It’s been a long, hot, smoky summer in the West. Apocalyptic, depressing, and tedious are words that come to mind.
So when I looked out my window on Saturday morning, taking in the blue sky and a hint of yellow outlining the brilliant apple green of aspen leaves, I felt a tingle of excitement. Winter is coming. We will soon, Ullr and climate change permitting, be skiing.
This winter will look different for our family. On July 2, my husband had a mountain bike accident, and dislocated his knee, tearing three ligaments and breaking two bones. As a friend aptly stated, it was “a Lindsey Vonn caliber injury.” And, like Lindsey Vonn, off he went to Vail to have his knee reconstructed at the Steadman Clinic. Over this past weekend, he finally was allowed to let go of the crutches and began walking slowly on his own.
The upshot of his injury is that he won’t be alpine skiing at all this winter. Classic Nordic skiing may be an option, but we don’t know yet. All this to say that I’m ready — as is our entire family — to move on.
So what will ski season look like this year? That’s a hard call. The pandemic isn’t over. Yet, much as hotels and restaurants have largely returned to business as usual, I suspect ski resorts will attempt to be as “normal” as possible. As we have all learned, protecting oneself against virus, or injury, is a matter of personal responsibility. No one can do this for you, and while some answers seem more “right” to me than others, we each make our own choices.
So here are the choices I’m making this year (at least for now).
- I’m going to ski as much as possible. Much of my skiing will be done locally, which suits me just fine. With my faithful and favorite ski buddy out of the mix, the company of friends is more delightful and important than ever. Skiing is best done socially, and I plan to be social.
- I’m planning some ski trips with our family. Even though my husband is on the injured reserve, my sons are not and the time we four spend together is what we value most. The combination of outdoor winter fun and family time has long been our favorite way to make memories.
- I’m wearing a mask. I’ve been saying this for a year, but I like skiing with my face covered. It’s warmer, better for my skin, and reduces my reliance on sun screen. Plus, I don’t like getting a winter cold, or any other disease. The past year taught me a lot about germs. I don’t like ‘em.
This summer has included a fair amount of couch time, watching Ted Lasso with my husband (just like everyone else), and doing a lot of reading.
So when Arcadia Publishing reached out with an offer to preview a new offering within their Images of America series titled “Skiing in New Mexico,” I was drawn in both by the subject matter (I’ve skied a lot in the Land of Enchantment the past few years) and the cover photo which beckons with an otherworldly image, circa 1950, of three women posed with their skis, not on snow, but on the White Sands of New Mexico. And while you cannot ski within the boundaries of White Sands National Monument, New Mexico serves up memorable and unique winter fun at eight largely uncrowded resorts, each offering its own brand of adventure.
All told, Arcadia Press has twenty-seven skiing related titles. The Images of America series features black and white historical photos, captioned with historical and cultural facts. These books are like looking at your great aunt’s family album — there is a great sense of familiarity, but you don’t really know all the characters. Images of America aren’t focused on skiing and include many other titles featuring other sports, local communities, historical architecture, and more. Within the realm of skiing, you’ll find books featuring historic images of skiing in Olympic National Park, Lake Tahoe, Southern California, North Carolina, New England and the Midwest.
Another series from Arcadia Publishing focuses on Lost Ski Areas, and there are several volumes focused on the history of specific ski areas, including Vermont’s Mad River Glen.
And while the detail featured in the Images of America books can almost be too granular, like any good photo album, the enjoyment comes from paging through the images, wondering what happened to all those smiling faces and feeling a connection to these strangers through our shared love of sliding on snow.
More Skiing In New Mexico
More Books About Skiing
© 2021, braveskimom. All rights reserved. Any use or publication of content, including photos, requires express permission.