Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Slopes

By Layne-Michael Alten

It was a sunny Saturday morning. I was at my grandma’s house. My gear was already packed and the special clothes I needed were ready to go. Dad would pick me up from Grandma’s house when he got off work, which was around four or five o'clock. That meant we wouldn’t have much time to go to the sporting-good shop before it closed and rent the equipment we still needed. However, the way my life had been going, I suspected that the plan might not work out.

My grandma and step-grandpa, Jerry, begged us to go to dinner with them. And, of course, my dad said that we couldn’t really say no.

“We can’t say no, because that would be rude.” he whispered to me. “We’ll just have to wait one more week. Trust me buddy, it’ll be the shortest week ever.”


Of course, it wasn’t the shortest week ever; in fact it felt like the longest one ever. But eventually, Saturday came again and it was time to rent the equipment and nothing was going to let anything stand in our way.

My dad picked me up, and off to the store we went only to find that it was closed for the holiday weekend. It was closed!! I couldn’t quite remember what holiday it was but I remember that I was mad, mad because I was let down again. I had been waiting for this for about three and a half months, and I couldn’t wait any longer!

The next weekend Dad picked me up on Friday instead of Saturday. This way, I could go to work with him and get the equipment before anything else. And the plan worked! We actually pulled it off this time.

“I’m glad we finally got the snowboards, Dad,” I said with much excitement as we put them in the trunk of the car on Saturday evening. “We’re still gonna go on Sunday morning right?”

We did. Early the next morning, before the sun was up, Dad and I drove to the mountain resort in time to rent the lift tickets. And that’s the only thing I was rather afraid of, the lift at Mountain High.

The drive there didn’t feel long at all but my dad said it did to him. He kept telling me to go to sleep and get some rest, but I couldn’t because I was so excited. I could tell that we were close when I saw the big white sheet of snow on the mountain and a bunch of little tiny specks going down it. A shivering chill went down my spine. This was my first time ever seeing snow.

“Dad, Dad! Look! I see it, I see the snow!” I shouted with laughter and joy.

We got out of the car and put on the snow boots, jackets and beanies. We grabbed the boards and walked on towards the main office to pick up the tickets. The boards are very heavy to carry after about five minutes so I put mine down and sat while my dad was getting the tickets.

Finally, we were able to go on the lift. As we waited in line I was scared to death, but I wasn’t going to let that ruin our day so I didn’t tell my dad. It was our turn to go, the seat came at us pretty fast. It hit my knees and my butt practically fell on the seat. My dad laughed but I ignored him. I was shivering of fear and my dad saw me, he told me its ok, and about halfway there, I realized it wasn’t that bad.

As we got off, I remembered something a friend had said to me. He knew how to snowboard and taught me the fundamentals. It sounded really easy but he kept on saying that its way harder than it sounds for your first time. So I expected to be falling a lot. I fell about seven times going down my first time! But my second time, it looked like I had been snowboarding my whole life! I sped down the slope like a natural. It felt like I was flying, dodging everyone in my way who fell. I don’t know how I did it, I told myself it was instinct and this sport was meant for me.

After the beginners slope, I moved up until I got to the third highest level slope. I think there were about eleven slopes. On the eighth slope I fell. And I fell hard. I went on it a second time and mastered it. I even went on some jumps. In fact, I went on the biggest jump out of the eight slopes. On the uphill fun-box grind I couldn’t make it all the way up so I jumped off and still I was proud of myself for trying.

We snowboarded all day until it was five o’clock, when our lift tickets expired. It was actually four-fifty-eight and asked my dad if we could go one last time. We did and barely made it in time before our tickets expired. The last time was the most fun time we went down the slope. I did everything I taught myself that day from burm tricks, jumps, spins, grinds, and when I hit the bottom, I ended it off with a three-sixty.

But the most memorable thing that happened to me that day came up next.

Somebody saw me do everything from top to finish and said to me. “Wow kid, you’ve been practicing that for your whole life hah?”

I said back with enthusiasm, “Nope, today’s my first day snowboarding, and I love it.”

“What?” he shouted with astonishment. “Dang kid, if you keep practicing, you’re gonna make it big.” That blew me away. I told my dad what had just happened, and he smiled and believed it.

Well, finally we went back to the car and put on normal clothes, which felt great. And on the way home I slept, which also felt great. It actually felt so great that I couldn’t wake up. My dad had to carry me inside. When I finally woke up, my dad had hot cocoa for me. We relaxed on the sofa and discussed our extraordinary day. It was the most fun day I have ever had with my dad. And I swore to myself that as soon as I was sixteen and able to drive, I was going to get my own board and go every weekend. Well, almost every weekend.

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