Is 59 too old for Black Diamonds?

We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing. George Bernard Shaw

I am not talking about jewelry.

So my cousin who is this fabulous travel writer got a gig in Utah in May as a guest at a hotel in the fabulously still snow covered town of Snowbird. She invited me to come along since you know, I am retired and have the time…

So I booked my flight and I met my cousin in the Chicago airport. What a crazy airport experience that was! It was 9:00 am and all the food places had basically run out of food! The line for Dunkin Donuts was about a mile long. I found a small shop selling coffee and some cooked food. The line was not as long so I joined in. The gentleman in front of me asked for a grande double espresso latte with two splendas. The lady smiled and said, “you can have a coffee” and the man agreed. I knew better when it was my turn.

When I retired to Florida, I sold all my ski equipment and donated my winter clothes. Since we were planning to ski at the end of May, I checked the weather forecast. Mid-sixties during the day, cooler at night. So I packed black yoga pants, thin socks, a polyester blue turtle neck and a vest. I felt gloves in the pockets of the vest so I felt all set for skiing in May.

We checked into the hotel and after an interesting lobster roll for dinner (don’t ask) we went to sleep early for a big day of skiing.

Lucky for me travel writers get some perks like having a guide to join us on our first run of the day. We hopped on the crowded tram to the top on that sunny morning, listening to hip tunes that reminded me of the 80s when I worked in Aspen, Colorado that one year. I totally feel like I am 23 years old all over again. The only difference is that this time I am responsible and wearing a helmet. When I tried on the gloves wasn’t I surprised to see a pair of my mom’s old leather driving gloves. They should do the trick. I’ve skied before. I’ve got this I thought as pulled out my camera and started snapping photos and videos from the tram.

Our guide takes us from the tram off to the left. We head down a narrow trail called a cat walk because on one side is a steep mountain and on the other side is a cliff. I attempt to make my S turns as people ski past me on either side. At one point I get a little too close to that cliff, but using my snowplow skills quickly turn and slow down. I catch up with Peggy an our guide as we look down at that cliff. This is where we are headed. It sure seems steep. What happened to a warm up run? How did I get here?

With no other choice, I followed Peggy as she made turns down the steep black diamond run. My heart was pounding and I needed to use the bathroom but that would have to wait. I caught up as the two of them discussed the tragic avalanches that have overcome this area due to the heavy snows this season. Interesting I thought, as I caught my breath which at 11,000 feet above sea level was in serious distress.

We took our time, and after two and a half miles, made it to the bottom. We had some water and listened to the outdoor band. Love the atmosphere at ski base. I wasn’t sure I should, but I went back up one more time. This time we went into the Peruvian tunnel which takes you from one side of the mountain through to the other side. You actually stand on a moving walkway through the 600 foot long tunnel which is decorated with photos and artifacts from the days when they built this tunnel. That was definitely pretty cool.

I was happy to end my skiing adventure after that run and head over to the outdoor hotel pool. Peggy took a few more runs and soon joined me poolside. The hot tub was delightful and the sun pretty strong. Soon a sweet family with several noisy children came to the pool. Boy were they having fun!

Peggy and I laughed over our accomplishment of skiing without falling or getting hit by one of the wild young snowboarders. We decided to head inside to get ready for dinner. Maybe we could even find a spot to go dancing later we pondered.

As we gathered our towels and walked towards the exit I heard one of the kids excitedly tell his friend, “The old Ladies are leaving.”

Huh, I thought as I looked around the pool. I didn’t see any old ladies.


8 Responses

  1. Lovely post! I laughed at the guy with his ambitious coffee (I always get someone like that ahead of me) and that tunnel is pretty impressive. Old ladies lol. Someone asked if I was my son’s grandmother the other day. Cool to have a travel writer cousin.

  2. I’m 59 and I consider myself too old to ski. Of course I said the same thing when I was 19, 29, 39 and 49….

    1. Yes. I was sure surprised to do that tunnel as well. I love skiing in spring too. Thanks for reading.

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Runaway Widow
Join me, Kristin, on my journey to adjust to the sudden death of my husband and learn to live as a young, middle-aged, remarried widow.

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