Saturday, December 3, 2011

Lake Tahoe, Day 3

   Today we got great news: Heavenly would be open & the gondola started running at 8:30! We had a big breakfast, got dressed & took the very short walk to the gondola. The ride up was a real treat: a gain of 2000', with spectacular views of Lake Tahoe. Both it & the sky were brilliantly blue.
   My good luck ended there: Heavenly beat the HELL out of me today!
   Arriving at the top, we took another lift up to access a run. Unfortunately this first run proved to be a hurdle for me: it started out with a long traverse that required me to skate, burning energy. And the run down was quite steep: a blue run more difficult than I am ready for. The fake snow was icy, so it hurt to fall, so I played it conservatively and rode toe side, then heel side, perpendicular to the mountain. Before long my legs were burning from yesterday's workout... And my energy and strength were fading fast. On the very first run. Ugh. This is where being a beginner is not so fun: it is very hard to ward off intense frustration, because you WANT to be able to do it so badly, but your body can't keep up.
   I reached the bottom, bid Brett & Rafael adieu, and hit Tamarack for a big burger, some Gatorade, & a rest that I hoped would give me the energy to get out there & tear it up like I did yesterday...
   I decided that rather than continuing to get frustrated (and sore) taking on runs above my level, I moved over to the only open green run—which was a ZOO—crawling with small children, large children, teens, adults, everyone, and with a huge range of skill levels to those who really belonged on more challenging runs. This spells danger. A guy twice my size came from behind and took me out (unintentionally of course, he was learning and couldn't avoid me)
   Ended the day by meeting up with Rafael and Brett again. We rode up the Tamarack Express, took Orion down to the Dipper Express lift, and then down the dreaded California Trail again. On the way down, I found a set of keys: car, house, everything! With a cute lil' metal bicycle die cut keyring. I turned it in to a Heavenly staff member and am hoping the poor person that lost them checked lost & found right away and didn't spend too much time panicking. Given that I've rescued three sets of keys at Snow Creek in the past, I think I am officially The Keymaster.
   I ended the day tired, but it really wasn't so bad the second time. All in all, I rode for another 3 hours or so.
   For dinner, we walked to Los Mexicanos, a little hole in the wall—but not one of those little holes in the wall with really amazing food. I ordered the camarones a la diablo (shrimp diablo), which normally has a spicy tomato sauce. This version was covered in thick, sweet ketchup. It's bizarre: I can't get enough ketchup when I'm eating burgers and fries, but on shrimp? I was completely grossed out. The sweetness was sickening. I scraped off as much as I could, and piled the shrimp into flour tortillas with sour cream, guacamole, and salsa, trying to cover the taste. It was good enough for one meal. But maybe not good enough to walk 2.8+ miles roundtrip in freezing cold weather.
   After that, home, wine, bed. The usual.