Many Trails
February 20, 2014
by Adrien F. Taylor
Feb 20, 2014 | 1591 views | 0 0 comments | 79 79 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Summer or winter, I am something of an Olympics junkie. No, I didn’t travel up to Park City for the festivities there, as I am also something of a coward. Since 9/11 was still way too fresh in my mind, I stayed home.

This last week has been a real treat, especially when some familiar names from prior Olympics showed up among the competitors.

I may be wrong, but it seems to me that having some experience in the sports helps with appreciating what is going on. Few people know this today, but I was quite athletic when younger. No team sports or competitions for girls yet in my day, but I took diving classes and fencing classes at the U. of U., and still have an occasional dream that my fencing stuff is somewhere in a locker in the field house, despite the fact that the field house was torn down years ago.

Also, I used to be able to swim the length of the old city pool underwater. Ah, youth.

There came a time when all our friends were taking up skiing, so Sam and I also took it up. The first day out, we went to the hill at Monticello, and both of us wound up at the hospital there with cuts in our left shins (and also in our brand-new, expensive ski pants), due to bread-knife like edges on our new, not-so-expensive skis.

We took lessons thereafter. And I think we learned that Levi's did quite well as ski pants.

Much to my consternation, one of our friends one day commented on what a nice snowplow I had mastered. I think she meant it as a compliment.

Several families of us took up skiing at about the same time, and what great memories we made. Powderhorn, near Grand Junction, was one favorite ski spot, but I believe that Purgatory, near Durango, was our favorite. I’ll not forget the sign that hung in the lodge at Purgatory reading: If God had wanted Texans to ski, He’d have given them a mountain.

So, there we were, all lined up first for the rope tow, then the palma lift, and finally the chair lift (which several of us fell down getting off the first time or so).

As far as the Taylor clan was concerned, Sam led the way, followed by Tom and Sena, with me bringing up the rear, ostensibly to help any children needing it. Jed and Zane were left below to play on the bunny hill.

Soon, Tom and Sena just took off, zip, zip, leaving Sam and me in their wake.

Some years later, Sam and I hung up our slats, which could be somewhere out in the garage still, for all I know. And there should also be a suitcase around somewhere containing those original ski pants.

So, anyway, as earlier inferred, I think one can appreciate a sport (or any activity, for that matter) more if one has had a bit of personal experience. I don’t think I would recognize either the slopes at Powderhorn or Purgatory, knowing the growth these two areas have enjoyed the last few years. I’m not planning to go and look.

But my years on the slopes have given me a greater appreciation for what’s going on in the mountains above Soshi. And it seems to me that I had a few other thoughts to share, but they have temporarily left me, and I shall send these comments down to the office and hurry along myself to get to proofreading today’s section of the paper, so that I can get back to my Olympic watch this afternoon, and knit a few more rows on my Olympics knitting project.

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