2013: What a way to start a new year! Jan 5th

"Lesson, Tour and Gear" cross-country ski package - for a party of four.  Holy Moly!  I never would’ve dreamed it.  Ever, ever, ever!  But there it was, in the card, their Christmas gift from my son and his fiancé to the two sets of parents:  Me and Jimmy, Alice and Tom.

I've never been on skis in my life, and now in the sunset of my years, I'm to climb onto a set of skinny skis and glide across the snow, cross-country style, and not break a hip or anything else!  Well, by gum, I'm game, let's give it a try!  The four parents agreed on Jan 5th as the date, arranged to meet in Placerville, CA, and ride together to Hope Valley Outdoors in South Lake Tahoe, CA.  Jimmy's never snow skied and neither Alice nor Tom has spent any time at all on skis.  And, just between us, neither Alice nor I slept well the night before....

But, what a day we had!  The temp at our 11am arrival was 20° and we bundled like Nanook of the North.  (Before the two-hour tour was over, I'd shed my jacket and ear muffs.)  We picked a perfect day, with little wind, and a robin's egg blue sky so full of sunshine it made our hearts race.  Or possibly the 7,000+ ft altitude made the hearts race.

Rhapsody in Snow.

 Tom and Alice at the yurt - Hope Valley Outdoors headquarters.  Almost as cold in as it was out!

 Picture us on skis!  OK, here's the picture!

Do not ask how many times we tested to see how soft the snow was.

 Me, Jimmy, Tom, Alice, and two others (Laura and David) in the tour.

 We even skied on the broad "highway" on the right side of this picture.

What a beautiful high alpine valley.
Conditions were ideal, with several feet of snow pack and six inches to a foot of fresh powder.

Nobody got hurt, tho everybody but Tom tumped over at least once.  Getting up wasn't easy with skis on.  We had a grand time!  Me and Jimmy would love to return, tho we really weren't very good at this skiing, but at least we TRIED!  Hope Valley Outdoors also offers snowshoe rentals and we'd like to try that as well.  But, any return to ski or snowshoe will have to wait -- Tergel is ready to carry us out of the snow, into the warm southern states.  We (snowbirds) leave next Tuesday...!


  1. Anonymous9:09 PM

    Beautiful! Gorgeous! love from Nannie

  2. Wow! What a wonderful Christmas Gift. I think that is something I would like to try but my Joe does not "do cold" Good for you for at least trying. Beautiful Country too.

  3. I tried skiing once a long long time ago. Once was enough for me. :)

  4. What a great gift, getting you out into a beautiful snowscape to try something you have never done. Smart kids! We (O and I with sister, BIL, and cousin) are planning to try snowshoeing this winter, when we return. I've done it before and find it considerably easier on the body than Xcountry skiing. Looks like Hope Valley might be the place to go. Long day for you guys!

    I read this at 7 am in Indio, CA, watching the blue sky lighten over the palm trees. Yes, there is warm sunshine in the south. :) Travel safe.

  5. Those look like some pretty nifty groomed trails for your first time. Really nice! Nice and flat, too. I used to love to ski at Pend Orielle State Park in Idaho and Mt Spokane state park in Washington. I haven't found anything around here that is close to that and if I get out on my skis it is tromping and breaking my own trail on a forest service road. Although I have to say your photos made me want to get my skis out! Travel safe.


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