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
Gilbert Lake brings back fond memories
A friend posted on Facebook some pictures of him and his daughter fishing at Gilbert Lake.
Frog legs always a neat treat
We ate at a local restaurant a couple of weeks ago and had frog legs. They're one of my favorites and I hadn't had them for several years, so I was excited.
You never know what you're going to see on the slopes
I was skiing at Belleayre Mountain last Thursday. As we rode up the chairlift, I noticed several trees that were stripped of their bark in the upper branches. One of the guys I ski with asked, "What would cause that?"
Chestnuts are making a comeback
For better than 10 years I leased an old log cabin in the Adirondacks on International Paper Land east of Speculator. We had wonderful times there hunting and fishing. The camp was located just a few feet from the state's Siamese Ponds Wilderness Area, so we had great access to backcountry lakes and forests on the state land.
Fishing is all about being in the right place at the right time
I got an email from the Department of Environmental Conservation to remind all of you that trout season begins April 1. Now as some of you remember, I got mixed up one year with deer season because they changed the opening day. But there's no doubt where I'll be on April Fool's Day: I'll be skiing.
- Friday, March 14, 2014
It's funny how animals can adapt to almost any wild situation
My wife was coming home from work the other morning. She travels across Gun House Hill Road, which runs from Hobart to Harpersfield. It's not unusual to see a dozen deer or so on any given day. They're in the fields and crossing the road, making the trip more or less like an obstacle course.
- Friday, March 7, 2014
It's cold, but there's still plenty to do
This has been a tough winter. In fact, it has been one of the coldest winters on record. Now don't get me wrong, I love winter and I always have. I've always believed that people who don't like winter don't have anything to do when the snow flies and temperatures drop below freezing. But I've never had that problem.
- Friday, February 28, 2014
Animals' behavior a sign of wild winter
When I grew up, winter was much different. If we got a foot of snow, the schools and businesses never closed, because a storm like that was merely called flurries. Boy, have things ever changed.
- Friday, February 7, 2014
Opossum is unique in many ways
Many years ago, I saw my first possum. Yes, I know: It's opossum, not possum. But no one ever pronounces the 'O.'
- Friday, January 31, 2014
It can be too cold sometimes
With freezing temperatures and the Winter Olympics just a week or so away, I was reminded of a winter camping adventure many years ago.
- Gilbert Lake brings back fond memories