Sunday, January 18, 2009

Skiing at Shawnee

The weekend was unusually busy. Saturday was the COLDEST day we could have picked to go skiing this season, with sub-zero temperatures. It was such a temptation to curl up under the covers and hibernate, but we decided to brave the cold, bundle up and go skiing. So, donning 4 layers of clothing each (if we had had an accident, God help the paramedics) and carrying a bag filled with gloves, caps, goggles and every warm garment we could lay our hands on, we headed to Shawnee Mountain in the Poconos. We had purchased lift tickets and rented ski equipment at the Pelican Ski Shop in East Brunswick the previous day.

We made good time and reached the resort at 10:30 am. We hoped to ski for a couple of hours before lunch.

Despite gloves and handwarmers, my hands were freezing. We bought goggles and balaclava from the ski shop. It took me a good 15 minutes and a lot of grunting to squeeze into my ski boots...I swear they fit better the previous evening. DH was exasperated too...his boots did not fit at all. Did the cold swell our feet? After struggling to get them on for 20 minutes (which included jumping on them, clawing and cussing at them), he lugged his equipment back to the car and rented skis from the resort's rental shop. By the time we got on the slopes, it was almost 1 pm.
I must add, we are beginner skiers (though DH rates his skiing abilities quite high). After a couple of warm up runs (and one warm up fall...I couldn't stop myself when I started sliding backward), we hit the blue slopes. We stayed on the Country Club-Pocahontas-Lower Delaware run...which has 2 blue slopes and a green. After two runs and a fall, I felt quite comfortable on this run and even started enjoying the cold wind on my cheeks without feeling like I was going to fall and tumble all the way down the mountain. Somehow, falling down a slope, arms and legs flailing, ski poles flying in different directions isn't as scary as it seems...the snow and layers of clothing offer some physical and psychological protection. DH tried a black slope but his knees could not handle it. Despite the cold, we had a lot of fun. I felt myself gaining more control over my speed with each run (with the exception of a pretty steep part on Lower Delaware slope, where I flew down the slope dangerously fast each time, yelling at everyone to get out of the way).
A little over 3 hours, we ran out of hand warmers and our feet felt like they were turning into blocks of ice. The wind viciously cut into the layers of clothing. Besides, we were starving. We decided to call it a day.
Back home, we returned the ski equipment (we didn't get our money back for the equipment we had not used and we were too tired to argue) and visited friends for a warm and cosy dinner. Rajiv was a colleague at my first job out of college; he and his wife, Urmila recently moved to NJ. They are really fun to hang out with. We talked and laughed past midnight.

On Sunday, swimming was the only activity my body felt capable of. My legs were bruised and aching from the tight boots and the fall(s). I swam for about 1000 yards; not at a great swimming pace, but it's the longest distance I've ever swum, so I felt pleased with myself.
We also watched Slumdog Millionaire. A few of the details didn't quite fit (like the constant switching between English and Hindi), but I thought the idea was well-conceived. The movie has a creative and optimistic story line, is well-directed (grim but realistic), and has a good, fresh cast of actors.

1 comment:

lauren said...

Sounds like a fun weekend of skiing! It was SO cold. I havent been in forever and keep saying I want to go...