Friday, April 3, 2009

road trip, part 5: ski races

Okay, I promise that this is the last post about our road trip. I've really drug it out; we've been home almost two weeks by now! But as you could see, I had too many pictures to put into one entry, and several days seem to pass between bloggings. Same with floggings. It's nice that they rhyme so I can easily remember I'm due for both.
From Portland we and Rachel drove to Sandpoint, Idaho for Cameron's ski race. We had a wonderful drive and plenty of time for Rachel and Jason to discuss/argue politics up in the front seat. I do emphasize plenty of time, because Jason drives precisely the speed limit (which my family likes to pick at him for as they find it a curiosity). We were also happy to be trapped by a tourist trap since it was a chocolate factory, salsa factory, and icecreamery all under one roof. Here's Zoralee in fact, eyeballing the chocolate.
potty-in-the-Tupperware break

When we got in to Sandpoint, we had dinner with Cam and his ski buddies. We met a famous, local hot shot skier (whose name I forget. Sorry, dude.) and got a little better grasp on the ski racer scene. Really, they're just like any other guys but with advertising labels all over their clothes. See, because they get free gear from companies, event hosts, etc. Back at the motel, Zoralee practiced her screaming skills with Rachel (video posted earlier), and then we settled down for the night.
footprint on the mirror

The next day we went to Schweitzer Mountain Resort. It has been awhile since I've been around the ski subculture. I forgot how slick and cool everybody looks in their slicky pants and coats and sunglasses...except us, the Clampett family with our random assortment of clothing and handbags.
Zoralee is taken aback by Auntie Rachel's
description of the ski jumps.
Knowing what a tough course it'll be,
Zoralee is showing Uncle Cam how to chill before the race.
watching the races

So, in this Skier X thing, from what I can tell, there's not a lot of trick-doing. They just speed down a course as fast as their legs can carry them, over jumps and around bends, occasionally crashing into one another and very rarely into the spectators that are littered about the mountainside. Except, they don't ever hit the lady spectator who rings a cowbell, as evidenced by the fact that she rung it all the day. Cameron was easy to spot, as you might note from his outfit. We got to see him ski four times or so. He did great the times he made it to the end! Unfortunately, he was twice taken out by fellow skiiers and wound up not placing high. But it was so great to watch him and his friends race, and to spend a day in a new little world.
Our day ended on the incredibly traumatic note of Brian (Cam's best skiing buddy) wrecking in the semi-finals, immediately going unconscious and not regaining it. I wrote some about that when we first got home, so you can read past entries if you're interested. The short of it is that we didn't know for a couple of days whether or not Brian would survive. By now he has had successful brain surgery, been brought slowly out of sedation, and is recovering.
So, that was it then! Our road trip was complete. We knew sunshine, rain, and blizzards, felt the wind in our faces, reconnected with family, sang old songs, sat Zoralee in the laps of two old great-great aunts as well as two women who are themselves with child, tasted exotic blends of spice, stepped through the soggy woods, and slept in six different beds.
We noticed so much change in Zoralee, somewhat because of this age where it seems she has grown each time I pick her up from a nap, and somewhat because of the elapsed time being framed in by a trip. She started grasping, screaming, and talking more consistently while we were away. Thanks to all of you we got to see; we hope to be around again soon! Or, come see us! Summer is around the corner, I'm told.


Rachel Clear said...

Ha! These pix are great. I love the one where she is teaching Cam to chill. I think, however, that he already has that artform mastered.

Rachel Clear said...

That pic of her giving a thumbs up to the chocolate still makes me laugh. That was the first time I actually worried that you would drop her because you were laughing so hard and she was just lounging there, distracted by the chocolate, while she hung pricariously in your laughing arms. Ha!

(I don't know how to spell pricariously, and I don't care)