for me: Well, uh, combine it with a Fat Tire beer and a couple of cookies and the agony of duck-walking up those final hills melts away pretty fast.

The day started well enough: We registered for our race and then had Jim the wonder instructor lead us through a couple of hours of skating tips. `Hey, maybe this skating thing, which had bedeviled me in the past, might not be so hard after all,' we thought. And then it was time for chili.

Our death march through some of the most scenic skiing in America started right after lunch. Gwadz got a great recommendation on a ski loop and off we went -- first enjoying the small tow rope and downhill right outside the door. Things were looking good. The first trail was soft, but downhill and we cruised through it to yet another downhill section. `These tow ropes are awesome,' Mark thought. Not everyone was so keen. Off we went again, slogging a bit more, but enjoying the ski.

Then came the fateful moment: With the afternoon fading away, the sunset reflecting off the butte in the background, Todd suggested a short loop ski to get a feel for what tomorrow's race will hold. Things went to hell soon after. The snow was deep, soft and impossible to skate along the top of -- atleast for novices like ourselves. A couple of steep hills turned us in to tall ducks, walking up dejectedly. And the trail kept going on and on...It wasn't fun. By the end, we were all reduced to ducks even on relatively flat ground watching the weekend warriors ski ahead of us in the ski tracks. In the end Todd was left wondering: `Why would anyone ever ski without a lift to take them to the top of the hill?'

But then we were off in search of tacos and beer to take the edge off.


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