Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Little Mill Cross Country Ski Trail

Even for an engaging sheep dog like myself winters are long. I get a break every day around 3:00 PM when Jerry the mailman shows up. He drives slowly by the fence so I can run along barking at him. He usually stops, leans out his jeep, and pets me. Later, the kids from the elementary school walk by. They run along the fence with me in hot pursuit on the other side. On a really good day, the UPS driver stops to drop off a package. Unlike Jerry, the UPS driver doesn't think I am friendly or cute. He usually throws the package over the fence and speeds off. In my opinion, these are relatively safe ways to kill time during the winter.

Dangerous, as his name implies, is not so easily entertained. When he isn't downstairs planning a spring, summer, or fall riding or hiking event, he is dreaming up some risky, crazy thing to do or try. This winter, at age 63, he decided to learn to cross country ski. As you can see, American Fork Canyon is beautiful this time of year. However, rather than snow shoeing like past winters, Dangerous let his Rec Center buddies convince him to try skiing.

Carl and Don Teaching Dangerous to Ski

Well, you would think that Dangerous could keep up with two 77 year old men. Even though he is 14 years younger than both of them, Dangerous forgot they are experienced skiers, and retired coaches with above average athletic ability. Carl coached basketball at the high school and college level, and Don's high school football teams won a number of state championships.

Undeterred, Dangerous bought skis, boots, and poles thinking he would give it a try. Using their best coaching skills, Carl and Don patiently tried to teach Dangerous to ski. They showed him how to snow plow down steep hills. They taught him how to fall to avoid serious injury, and after considerable coaching effort on their part, they thought he was getting the hang of it. Dangerous even sneaked in a few trips on his own to practice his newly learned techniques. With growing confidence, he skied effortlessly uphill. He gracefully glided across snow covered meadows, and with a few falls, made it down most hills.

Dangerous Before His Accident

Carl thought Dangerous was ready for the big time. Last week, he took Dangerous to a local ski resort with miles of groomed cross country trails. Everything started out great. They skied up hill and across flat, snow covered meadows without incident. Dangerous even made it to the bottom of a number of hills without falling. However, when he limped back into the yard last Thursday afternoon, he wasn't smiling. All he would tell me was that he fell "ass over tea kettle" coming down a hill. To add to his humiliation, he walked back to his truck carrying his skis and nursing a wrenched knee and sprained ankle.

Well, if you know Dangerous, he isn't done with skiing. By next week, he will be back on the "bunny hill" trying to perfect the snow plow to avoid another serious CRASH! I really wish he would give up skiing and start snow shoeing again. All he had to fear when snow shoeing was being buried in an avalanche or having a heart attack, and best of all I always got to go with him. Love to hear from you!


Bluester said...

Remember what happened to Sonny Bono? A helmet isn't good enough. You need a Nerf Suit*

Best from the Fremont

* Pat. Pending

The Barratt Fam said...

Maybe this is natures way of letting Dangerous know he can't be "the shit" at everything!
Kudos for him for trying new things and creating such a wonderful bucket list.