Squaw Valley Ski Resort
Sunday, January 20th, 2002
Placer County, California
All Photos © 2002 Ting and Randy Vogel

 Our Cabin

It was hard getting going in the morning after getting woken up repeatedly by the die-hard partyers the night before! Even our fearless leader Beno seemed bleary-eyed this morning. My knee did not magically heal overnight and walking up and down the stairs in the cabin was a chore. We packed up our stuff and loaded it into the car since we planned to drive back home tonight. On the way to Squaw (about 30 minutes away), we stopped for coffee to wake us up.

Randy was planning to ski again today, but I couldn't snowboard or ski because of my knee injury. I rode up the tram with the rest of the folks to the ski lodge and got off at the first stop. After checking out the restaurant and finding nothing interesting, I asked a ski guard what I could do with an injured knee. He suggested that I check out the different activities at the main lodge which was further up the hill. No wonder it was so quiet there! Good thing I did not content myself with sitting down to read for the rest of the day! I made my way to the gondola and up to the main lodge.

The first thing that greeted me when I got off the gondola was the magnificent outdoor skating rink. It was hard to gauge whether I could skate when I could not move my knee sideways, so I made my way to the upper floor of the lodge instead. The upper floor was both a small rest area and a museum showing newspaper articles and memorabilia from the 1960 Olympics at Squaw Valley. After checking out the exhibits, I couldn't resist going back down to the rink. 

The guy at the rental counter thought that I should be able to skate if I didn't push off with my injured leg. As my injury was in my left knee, I decided it was worth the risk.  Boy, was I glad I did! What a gorgeous skating rink!! I have not been on ice skates since I was a kid, but I play roller hockey, so it only took a couple of laps around the rink for me to get used to the skates. However, since I haven't ice-skated for so long, I could not get myself to do a hockey stop (especially with an injured knee), so I found that I was doing roller hockey stops by turning in a tight circle. 

The sweeping views looking out from the rink was absolutely breathtaking! The rink was not too crowded and the Zamboni had just resurfaced the ice when I started, so the ice was nice and smooth. Presently, I noticed a crowd gathering at the side of the rink. While the view was stunning, I could not imagine that was the reason people were gathering. Asking a passing skater, she told me that the torch was coming through in 1/2 hour! 

I quickly left to get my camera from the locker and was in place when Mrs. Sandy Poulsen brought in the torch. Mrs. Poulsen is one of the founders of the Squaw Valley Ski Resort. She handed the torch over to Mark Sullivan, who is Squaw Valley's Ski Team Director. Mr. Sullivan skated two laps in the rink before passing  the flame to Tamara McKinney for the trip down the ski slopes. After the excitement of getting my picture taken with Mr. Sullivan and the torch, I skated until lunchtime when Randy showed up and we went up to the lodge to meet up with the rest of the folks.

After lunch, I decided to check out the snow-tubing instead of doing more skating. Not really knowing what it is, I was willing to try it regardless. It turned out to be a custom-made inner tube. I went down the first two times sitting in the tube before trying it while lying on my stomache. Man, what a difference! Lying on my stomache and zooming down the tube run, I felt like Superman! With limbs out in a spread eagle, the tube flies and spins down the slope much faster than sitting down. What a thrill!

Close to 4 pm, I made my way to the tram and met up with Kim, then Johanna and Riam, so we all headed down together. We met up with Randy and Steve at the bottom. Walking out to the car, we were treated to a spectacular sight of clouds fire-tinted with the sunset. The perfect ending to a perfect day! And I thought it was going to be boring because of my knee injury!  Wow, so glad to be proven wrong!

 Glorius Sun!
 Clear Slopes!!
 Time to Schuss!
 Looking Across the Valley
 The Ski Lodge Overlooks the Rink
 The Olympic Ice Pavillion
 View from Edge of Rink
 Panning Across the Horizon
 Ting on Her Skates!
 Mrs. Sandy Poulsen Bears the Torch!
 Mark Sullivan Circles the Rink with the Torch
 Oops! Torch in the Face...
 Ting and Mark Sullivan Holding the Torch
 an Impromptu Handoff
 Backside View
 Looking towards Donner Pass
 Looking Down the Length of the Rink
 View from the Other Side
 Here Comes Steve!
 Here Comes James!
 Young on Her Board
 Snow Tubers Getting Ready to Tube Down!
 The Tubing Run
 Super-Ting Flies Down on her Tube
 Steve & Randy
 Better Have Your Ticket...
 Long Walk Back from the Tubing Run
 Panning Right
 Panning Farther Right
 Panning to the Mountain Edge
 Row of Flags
 View from Side of Lodge
 View from Closer to the Edge of the Mountain
 Below the Flags
 Skinny Dipping Anyone?
 View from the Gondola
 Johanna & Riam
 Gnarly Rocks
 More Gnarly Rocks
 Here We Come!
 Lenticular Clouds