Memories of Ski Lifts Past

Last night, I saw that a friend, on vacation with his family in Breckenridge, had a little mishap on an alpine slide. It reminded me of my experience at the same location some years back.

When love is fading, you’ll try things to keep the spark going. She had cheated on me once. But, we wanted to try to save the relationship. Her mom was kind enough to let us stay in their time share in Breckenridge for a three day weekend. I know what your thinking. Romantic getaway, right? Well, as much as I loved having her son around, including him in this kept us from being very romantic. Which, considering how much I like having sex, was probably a good idea. But, it still would have been nice to have a weekend away where we could go on walks, talk and try to start anew.

The whole weekend was like being around someone I didn’t trust much anymore. I wanted to reconnect with her. We went swimming. We went for walks around Breckenridge. We went out to dinner. It just wasn’t happening. Shortly after we got back, we started seeing a counselor.

One afternoon, we went on an alpine slide. She was excited. Until we got there. She hates heights. And even worse than that, the idea of hanging from something at a high distance makes her sick. So, when she saw the ski lifts taking people to the top of the slide, she quickly offered “Why don’t you and [her son] do it. I’ll stay here and watch.” I smiled and immediately knew why. I didn’t offer an argument. But, I felt it was also a shame that she would miss out on the slide. We asked the staff if there was an alternate way up for people who didn’t/couldn’t take the ski lift. We were told no. So, down she stayed.

We bought our tickets and stood in line. Now, around this time, her son was about 4 years old. If memory serves right, he was almost 5. Up until this point, I had never been on a ski lift. As I write this, I have never been skiing. I don’t have a fear of heights. But, I like to think the reason I haven’t been back up on a ski lift was because of this experience. I just assumed that there would be a bar that would swing up over your head and into place at waist level that would keep you from falling off. I know. Crazy, right? Well, apparently not. We got up there and it was quickly apparent that there would be no bar. AND the bench we were asked to sit on seemed very narrow. I held my breathe then quickly figured out a way to place my arm in front of her sons body as he sat next to me. I didn’t want to worry him. I told him that we would be up there in no time, to not move around and don’t look down. I wish I had followed my own advice.

To my disbelief, her son didn’t move an inch. I kept looking at him for clues that he was worried or being fidgety. But, he just sat there calm as can be looking around at the mountain. The ski lift sits above the slide. But, is actually a little bit to the right of it. So, being on the left side of the seat, I had a pretty good view of the slide if I chose to look down. I was astoniched at how high it was. But, just assumed that it would not appear to be so high with snow on the ground.

About half way up, they stopped the lift. Which of course meant that we started swinging backward and forward. My attention quickly shifted to the stoic young man sitting next to me. I reassured him that we’d get going very soon and be at the top in no time. Or was I reassuring myself? Have I mentioned how narrow the bench we were sitting on was?

When we stopped rocking, I looked down. There, standing between the two slides just to our left was a mountain lion. Oh great. If we fall, we’ll not only break our necks. We’ll then be eaten by a mountain lion! It didn’t look like the people sliding down knew of the wild animal near them. When we reached the top, I told the attendant that there was a mountain lion down standing inbetween the slides. He said he would let someone know about it, but he wouldn’t close the slide in the mean time. I reassured myself that the animal was probably just passing through and would probably be scared off by the noise of people and slides whistling down the mountain. The thought of a mountain lion pouncing onto the slide was probably highly unlikely. So, off we went. Her son sat in front and we had a good time. Unlike my poor friend Terry, we got down without incident. But, I wasn’t brave enough to do it again.

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About Frogtosser

A former sailor and pizza maker who is done hiding from the world and is now living life to it's fullest extent. I'm a single speed bicycle commuter who enjoys writing and photography. I'm a voracious reader. And a huge geek!
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