Big Adventure Realized

I felt the pressure, they all kept asking me the same question.

Whether it came from one of my girls, my sister, my brother-in-law, or my nephews, with each “ask” the pressure increased. “What will our Big Adventure be on our vacation?” I sometimes wish I was more forward thinking and organized, would have been great to have pre-planned the adventure. It’s not like I didn’t try though. I sat in our local AAA office asking Julia for her expert ideas. I just got one of those blank stares from her as I asked her for THE idea that would make a mark on our family vacation ’06. All she offered was a map of West Virginia and a “good luck”.

Looking back on the past week I guess I could deem one of the following a Big Adventure:

– 16 hours in a Yukon full of 5 women with varying bladder sizes.

– A flat tire on top of the mountain, well out of cell range. In fact, when I pushed my little blue OnStar button, the bewildered attendant said “Now where are you again, I am not seeing you on my satellite map”.

– A cabin full of 11 people and a hot water heater that chose to never do what it was intended to do – guess the 20 degree weather froze something vital (boy do I know that feeling)…

But as with all Big Adventures, they can not be scripted – they just happen.

The Big Adventure this year was Night Skiing. Let me paint the picture:

– Snowshoe West Virginia

– elevation of 4,848

– vertical drop of 1,500

– temperature that night was 24 degrees

– both moms decided to stay in the lodge sipping hot chocolate and playing progressive gin (or was it playing with chocolate and sipping gin?)

– 2 dads with 7 over-bundled kids tackling Mount Snowshoe

Night skiing – When the sun goes down, many ski resorts shut down the lodge fireplace and send everyone home until the lifts start again in the morning. However, at an ever growing number of areas, the second shift of patrollers and instructors are gearing up for a night of skiing under the lights and stars. According to the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) night skiing accounts for only 7% of annual ski visits, but almost 200 NSAA member resorts offer it. These resorts have found that the night skiers are, for the most part, night people.


Snowshoe has the brightest night skiing lights in the world. It is an amazing experience to ski in the dark. The snow is even more beautiful than in the daylight. The stark contrast is perfect and the view of the stars from the top of the run is like none other.

We made memories…we laughed. Well, they were usually laughing at me, the least accomplished skier of the bunch. The mountain had gotten the better of me and my nephew and we headed into the lodge for some rest when we realized the time was short and there was only time for one more run. We stared at each other – knowing what we had to do. One more run – the mountain was not gonna scare us away. I think we both learned a lesson in courage that night. He skied down like a champ. Me? Well check out the picture below. Somehow I managed to ski through the bunny hill entry “Slow” sign, got wrapped up in it, and rolled down the slope. Not pretty – my girls told me that I lost any “cool points” I had left.


That’s OK, it was a Big Adventure.


4 responses to this post.

  1. awww- bravo!!! For the rest of my life I will cherish your sweet wife’s concerned call echoing through the mountains~ “Are you OK?” as I see you wrapped in orange netting… thanks for taking one for the group and allowing us to giggle- with YOU, not at you! It was a precious trip of memories… ready to go again?

  2. Posted by Daryl on December 26, 2006 at 10:47 AM

    Roy, I have to say that the Big Adventure was just being with you and your wonderful family. I know our family will cherish the whole trip as one Big Adventure. You forgot one thing…besides not having any hot water…we did have the dead animal in the wall smell to contend with as well…now, that’s an adventure!!
    God Bless you my Brother!!


  3. Bravo adventure-dad. As one of four girls, I am well aware of how character-building road trips can be for dads!
    Merry Christmas!

  4. i am cracking up!!! i know y’all had SO much fun!! thanks for sharing some of it with us (or what suz didn’t with me! ha!)

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