Ski Hills, Spring, and Saunas

I CAN SKI!

My entire body is in pain, but oh boy, my soul is happy.  It turns out, downhill skiing does come back to you.  It took a couple hours of practice on the easier mountain for my muscles to remember the movements.  But, after that, I was skiing like a pro.

There’s something about being able to ski that builds confidence.  I mean, it’s kind of a scary sport.  You strap two metal strips to your feet and go down terrifyingly tall, steep hills.  Once you get the hang of it, flying down the slopes feels amazing.

It’s just so classic, you know?  Cruising down the slopes.  Taking the gondola to the other mountains.  Riding up the ski lifts.  Breaking for lunch in the chalet.

And then, when the day is done, the hot tub and sauna beckon.  Oh boy, they feel good.  All the physical strain washes away and you’re so relaxed that it becomes impossible to worry about anything.  I honestly don’t remember the last time I felt so at ease.

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We’ve been skiing at the largest hill in Minnesota.  I say hill, but I should actually say hills.  Lutsen is made of four mountains.  It’s up on the North Shore, right on Lake Superior.  Because my mom has connections, we were able to go on the trip at little to no expense.  The high-ups that Mom knows covered our rental gear, lift tickets, and even our accommodations.  our mini-condo is right on the hill.  In the morning, we wake up, strap on our skis, and go.

It’s absolutely gorgeous up here.  When you go down the runs, it’s hard to pay attention to not dying because the view is so spectacular.  Lake Superior stretches out before you as far as the eye can see.  In the afternoon, part of the lake is golden because it reflects the sun.  Every time I went down, all I could do was offer up praise to God for his glorious creation.

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Seriously, I cannot get enough of this view!

 

My one complaint is that it’s been overly warm.  The thermometer reached fifty degrees today.  I’m all for spring–Minnesota winter began in November this year, which was brutal.  But fifty degree days means that snow melts.  Melting snow means it’s harder to maintain control on the slopes.  As this afternoon wore on, the hills got more and more icy.  My mom gave up an hour before I did on account of a hurt knee.

Okay, so you know the part where I said I was skiing like a pro?  That’s kind of lie.  I’m nowhere near Olympic level.  In fact, I fell quite a bit.  It took most of the first day to make it down a run without slipping over.  On the second day, I only fell a handful of times.  Mind you, most of these falls were pretty derpy.  One minute, I’d be doing fine, and the next, my ski caught some loose snow and–plop–down I go.  My favorite occurred on a really steep hill–nearly a straight drop.  Within thirty seconds, I tipped over. Normally, when this happens, I’m able to push myself up and keep going.  This time, though, the hill was so steep that I slid backwards, skis over my head, down to the bottom.

Thankfully, I only suffered two major wipe-outs.  You know, the kind where you fall head first into the snow, flip over, and both skis come flying off.  Although I was a bit battered, I was able to pick myself up and keep going.

It’s my last Spring Break and, oh boy, I’ve been making it count.  The past few days have been amazing.  I love the North Shore.  When you live on the prairie, there’s nothing better than forests, cliffs, and Lake Superior.  I don’t want to go back to Morris, where my senior seminar paper waits to be written.  I only just discovered the joys of skiing and don’t want to stop!  I’m almost sad that winter is almost over, because it means I can’t hit the slopes again until November.

Now that I know how, I don’t want to wait another ten years before I go skiing again.  So, here’s to a great trip and I’ll keep my fingers crossed for going again next year!

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Me in the gondola after a long day of skiing!

For more photos of my trip, check out my Instagram page on the right sidebar!

 

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