I have been skiing as long as I can remember.
I had a small pair of wooden skis with just leather straps across the toes when I was little. They served both as downhill and cross-country skis, taking me through the woods and down the hills. Today with high-tech carving skis, I tear down the mountains as hard and as fast as I can.
Even with the lack of snow, we've skied once or twice a week since Dec. 10. With good grooming and fantastic snowmaking, the skiing has been great.
As I pound down the slopes, I am amazed at the ability of kids on both skis and snowboards. They jump and turn around, go backwards, and do about anything you can think of and still look for more. A little fellow crossed in front of me the other day like a mad man. He went up a bank, spun around twice in mid-air, landed in front of me and continued on down to the lift. He couldn't have been 7 years old.
But somewhere in my 60-plus-year-old body, a 14-year-old is hiding. I still have that urge to do some of those crazy things.
I have watched these snowboarders for several years now and thought I had it figured out. So the other day, I borrowed a snowboard that a girl left in our old shop and went up our back hill to play. Knowing that many snowboarding accidents result in broken wrists, I used inline-skating wrist guards. The only problem was I couldn't find any gloves or mittens that would fit over them. So I continued with bare fingers.
I locked my feet into the bindings and eased my way out onto the very gentle slope. All of a sudden, I was off.
Knowing that you have to use the edges of the board to turn, I leaned into the slope. Yep, that worked well. Suddenly I was down.
It was no big deal. I wasn't hurt or anything, but my bare fingertips were cold and a little sore from dragging myself to a stop on the crusty snow. The biggest problem, though, was getting back up.
I finally rolled over, got on my knees and was soon upright and moving. As I started down the hill once more, I realized it's not as easy as it looks. I raced backwards for a few moments before crashing again.
I got my feet out of the binding and headed back up the slope. One run down was not going to be the end of this little adventure. I may have been down, but I hadn't been defeated.
After locking my boots into the bindings once more, I started back down the slippery slope. I tried to catch an edge by leaning again but spun around on the icy surface, landed on my belly and skidded to an abrupt stop. I was losing interest in the game.
I'm sure that on a better surface and with a little instruction I would have fared better, but I had to give it a try. At times, I'm still a little kid at heart. But landing on that hard, crunchy snow made me realize that maybe some things are better left to those younger folks.
I'll just step into the bindings of my bright orange skis and meet them at the bottom of the hill.
I have been skiing as long as I can remember.
- Rick Brockway
Good old days revolved around a good old swimming hole
As I've told you many times, I grew up on the family farm outside of Laurens. During the summer, we spent many hours each day putting hay in the barn for the cows. It was hot and sweaty work, stacking the bales in the mow when temperatures were in the 90s and the humidity was about as high. But at the end of the day, we headed up the creek to a favorite spot â€" the old swimming hole.
Sometimes hungry animals just come with the territory
There's plenty to do at the Ellenville Fault Ice Caves
Have you ever been asked, "What do you want to do today?" Well, here's a great answer. Take a drive down to Cragsmoor and visit the Ellenville Fault Ice Caves and Verkeergerkill Falls.
Fireflies never cease to amaze as nature's night-lights
The other night, we were sitting around a campfire up on the hill with a group of friends. Out across the meadow, the flashing of fireflies or lightning bugs could be seen. They were everywhere. It seemed like there were millions of them. It looked like a mini-version of the Fourth of July fireworks.
Waterfalls are worth the trip
People have always been fascinated by waterfalls. They flock by the millions to see the power and beauty of Niagara Falls, but few have ever seen the highest waterfalls in the Adirondacks and maybe even in the entire state.
- Friday, June 13, 2014
Beautiful, elegant wood ducks unlike any other
I spend a lot of time on my hill overlooking the pond, my meadows and an old pasture hillside. There's always something to watch.
- Saturday, June 7, 2014
Oneonta mountain bikers finish season near the top
Last weekend, the Oneonta Composite Mountain Biking Team finished second in the New York State High School Championships.
- Friday, May 30, 2014
New app may help you, but it's not for me
I don't know how people got along years ago without a cell phone. No matter where I go, it seems everyone is on the phone. They drive with them, eat with them, talk to who knows who while shopping and, I'm sure, even use them while sitting on the toilet. What ever happened to a little privacy?
- Friday, May 23, 2014
Slide Mountain touches the sky and the soul
On Wednesday, a friend of mine and I decided to head to the Catskills and hike up Slide Mountain. The weather for a hike was perfect, with temperatures in the mid-60s and no bugs.
- Friday, May 16, 2014
You may be lost, but you'll never go hungry with these tips
As you may know by the stories I have written, I like to spend a lot of time in the woods. I almost got lost once, but I soon learned to use a map and compass, vowing that would never happen again.
- Good old days revolved around a good old swimming hole