Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Up, up and away...without the balloon.

This was going to be a long day.  I knew that in advance.  The weather was decent, and there were a lot of stops to make.

My outfit was capris and a red tee-top, flats, but with no jewelry except my necklace, and no makeup or bra/padding - due to the microscopic possibility of meeting someone I know at a railroad excursion.  However, that didn’t happen.  I could have worn a dress.  Everyone was friendly.  Train staff (male and female) took my hand to help me on and off the train.  (As a guy, typically a hand is offered, but staff does not pursue it if I just step up or down),   I suspect they thought I was female, though I did not hear "Ma’am."   

 Other passengers were friendly, but not overly talkative.  That’s fine with me – and I didn’t hear “Sir”. 

After the excursion, I got in the car and drove to the Olympic Bobsled track, as I wanted to take the guided tour.  (No, I wasn't spending their outrageous price to ride the wheeled bobsled down the short track.)  After our guide finished the tour at the top of the hill he gave everybody a chance to walk back down the mile from the top to the bottom.   Like this:

The picture sure gives you an idea of the relative size of the track...

I was the only non-walker out of about 20 – and many of them were young kids or girls up to thirty-something, with only one guy. (Not me, obviously)  I commented to the driver that I'll probably be at the ski jumps before they reach the bottom.  His response, “Yes, Ma’am, you probably will.”

From there, I drove out to the ski jumps from the 1980 Olympics, and Oh My Gosh are they tall!   Unfortunately, the elevator to the top of the 120 meter jump was broken, so the top was off-limits today.  :-(  But the chair lift (which I had had to ride either way) was still operating - it was the only way to get to the base of the towers.  And being the daring one, I took a chance.  Why not?  I really wanted to see them, up close and personal.

Also, it was my first time ever to ride a chair lift.  So the twentysomething girl attendant took it upon herself to help me get on the seat, which never stops moving...    Must be policy that the guy helps the guys and the girl helps the girls.  Nothing was said to indicate that they recognized me as anything other than female.  

The bonus was: another item off that bucket list (since I don't ski, I certainly won’t be riding a chair lift any time soon!)

Other than to take the above picture, I didn't look down very often.  But then, there were so many things to see off to the sides!  My head was swiveling like a "sideways bobblehead", so I didn't have time to take a lot of pictures!

If you watched the 2014 Winter Olympics ski contests, you might have wondered how steep the ski jumps really are.  Take my word for it - they're steep!  The above pic sort of reinforces that thought.   I'm not a professional engineer, but the slope on that jump appears to be about 40 degrees or more.  Wow!

After completing that adventure, it was getting to be time to pack and prepare to head south the next morning.   Needless to say, I never know when to call it a day on these excursions.  I couldn't resist stopping at a clear mountain stream near the road - one with a little waterfall and some wildlife enjoying the rushing water.   Notice the beaver working on some greenery, with the ducks swimming calmly past...

Meanwhile, "back at the ranch" was time to pack for tomorrow's departure.

But first, I went across the street to none other than Mickey D’s…same one as last night.  (Too convenient - and cheap - to pass up.)  This time,  the male clerk (a different one) saw me as a bloke.  And proudly announced to the world, a cheery "Thank you Sir."  

I certainly wasn't as happy as he was.  Good thing tipping isn't required at Mickey D's.   'Cause he might just have been the first server ever to receive a "tip" from me to "be more sensitive to trans people"...instead of cash.   But not being in a mood to stir up a battle, I let it pass.

More about my adventure soon...



  1. I have seen the ski jumps at Lake Placid. I have also seen the jumps at the Olympic sites in Calgary and also at Park City Utah. I have been a skier since high school and was a ski instructor in college so I have lots of vertical under my alpine skis. I cannot fathom what would make a person leap off one of those elevated ramps with those long, fat, flat jumping skis stuck on their shoes.
    There are always some outstanding vistas to see when on a chair lift of at the top of a ski mountain.

    1. That's wonderful hon...skiing is great exercise and a fabulous sport. But I can imagine myself going down a slope and being out of control, hitting a tree or a fence, and spending the rest of my life in a hospital somewhere.

      No, I'll do without it, maybe ride a chair lift on very rare occasions. And when those occasions arise, simply go up to see the sights from on high.

      Did the ones in Park City look like these, or maybe higher? Just curious, I guess!

      But you are so right about the sights from the chair lift...just fabulous!

      Stay tuned for more on my adventures...


  2. The vistas from the Rockies or in the case of Utah the peaks of the Wasatch mountains are spectacular. They differ from the Adirondacks since they are in some spots above the tree line.
    When the kids were small I started taking them skiing to give my wife some breathing time. When Sonny Bono died in a ski accident and then about the same time one of the Kennedy scions also crashed and died playing Kennedy style football on skis my wife insisted that we put helmets on the kids.

    1. Helmets are good...we wear them for bicycling. And if I were to go skiing, I certainly would too. Very good idea!