A Solo Ski With Biggie

12 Jan

There are some days when I feel like I’m excelling at life. Like last week, when I made a kick-ass caramel hot chocolate and got the cocoa to whipped cream ratio exactly right; or this morning, when I got my dog to walk an ENTIRE circle around the block without having to pick her up and carry her home (which used to be a cute little routine of ours, but which is actually horrible when it’s cold outside and I’m wearing long johns and have morning breath).

But not every day can be a, “Wow, how did I GET so awesome” kind of day, you know?

In fact, there are some days that make me wonder how I have managed to survive and function on this planet for the last two decades.

Last Saturday was one of those days.

After last week’s snowstorm – during which I did nothing but perfect my whipped cream to cocoa ratio and catch up on television that I was already caught up on – I felt like maybe I should do something nature-y. 

I could just watch the Discovery Channel, I thought. That counts, right?

Switching from one TV program to another to make myself feel better about the state of my life is a trick I have used since my youth.

I used to pull the “TV alternating” trick on my mom when I was little. If she told me I’d been watching too much “silly TV” and needed to shut it off, I would casually suggest that I watch something more serious and educational, such as “Bambi.”

(For some reason, I thought this cartoon film about an orphan deer was what my mom had in mind.)

On this particularly lazy day, I tried to convince myself that a documentary about a rare type of South American slug was just as valuable as some time spent in the great outdoors…but for some reason, my conscience wasn’t having it.

So, I forced myself to head to Great Brook Ski Touring Center, where I would meet my sister and the rest of the Cross Country ski team for an afternoon in nature.

When I got to the ski center, I saw that a cop was directing traffic into the parking lot.

Oh. No.

This could only mean one thing: it was one of those days where everyone and their uncle would be on the trails, taking up room, having picnics, and falling in the way of traffic.

As I entered the lot, a nice employee signed me in and told me I could park in a “special lot” for season’s pass holders.

“The lodge by your parking lot has flushable toilets…” he said, before winking at me.

Hmm. Was that supposed to be a friendly comment or…do I give off the vibe of someone who really enjoys prolonged stays in public restrooms or…are you just trying to make me feel like a VIP even though you’re sending me to park by the lodge that is nearly a mile down the road and has NO snack stand?? 

“Wow, fancy,” I responded, before leaving lot “We Don’t Flush Here” and heading to the Land of the Golden Potty.

When I finally parked my car, I had this feeling that I had forgotten something important. 

My furry pink earmuffs that play music and exude both style and function?

Nope, I had those. 

My season’s pass sticker? Wait, crap, where did I put that? 

False alarm, it’s dangling off of my ponytail…naturally.

What could be missing??

Skis. Skis could be missing.

And skis were missing.

I contemplated giving up, getting a latte, and heading home. But that seemed really lame, considering my skis were in my sister’s ski bag, which was at the lodge sans flushable toilets.

When I drove back to the first parking lot and explained the situation to the toilet guy, he smiled at me in a way that said, “You seem nice but also kind of scattered and all over the place, so I’m going to let you into this lot, but just know that I will check your car on the way out to make sure you haven’t stolen anything.”

It was a fair trade.

After running around the lodge looking for my sister’s ski bag, I found my skis and made my way back to my designated lot.

Okay, now I can finally get out onto the trails! 

Let me just put on my ski boots. Wait, the zipper is broken. How did the zipper break? Maybe if I tug on it really hard it will…oh dear. I think I made it worse. The zipper is no longer attached to the boot. Yes, that is definitely worse. Oh well, I’ll just fashion a makeshift zipper out of…nothing. I have nothing. Whatever, zippers are for the weak! I don’t need to fasten my boot all the way! I’ll just tie it up and hope that the universe spares me any significant ankle injuries.

Okay, let me just rest my skis on the car while I put my keys in the tiniest, most hidden pocket in the back of my ski shirt. Wow, why am I wearing twelve layers? I’m beginning to doubt the existence of this mystery pocket.

Found it! My keys are all zipped up and safe.

And my skis are falling. There they go. Are they moving in slow motion? They’re definitely moving in slow motion. 

Whoop, they just hit the deck.

Did that lady in the car next to mine just hear me yell, “shit nuggets” as the second ski went down? She definitely did because now she’s looking at me the way you look at a person who yells about shit nuggets while standing alone in a public place. 

“What, you’ve never heard someone combine the words ‘shit’ and ‘nuggets’ before? Back off, lady!”

Alright, get your shit nuggets together, Sophie, and walk over to the trail.

Wait, you didn’t lock the car…and the car keys are hidden betwixt your 85 layers of nylon. That was a great idea to put them away BEFORE locking the door, Einstein. Should we give you your MacArthur Genius Award now, or should it be more of an après-ski kind of thing?

Okay, the door is locked. Start walking.

Hey, check out that swanky lodge. Are those bathrooms, I see?

NO, Sophie, do NOT fall prey to the allure of the flush. Just keep moving.

Aw, okay, just one peek.


WOW, was it just me, or were those the most FLUSHABLE toilets to ever grace Earth? I feel like a queen. I’m definitely going to write about those in my diary.

Time to ski!

Wait, why do my gloves look so similar? Nobody told me I need a different glove for each hand! I thought I could just bring two right-handed gloves and everything would be fine! Is that not how this works?


Time to walk back to my car, delve into the nylon forest, obtain my keys, search for the other glove, delve back into the nylon forest, put the keys away, and walk back to the trail.

Finally, FINALLY ready to ski. I’ll just put my iPhone on shuffle and listen to my headphone-earmuffs.

Aah, Biggie Smalls. Exactly what I was hoping for.

Welcome to nature.














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