Smokes: We’re going to Columbus this weekend, so I’m gonna stock up in the land of plenty. $3 packs of smokes for everyone!
Tunes: Not Ekoostik Hookah, even though we had tickets for a show at Mr. Small’s tonight — the weather’s going to get nasty in Central Ohio tomorrow morning, so if we’re going — and we are — we have to go tonight. And why do we have to go? It’s a groundhog thing, and I’ll try to explain that over the next few days. In short, our pledges need some help, and this is the last chance before Reduction Day.
Yes. It’s as bizarre as it sounds.
The real thing I wanted to discuss was my experience last night at the Boyce Park ski area in Monroeville, the subject of a project that has been torturing me for the last few weeks. The initial concept was solid — our county commissioners had kicked around the idea of a county-run ski area for a few years, and they’re about ready to get started on the first piece of that deal. Right next door, Allegheny County has been running their own ski area in a county park, so we thought it would be cool to see how Boyce does and conjectugate (if that’s not an actual word, I’m calling it right now) how the concept could translate here.
Only there wasn’t any snow. And Boyce missed its Dec. 15 opening date. And the holidays. And the first few freakin’ days of January, which took me past my deadline. So I gingerly explain to editors: Ummm … no skiing, no story … right?
But it finally got cold enough and wintry enough that Boyce opened, and I could make my first trip out there to talk with actual skiers … and do some actual skiing myself, for the first time in, like 12 years. I used to do this a bunch, but with a companion who only digs skiing of the cross-country variety, I let my habit slide. I was actually apprehensive about trying again, which was kind of a silly notion — can’t say if I was worried about falling and earning the abuse of a mess of 15-year-old pierced snowboarders or the moms and dads who stuff their tiny children into crash helmets and watch as the tykes bomb down the hill…
So. I remembered how. Didn’t let the chairlift crack me in the back of the skull. Remembered how to turn. How to stop. After a few runs, I felt years melt away. It’s such a freeing exercise anyway, and to rediscover it on an uncrowded slope, with a couple inches of fresh snow (Powder? In Pittsburgh?) … Pretty cool. I got my work done, talking with dad and daughter, momslashski patrol, a couple of derelict boarders and some others.
And I skied. Beautiful.