We then had to drive a rental car about 100 miles to the Northstar resort through Donner Pass. As I-80 climbed and wound its way through the Sierras, elevation signs appeared and kept us appraised of our ascent: 4000 ft, 5000 ft, 6000 ft! Waiting and anticipating what new height we reached made a good way to pass the time in the car. We had heard driving this route in bad weather could be treacherous, and seeing the constant signs for places to put chains on your tires made it clear they weren't kidding! Hubby was funny, saying, "Why is it I don't worry about the car suddenly veering off into the woods when I drive on flat roads but seeing the cliff next to the road has me freaking out??" But seriously, the views were breathtaking, especially on the ride back which was in the bright morning sunshine.
Sunday morning we got everyone registered and they took off to practice, then were free to explore the slopes of Northstar. The spring snow was soft and their moderately difficult terrain was perfect for me to push myself a bit and tighten my carving. It was so beautiful skiing amidst views of lush green forests, snow-capped peaks off in the distance, and of course the glistening lake. There was a lodge at the summit that made the most amazing bloody Mary. It was huge, spicy, and came with skewered pickled vegetables and a grilled shrimp hanging off the rim. At $12 each it pretty much made for breakfast. :p
The new Village was really wonderful, all stonework and wood reminiscent of Europe. In the center was a skating rink, which was surrounded by framed canopies with fire pits and sofas and chairs. Oh and a bar of course. It made for a great place to watch the opening ceremony festivities. They literally had an athlete's parade like the Olympics; it was so damn cute. All the teams from the various regions entered the village oval and marched around the rink wearing "uniforms" and carrying banners. The Midwest region wore hats and sweatshirts with a holstein cow print; our Maine squad wore hunter orange and camouflage.
The kids did not place, but there was little heartbreak. Both had runs that were personal bests, and girlie-girl finished in the consolation round of the boarder cross. There was a bit of disappointment, though, naturally, (which I think is wonderful, because to me it showed they are aspiring big, and dreaming.) Biggest One put it best when he said, "Now I know what to work on for next year." Recognizing the strength of the competition he also said, "It was easy to get to Nationals, but it was hard to compete here," to which we made sure both he and his sister realized that they shouldn't downplay their accomplishment of making the team. They competed against their local peers, and did well.
One Mainer did win Gold, and as promised, one of the coaches went laps around the skating rink in spandex shorts. It was awesome.
The Village also had this bungee jumping thing that they hooked you up to these cords and you bounced on an individual trampoline. The kids couldn't get enough of this. Can you blame them? I have to say, I was tempted, but with the altitude and the alcohol, I decided I best stay on terra firma.
So, I'm sure there's more. (Actaully, I'm certain there's more) but at least I have something posted. Life's been super busy.