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
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!