I’m loving this new decade. Mid-life…right in the middle. Not too old and not too young, just right (however no such thing as too old). Recently I spent some time skiing (of course, it’s winter isn’t it?) solo and I made friends.
Saturday morning I skied a new resort and met a couple a decade older, Joan and John. They became my tour guides for the day. I told them I was alone and they welcomed me into their circle. We shared stories, Joan gave me tips for skiing in Europe and a few other mountains I plan to go to, John is a retired ranger so he gave me lessons on the surrounding mountains, we laughed, and we skied.
Later in the day I went to another resort. It had a lot of kids and by kids I mean people in their twenties. During apres ski, a young woman, Cassie, saddled up to the bar beside me and we talked for awhile. Of course she found out that my birthday was coming up (perhaps even the days left until the best day ever) so she bought me a drink. Her friends joined us and I found out they were all 28 and taking a break from their lives by working as lifties. They were college grads who worked in their chosen field and then decided to take a “sabbatical”.
They were heading out on the town and invited me to party with them. I declined saying they were sweet but I was double their age, tired, and planned to hit two mountains the next day so I needed rest. Really it was because they were partying an hour away from my hotel 😉
The next day I’m at a new mountain. My first run down I’m standing at the top of a mogul or bump run. There’s a guy standing there too.
- Guy: you skiing this
- Me: yes
- Guy: really, you skiing this
- Me: yes I am
- Guy: well it’s not so bad if you take your time and make big wide turns
- Me: ok thank you
Then I took off pounding the bumps. After stopping to get some oxygen, thank you altitude, he skis up and says “wow you’re good, you know what you’re doing”. Yes, yes I do. After skiing a few more runs we end up at the top together. He invited me to a parking lot tailgate. He said it was a bunch of old guys.
After a few more runs I head over to the tailgate. He was right, it was a bunch of guys and some men had red name tags with FOG and some had yellow tags with FOG in training. This group has been around for a long time and FOG stands for F-ing Old Guys. They let me into their circle and they were so fun!! I even drank pecan whiskey…from a shared bottle. Alcohol kills all germs, right?
After the tailgate I rode the lift with a group in their twenties. The one guy, Hunter, learned to ski at the same mountain I did so of course we became friends. I asked how to get to the adjoining resort and they decided to come with me. We skied a few more runs together and then we did some apres ski time. Again, I was welcomed into a circle of friendship.
The takeaway from my solo trip west was that fifty or mid-life allows for one to fit in across the decades. We’ve “been there” and have years of knowledge and stories to tell plus we have so much more to learn and experience. I have a feeling I will feel this way with every new decade.
Slopes to go: 13
18-19 season days on snow: 9
Deer Valley – skied lots of blues and greens with Joan and John. Absolutely beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. Lodge is clean and has a great coffee bar. Lockers are old school and only $2 for a token. No snowboards allowed.
Alta – larger mountain with a fun apres ski bar. You can ski Snowbird also, they connect at the top. Alta doesn’t allow snowboards either.
Solitude – cool, laid back vibe. This was the resort with the tailgate. A lot of bump runs and trees. A little more wild and raw slopes and lots of fun.
Brighton – you can get to Brighton from Solitude. Younger vibe and not quite as raw, a little fancy.