Sunday, January 31, 2010

Everything Else Paled In Comparison To The Skiing....

The week before we arrived, Ruidoso had received two separate storms that dropped something like 26 inches of fresh powdery snow. This made me even more excited about getting up to ski the next day. It was also being predicted that another storm was scheduled to arrive within a day or two. Honestly, this little New Mexico ski town has not seen so much snow in a number of years.


Now, in order to reach the Ski Apache ski area, you have to drive approximately 45 minutes to an hour, up a mountain with winding roads and breathtaking views. The first time I ever skied there I was shocked that you had to travel so far to get to the mountain and frankly, I hated it. I was spoiled by being able to ski in and out wherever I skied, and this was a major irritation. But, over the years, I came to accept it and fell in love with this little ski area. Unlike many other ski areas around the country, it's always warmer skiing there and every year they continue to make improvements and add new runs, as well as new lift chairs. So, it has pretty much always satisfied my needs in the skiing department. This year was no exception. The snow was incredibly light and fluffy, with many of my favorite runs being *groomed* daily. Old ladies who are out of shape like the groomed runs, trust me.


Since I had not skied in several years, I was careful to start off slowly as I tried to locate my *skiing legs*. After several rather shaky runs, I at last found my skiing balance and made something like 23 or 24 runs by the end of the day. My last trip up the Capitan Chairlift, I decided the run next to Capitan (my fave) looked pretty good but discovered a bit too late that it had not been groomed. Seriously, my legs simply don't have the strength any longer to tackle runs with choppy, deep powder. So, I did what I always do in these situations. I freaked out and panicked. After I calmed down for a few minutes, I mustered up the courage to point my skis down the hill and go for it, not caring how ridiculous I looked. And, I did look ridiculous. I think I might have also done the unthinkable... I reverted back to a snow plow several times, which I had not done since I was 12 years old. It got me down the mountain, so I didn't care, as long as I made it down the hill without somehow maiming or hurting myself.


By the time I reached my car, I was sweating and whooped. All I could think about was getting back to the hotel and a nice hot bath to ease the aches and pains of the day. But, the fun wasn't over yet! For some reason, my car would not unlock with the button on my key chain so I opened it manually. I immediately tried to start the car so I could get some heat going but the 4-Runner wasn't even making an attempt to rev up. It wasn't making a sound. I knew this was going to be the proverbial pain in the ass of an experience.


As luck would have it, a local man and his two daughters were parked next to me and were preparing to leave after a day of skiing, so I asked if he'd mind giving my little 4-Runner a jump start from his Ford F-150 truck, which he was more than happy to do. I was so relieved. Until it wouldn't start my car. UH-OH.

About this time one of his friends came along (headed home with his kiddos) and he tried to help as well. It turned out that the two dads worked together in Ruidoso as firemen and EMT's. They were two of the nicest young men you'd ever want to meet. One even called a mechanic friend who made some suggestions that they tried, but still nothing worked.

I finally told them thanks for trying and that I'd just call AAA and let them take care of it. I told them they needed to get their kids home and that I really appreciated everything they tried, but they refused to leave this little old lady alone until they were certain help was indeed on the way. I can't begin to tell you how comforting it was to have them there. Eventually, I received a call from a local tow service (who they knew & approved of) who said he was on his way up the mountain to get me and tow my car back to town. I was finally able to talk the guys into leaving me there alone and they agreed that I'd be in safe hands. (It was at this moment that I realized I'd forgotten to charge my cell phone the night before, which meant it wouldn't be working for much longer.)

Remember, it takes 45 minutes to an hour just to get up the mountain and even longer when there is bumper to bumper traffic trying to get down the narrow roads on the mountain. The tow truck finally arrived just as it was beginning to get dark and I was beginning to freeze my hiney off. I was also on the verge of tears, the darker it got. I couldn't even call Mr. Snoots to let him know that I was okay and he expected me back at around 4:30 PM. Uh-Oh.

Anyway, the tow guy turned out to be an angel and we talked about all manner of things as we made the slow descent down the mountain. He also called one of the other guys at their shop and arranged for him to give me a ride back to the hotel so that I wouldn't have to call and wait for a taxi. It was almost 7:00 PM before I arrived back at the hotel and the warmth of our room. Mr. Snooty was beginning to panic, unsure of what might have happened to me.

So, here is praise (Woot! Woot!) for Harlan and Michael, the firefighters/EMT's who were like gifts from God to me that day. You guys were so wonderful to work so hard trying to get my car going. I just want you to know that you both TOTALLY ROCK! In addition to my heartfelt thanks, I'm sending a donation to the Ruidoso Fire Department naming the two of you as my reason for donating. I hope that your wives are as proud of you as I am!

Also, I want to give a big shout-out to Francisco and Sal at Sierra Blanca Collision Center, in spite of the fact it cost just under $200.00 for the tow and fixing whatever it was that was wrong. Sal is the Manager and is the one who gave me a lift all the way up to the Inn of the Mountain Gods, for free. You two guys TOTALLY ROCK as well!

The next day Mr. Snoots and I spent the morning checking to see if the car was ready, getting a taxi to come get us at the Inn, taking us into town where the car was, and going back out to the Inn. By then, I had no desire left to go skiing, even for a half day, which meant my second day of skiing went *poof* in the blink of an eye. Then, it began to snow and snow and snow and snow.

To be continued...

14 comments:

Heather said...

Oh my! But I'm so glad these wonderful people helped you. Gives you hope in mankind.

Good for you for letting folks know about their good deeds. It seems folks are so quick to fire off a letter of complaint, but a letter of compliment doesn't cross their minds.

I assume you are safe and sound since you are back at your computer.

BTW when I was 12, I snow-plowed all the way down an icy slick White Face Mountain in Lake Placid—with tears streaming down my face.

Mental P Mama said...

Yowza! But such nice heroes! Whoever said chivalry was dead was wrong!

Treasia Stepp said...

How sweet of everyone involved to make sure you were taken care of. Poor Mr. Snoots for having to worry so much. I bet this time he was glad to see you coming.

Keeper Of All Things said...

How nice people can be.

Tammy said...

Wow, what an adventure! Thank goodness for the kindness of strangers! Can you imagine how miserable this could have turned out?! The scenery is beautiful there.

Daryl said...

What wonderful men these guys are ...

Beth Dunn said...

Mrs Snoots-when I make it big I'll gift you the Lilly Pulitzer golf cart as you are my gold princess. xoxo

SC

Snooty Primadona said...

OMG! I forgot to tell you that the next day when we picked the car up, they said they had to reset the electrical system (because it was completely dead) but could not find a reason for what happened. We finally decided my 4-Runner does NOT like high altitude or snow...

Sjn said...

A big thanks to those Firefighters! Shows you how lucky you are, to be stranded but have your guardian angels right there to help!
I know you got snowed in for part 2... but what else???

Sjn said...

PS... I'll join you for National Margarita Day!

Janie at Sounding Forth said...

Girlfriend!

I am so glad you're okay. Sounds like the Lord did send his angels, indeed!

So, what was wrong with La Trucka?

kim-d said...

Isn't it amazing how a really bad situation can be turned around by kindness? The guys that helped you sound amazing, and I'm glad you told us about them...it made me smile!

And now I'm going to make you feel much better about the snowplowing. At the very beginning of my (oh so much younger) skiing days, before I really knew what I was doing, I allowed a friend to talk me into trying an advanced run. I was still impressionable then. Anyway, I knew I was in trouble as soon as I got into position and looked down. Whoa. I took off and was immediately terrified. I managed to snowplow myself over to the side of that HUGE MOUNTAIN. Where I proceeded to take my skis off and walk down the rest of the way. I may have been a little on the easily-lead side, but I wasn't stupid and I didn't have that much pride. I knew I was about to break my neck and possibly some other people if I continued down on the skis. The moral of the story? You should now feel just fine about the snowplowing; at least you didn't walk down, like other completely dorky people (me).

The pix are beautiful.

Green-Eyed Momster said...

Yay for helpful and kind people. Maybe if I liked to ski, I'd like the snow.....
Something to ponder today.

Hugs!!

Diane said...

Ah, car problems. You were right in the comment you left me. A car without an electrical system is useless!

Thank goodness for AAA and their angel tow truck drivers!

 

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