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Skiing Uphill

The weekend is coming.  Snow is falling in its silent way and is forecasted to continue through then.  I have to get outside; these four walls are slowly getting closer, smothering the flames within and making it hard to breathe.  An overnight backpacking trip to Rocky has been near the top of the to do list for a while but the lack of interested partners and 7 degree lows make this exciting outing seem less sane.

On the Brainard Lake Trails.

11 am Thursday I get a phone call from Tyler Scheer, just in time to erase the anxiety of having to sit at home watching Star Trek the Next Generation all weekend while the snow mockingly fell outside my window.

“Do you want to go cross country skiing with Kristen and I this weekend?”, he asked.

Before his words had the opportunity to make the split second, one million mile journey to my ears, I responded with “Absolutely.  When and where?”.

“Brainard Lake up in the Indian peaks, you can rent gear at Neptune!  Should be a good time.”  he said.  Specifics were decided on and as I hung up, I could feel the fuel of adventure feeding the flames of my soul.

Saturday morning, with gear in hand we all piled into my car for the drive.  Click. Really? Click. Yep.  Battery is dead again.  The night before I drove to get gas and it wouldn’t start after fueling.   A jump got the car moving again but I thought it was weird that it just died without any symptoms.  It would have been an easy fix to simply take Kristen’s car but things are rarely easy.  She was the proud new owner of a flat tire.  We managed to finagle the cars together with the possibility of making at least one of them functional.   The car started without an issue and we were off to the parts store for another battery.  Finally after some parking lot surgery we were off to the mountains while being rocked by DJ Tyler.

The sky shone bright blue and the snow sparkled with sunlight while off in the distance dark storm clouds threatened.  Getting used to back-country ski’s was a slow, frustrating process.  Especially when you were expected to ski uphill with things that are designed for the opposite.  Small hills became formidable mountains and a single stuck tip urged from the depths grumbles and hostel feelings.  At one point the one step up and 9 steps back challenge was too great for me to handle.  I took the ski’s off preparing to carry them to the top when, in a taunting fit of non conformance, my right ski slid to the bottom of the hill, laughing at me with every foot put between us.  The only thing I could do was smile and realize its all part of the process, an opportunity to learn something new.

How do these things work?  Andrew Kuklinski (author) in the snow.

How do these things work? Andrew Kuklinski (author) in the snow.

 

Again?

Again?

What is happening!?!?

What is happening!?!?

Tyler Scheer blazing a trail just to see what was up there.

Tyler Scheer blazing a trail just to see what was up there.

Kristen Ardani looking like a pro.

Kristen Ardani crushing it.

Tyler Scheer and Andrew Kuklinski at a trail junction sipping on hot tea.

Tyler Scheer and Andrew Kuklinski at a trail junction sipping on hot tea.

Slowly but surely the hills became less like Everest and more like a walk in the park.  We reached a high point and now it was time to fly downhill.  Zipping in and out of trees on a two foot wide trail not knowing what was next was exhilarating!  A few wipe outs into chest high powder and the smiles were coming easier and the beauty of the place was starting to sink in.  By the end of the day I had a permanent,  calm smile as I slapped my way up hills in gently falling snow with the soft grey clouds making the world seem like it was falling in on itself.  I think I might like this sport.  Maybe just add in some climbing gear and the possibility for adventures are endless!!

Adam - You pizzad when you were supposed to french fry. Other than that, looks like a great time. Kind of. Count me out. I’ll be on the couch with a turkey leg and a Hot Toddy.March 18, 2015 – 3:20 pm

Tyler - Really fun day! Next time we’ll get you better skis.March 23, 2015 – 12:14 am

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