Saturday, March 22, 2014

Treasuring The Memories

Late afternoon sun illuminates the clouds over Hog Heaven and Skyline. I'll be enjoying
 these daylight sights until mid-April.

This weekend marks the end of night skiing at Stevens Pass. While the slopes will still be open for several more weeks, and I will definitely be up to enjoy some day skiing, the fact remains that yesterday was my last Friday evening on the slopes for the 2013-2014 season. Sigh. I always feel a little bit sad as the season winds down.

* * * * *

Yesterday afternoon, my fourth-born and I were at the top of a run. As always, I slid off the chairlift ready to ski on, but my snowboarding offspring needed a moment to buckle her right boot back onto her board. While she bent over and attended to her business, I perched myself at the top of the steep descent, facing sideways, with my skis parallel to the top of the hill. In fact, the ground sloped away so precariously under my feet that my left ski was about four inches higher than my right, but I settled myself firmly into the snow for the wait.

Looking south-ish from the top of Tye, the dropping sun turns the tips of the Cascades  
a sweet shade of pink. 

At first, I gazed ahead, staring at the lift house and thinking my random thoughts. Then something else captured my attention, and I swung my head around to the left - to my uphill side - to see what was happening.

That sudden motion was just enough to knock me off my delicate equilibrium. Several things happened in quick succession.

My arms flailed wildly, made comically long by the ski poles in my hands.
I squealed my daughter's name in a desperate but entirely futile call for help.
With a thump, I fell to the ground in a ridiculous heap.

Now, I'm not afraid to take a tumble when I'm skiing. In fact, I like to push myself hard, and consider falls to be a sign of growth. But after many years on the slopes, I don't go down all that often. In fact, on this particular day, we had been riding through thick stands of trees on a crazy steep, ungroomed and somewhat icy mountainside. Did I fall then? No. Yet simply standing in place, I crashed and burned. It was hilariously dumb. 

For the last time this season, I watched the skies over Cowboy Mountain turn golden 
with the setting sun. 

As soon as I hit the ground, I began to laugh. In fact, I was laughing so hard that I made no sound. I just lay there at the top of the run, shaking with silent giggles at the absurdity of my situation.

And as soon as she heard me shout her name, my daughter looked up to see me thrashing around like a maniac and falling, for no apparent reason. Once she realized I was unhurt, she broke down too, and howled along with me.

* * * * *

Goodbye to the twinkly lights and velvety black skies of my nighttime friend. 
See you next season!

Seasons come and seasons go. I can't experience the magic of Stevens Pass all year round, but I sure do treasure the memories.

* * * * *

More stories from my 2013-2014 adventures at Stevens Pass? Comin' right up:

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