Monday was my fifth day off. My leg felt ok and the anti-inflammatories and icing had brought down the swelling. I decided to give it a miss for one more day and stayed home. Beautiful day outside. Spring has arrived in Sun Valley. Spent the day reading Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates, another of my purchases at LAX. A great book about my favourite politician, Thomas Jefferson and the first battle ever waged by the combined United States after Independence. By a strange quirk of history it was against the Islamic, Barbary pirates of North Africa in the opening years of the nineteenth century. America has been at war with Islam for over two hundred years.
Late afternoon Rick Ayish arrived from Park City and we retired to the very posh Sun Valley Lodge for refreshments. This was the first building in Sun Valley. It started the whole thing. Amazing place with a full sized ice skating rink out on the lawn. From our perch at the bar, we watched future stars being coached. People in the bar were, by and large, old, overweight and very rich. Gay Gatsby should have been there digging it.
Despite the opulence, the photographs on the wall were a treasure trove of celebrities who stayed there in the 50’s, 60s and 70’s – Gary Cooper, Ernest Hemmingway, a very young Babs, complete with oversized hooter, Judy Garland, Clint Eastwood in skiing togs, Arnie Schwarzenegger, also in skiing gear, who seemed very chuffed at the top of Arnold’s Run and the old draft dodger himself, John Wayne. Too many to name. The action has shifted over to River Run on the other side of the valley, where we are staying, but it was a great reminder of an age now gone.
Dinner was back at the apartment where Rick supplied pies from Windy Ridge bakery in Park City and the irresistible bread from down there which I can’t stop eating. He regaled us with his and Lynda’s work on the campaign trail with Ohio governor John Kasich. Now door knocking for a politician during the Primaries may not be the worst job in the world but it would sure be close. Lynda was door knocking in Detroit in the middle of winter. Can you imagine? Some irate prick in the projects is likely to pull a gun and shoot you.
Tuesday dawned overcast and looking like snow. The swelling in my knee had gone down due to a combination of rest, ice and pills. I wanted to have a go. As soon as I clicked into the bindings it hurt and I knew this was not going to be a great day. We teed off at 915 and were greeted by rock hard slopes with no fresh snow and snowmaking apparently in abeyance. Visibility was also poor. I lasted until 12.15 on the greens and blues, skiing the slowest I have done in my life. Couldn’t carry on and left them to it.
I’m a long way from cured that is for sure. As I skiied down I was troubled by a question I didn’t want to answer: “Is this the last time I’ll come to the mountains to go skiing? Is it all over after 42 years.” My problem is I’ve run out of answers. I had a good surgeon, physio, personal trainer. I spent the money, did the time in the gym and it didn’t work. What do I do now?
God is a strange person. I hope I meet him one day. He is a hammer and I’m a nail and he loves pounding away. Well pound away you prick, eventually you’ll pound me right into the timber and no matter how hard you hit me you won’t be able to drive me in any further. At least the nail hasn’t broken yet. So wail away you old bastard. Give it your best shot, but you’ve got some retribution coming when I finally catch up with you. Epicurus, my old Greek mate, would say this is rubbish. God couldn’t care less what happens to me. He is indifferent.
You are only beaten when you give up. Never give up. I shall yet make merry.