Saturday, March 13, 2010

Oh, Deer!

The weather was supposed to be perfect for skiing. So we headed to Snowshoe Mountain with the grandkids for the weekend. Please understand that I find skiing to be less than relaxing. Okay, it stresses me greatly. I can't ski very well, and now I have two young lives in my hands. At least the trip there gave me five hours to psych myself up for three days of sliding straight down a mountain on slick boards at a high rate of speed. The fear shouldn't have begun until the next morning.

Well, the discomfort started even before we left our hometown. The climate control system in our vehicle had been giving us trouble for quite a while, so Mark had taken it to be checked by a mechanic. Several times. No one could find the problem. Until the day before our trip. At minimum it would cost $1200 and require several days to repair. Oh well, we had lived with it so far. No time to fix it now. No problem. Except my side of the car was pumping out extremely hot air (did I mention I'm menopausal? Not a good combination.) Mark's side was blowing the coldest air imaginable. We were leaving a relatively mild climate and heading to a snow-covered mountain. Seems we would each be uncomfortable for roughly half the trip. Fair enough.

I was sweltering; Mark was freezing. The kids were complaining (okay, that's a given.)

And then we started seeing them. Deer. Lots of them. Everywhere. As we sped down the winding, two-lane road, I had to wonder when one or more would jump out in front of us. I begged Mark to slow down and be careful. It was dusk. Suddenly out of nowhere, there they were standing in the road. I think I screamed something about watching out, slowing down, some profanities were uttered (okay, shouted at the top of my lungs), and I think Mark finally took his foot off the accelerator and at least pretended to brake. The deer never moved. And for the remaining hour of our trip they were everywhere.

Somehow we arrived safely. Only the usual drama for the next few days. I cried, cursed, whined, fell (a lot), and feared for my life. The kids skied like champs.

After three days on the slopes, I finally earned the right to go home. Mark offered to ski to the condo where the car was parked while the girls and I skied the other direction to turn in our equipment. The car was already packed, so the plan was that Mark would drive to the rental station with our snow boots, turn in his equipment, and we would head to the tubing park for some real fun before going home. The girls and I waited at the rental station. And waited. And waited. Finally, I saw Mark walk in front of the building. Okay, that's not the direction I expected him to come from, but maybe he couldn't find a parking spot. That must be why he took so long. No, bless his heart. He'd had to walk from the condo parking lot (quite a hike, I must say) with skis, ski boots, poles and four pairs of snow boots in hand. Seems the car wouldn't start.

A sick feeling washed over me. How many times had this happened already??? (Not to mention the trip to Snowshoe just two years ago when our car had broken down in the middle of Nowhere, WV, and Mark and I had ridden home in a tow truck.) We all put on our snow boots and started the journey back to the condo, hoping it was a fluke, that the car would suddenly start. Once back at the car, it didn't take long for us to realize it was only a dead battery. Just exactly the way it happened on our last vacation when the car was parked for several days. One of the kids had left the overhead light on when we reached our destination. Those light bulbs will be coming out.

After we found someone to jumpstart the car, we drove to the tubing park only to discover that the 50-degree, sunny weather was melting the snow. The resort was offering test runs so you could decide if you wanted to pay for the opportunity to slide halfway down the hill. Hindsight being 20/20, we should have done this the night before as we had originally planned. Perfect weather indeed. After about 45 minutes of sliding/walking, even the kids were bored (or maybe just exhausted). Time to head home.
So back to the deer. As we drove down the mountain, we saw them everywhere. This time I had the camera ready. Without my glasses I couldn't see what I was shooting, but somehow I actually got some photos of the deer. Such beautiful creatures, yet so dangerous. Another hour of fear and stress, then it was back to life as normal. Hot temps, cold air, whining kids. Life is good.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry about all the car troubles, but how cool about the deer! That would have been the best part of the trip for me. You know me -- I'm all about the pictures!