Weather-wise, we’ve seen some extremes this week. The electricity has been off a total of 55 hours, and around here, without electricity everything comes to a standstill. On the positive side, we’ve finally got some use out of the Y2K supplies we still have around, and we discovered that you really can read by flashlight.
The following are a couple of reports of the skiing trip to Sundown Mountain — a trip taken during the worst of the weather.
Sundown Mountain, Dubuque, Iowa Trip Report
The day started out fairly innocuously with a light rain.
We traveled the two and a half hours to Sundown ski area, got our lift tickets and headed for the slopes.
Skiers: Hans Bluedorn, Nathaniel Bluedorn, Johannah Bluedorn, Jason Stanford, Adam Stanford, Lucas Hedding, and Anna Anderson.
The snow was icy, and as it began to rain, got icier.
We raced each other on the short timed course. Lucas got the fastest time at around 19.5 seconds, Nathan was slightly slower, I came in third, and I can’t remember who was next.
Eventually the rain came down in sheets, and froze to us in such large amounts that, every time we got off the lift, the lift operators had to slap us smartly with a rubber hose to get us moving again.
Soon, we took a break in the lodge to thaw out. Lucas forced us to play an eccentric German card game, which we dispatched quickly and relatively painlessly.
After our break, we went outside and saw that the rain had now turned to snow, and that it was coming down in large quantities.
The rest of the day we got in some very good skiing. The snow began to pile up and made for very good turns, and very good landings for wipeouts. We tried out the half pipe and a few jumps, but enjoyed just going down the hill most.
Eventually, we decided to leave before the weather got worse. We dug our cars out of the drift, chipped the ice off of them and, after a brief supper at Culvers, set out at 7 PM.
The distance between Dubuque and Davenport, Iowa is 71 miles, but we drove for three hours on Highway 61 and didn’t seem to be getting anywhere. I got out of the car and discovered, after a little research, that we were not on Highway 61 anymore but were traveling through a comparatively flat soybean field. We discussed our situation for a little bit. One car was for stopping and finding a hotel somewhere; the other car was for going ahead. After much arguing and checking snow depths, we noticed that, while visibility was only slightly further than imperfections on my Jeep’s windshield, it was getting better. We decided to continue.
With liberal application of four wheel drive and using other less fortunate and immobile vehicles for traction in the deep snow, we made it to Muscatine and dropped off Anna.
We then drove home, arriving at 1:00 AM, and went to bed.
I would say it was a good trip.
Here’s my philosophical response. I know Nathaniel wants to identify ways that our adventures build character. He likes to see how we grew as a result of a trip. This is for you, Nathaniel.
Attitude was everything for this trip. Depending on your outlook, the trip could have been stressful and a failure. Instead it was one of the best adventures I ever had. The rain in the morning could have ruined the trip; instead it barely dampened our spirits. Our return drive could have been maddeningly long. Instead we had a great time conversing and learning more about each other. An added benefit, we learned to trust God (and Hans and Jason) would keep us safe and not allow us to hit any cows in the soybean fields.
Think of the spies who traveled into Canaan in the Old Testament. Ten of them saw doom and gloom. The other two saw opportunity. All of them saw the exact same country.