When I saw this picture, it reminded me of the many ski trips we took when I was growing up. The first time I strapped on a pair of snow skis I was about 12 years old in Colorado. We were visiting family friends and Dad was looking into a job change and possibly moving to Colorado. We went to Breckenridge, a nearby ski resort and my brothers and I wanted to try our hand at skiing. We took the short class and was taught to use the T-Bar lift. That T-Bar took us to the top of the training slope which was near the parking lot. The training hill was a little more than a bunny slope, it was a large field that went directly towards the parking lot and you could build up some speed when going straight. Dad was at the bottom of the hill watching for us when he saw me heading downhill fast and going straight for the parking lot. He said the he looked to see if there was an ambulance thinking that I was going to fly past him and end up with all the cars. As I approached the bottom of the hill, I did a classic turn to stop right in front of Dad, throwing snow on his shoes I had bypassed the snowplow and went directly to parallel skiing.

Over the years, we went skiing in Colorado, Utah and Switzerland. In 1976 in Switzerland at Thyon 2000 there was a speed area where they had a radar gun and you could get a printout of your speed. It looked sort of like a receipt. I started at the top and went straight down the hill almost sitting on my skis to get the fastest speed I could. I passed the radar gun at the bottom of the hill then went up the next hill to slow down. At the top of that hill I stopped to get my speed printout. I saw that I was clocked at 73 mph. It was in kph, but I had to translate it to mph. It never occurred to me what would have happened if I fell. Several years later, we had spent the week at Winter Park, Colorado just before I left for my backpack trip through Europe in 1979. I was home long enough to wash my clothes and put my backpack together.

When Will and Allison were young, we all went to Utah several times where I taught them to ski. Jennifer tried to learn but ended up liking hanging around the ski lodge better. The last time we were skiing, we were at Powder Mountain in Utah. Allison wanted to go down a Blue Diamond slope, so I went with her. Blue Diamonds are the advanced version of intermediate level slopes. I was skiing behind her so I could tell her which way to go. We went over a steep part of the slope and she fell. When you fall in such an area, you keep sliding unless you can stop yourself. I saw what happened and skied past her as quick as I could and laid down below her to stop her from sliding further. One of her skis hit my shoulder which ended up being sore for the rest of the trip. I had to keep reminding her that I risked myself to save her. That was the last time I went snow skiing. I would like to go again sometime, but I fear I might really get hurt at my age.