Maine Adventure Series: Skiing
How did it hit you when you turned 30? What's been your most sit-back-and-take-a-deep-breath birthday number yet?
If you ask me, I'd say maybe 40 or 50 or 60 might draw a sharp gasp, cause me to shed a tear or rethink my entire life, but gratefully 30 wasn't that!
In fact, 30 has been just exactly what I'd hoped it would be. Gone are those insecure days of the late teens and early 20s, when you're wondering what you'd do and where you'll go and who you'll be. We are so enjoying the little lives we're raising, the beautiful world around us, working with yarn and in nature, and the simplicity and steady in and out of life at the moment.
Yes, life is something to celebrate! And so off we went, down the coast and up the mountain to try our hand at skiing - something quintessentially "Maine" that I've never done before. We looked at the iconic Sugarloaf, but the high demand means that's something you'd have to plan at least a season in advance. Eventually we settled on Camden and booked a day at the Camden Snow Bowl and a stay at the Hartstone Inn and Hideaway.
The day we left was unseasonably warm, in fact it was downright peculiar! Later that day it would drop to 12 degrees, but while we skied it was 65, and many were zooming past us in shorts and t-shirts. The drive through Camden was just lovely, Maiden's Cliff towered above us over a small lake where men and women were happily ice fishing.
But when we pulled into the simple parking lot at the base of a towering hill, I almost locked my door and refused to move. Two things kept me to my course: my cheapness in that we had already purchased tickets and rented gear, and the fact that I had told all you dear people that this was something I was going to do.
You see, I had assumed we would be able to do some flat, cross-country skiing, but that was not so because of conditions. After the harrowing process of getting fitted in the proper gear and finding our instructor, I was more nervous than ever. It's worth noting at this juncture that my husband Dave is fearless and naturally skilled at anything athletic. And while I can use brute strength to wrestle a ram or shear a sheep, coordination is not my strong suit.
As I clunked my way out to our meeting place (what is with those crazy shoes anyway!?) I cut my finger on my ski boot. My blood pressure must have been high because it looked like someone shot a snowshoe hare on their poor ski slope.
Quite by accident we had booked a private, 2 hour lesson instead of the group, 15 minute lesson I intended to select. That ended up being providence's blessing, as our instructor Dale was the sweetest, most patient and encouraging person we could have asked for. He has been skiing for 63 years on this very slope, beginning at the age of 3. I remember watching videos of little babies skiing and thinking that must be something really rare, but teeny little kids were zipping past us the whole time. After actually experiencing what it was like to be on skis, I was completely shocked!
I expected to be given poles but apparently that's not part of the deal for beginners. I also didn't anticipate how difficult it was to get in and out of the skis. There was one moment where I fell forward and was so stuck I couldn't move at all. It still makes me wonder what I would have done if no one was there to help me! Eventually I was able to take a nice, slow skid down the last few yards of the slope and come to a quick stop. Dave, well he was able to ski down the big slope by the end of the day.
After our lessons and more practice, and a quick rest in the simple lodge, we headed back to our Bed and Breakfast. If you're ever in Camden, the Hartstone Inn is a beautiful place to stay. The building is beautifully decorated with paintings and art, and the food is amazing!
It was so warm we walked around, got us a coffee and headed to the Cashmere Goat to pick up some goodies.
The next day was a hard one with troubling current events beginning to swirl. But we made our way back to hearth and home, stopping at some wonderful yarn shops on our way and picking up goodies. I grabbed a lot of bulky yarn for Elsie, as she has decided to join me at the Maine Fiber Frolic to sell her knitted scarves and felted animals.
Thank YOU all for the wonderful time - for we know it's your support of our shop that allows us to do what we do! There is still more birthday fun to come, including more giveaways and also something I've had in the works for a while I am quite excited about.