A ski trip doomed from the start
June 23, 2012 Share

A ski trip doomed from the start

Every year for about 10 years we joined our friends and their families on Lake Cumberland in Monticello, Ky., for a week of water-skiing, eating and fellowship. A brief meeting during the winter and a trusted notebook assured that we were in a practiced routine that worked.

I didn’t learn to water ski until my mid-40s. But once I was able to slalom it was just the right combination of speed, skill and the risk of falling to get the adrenalin going as soon as I smelled the lake. The rule was that the speed boat didn’t go anywhere without a skier behind it. Otherwise it was a waste of gas. That means skiing in your clothes if you’re making a trip back from town.

The summer of 2001 was the year that was doomed from the start. I flew down with the farmer in charge and a couple of his teenagers. The rest drove the five-hour trip to Beaver Creek marina. We had all of the makings of an unusually active week. We had a blow-up boat with motor, tubes, a great crew and lots of corn on the cob, frozen pork chops, steaks and our favorite cook, Betty. Betty hated being on the houseboat; she didn’t much like the water. To take her mind off of where she was she spent hours cutting and chopping and cooking for a crew that inhaled food like air.

The first casualty was when one of the young adults tried to swing on a branch over the water to the other side of the cove. He landed on a rock cutting his leg and requiring a trip to the dock on the way to the emergency room for stitches.

The next casualty was another young adult who threw out his back trying to ski barefoot.

Our ski boat was being cantankerous. It was out of commission more than it was running. We got stranded in the middle of the lake with nothing but duck tape to make repairs. Every day it was another trip to the marina and town for another part to try to salvage a few days of skiing.

When a crew pulled out to go to the slalom course, I jumped at the opportunity to ski behind the boat for the trip over. To get to the course the coves feed into the open lake with its choppy water.

Every year for about 10 years we joined our friends and their families on Lake Cumberland in Monticello, Ky., for a week of water-skiing, eating and fellowship. A brief meeting during the winter and a trusted notebook assured that we were in a practiced routine that worked.

I didn’t learn to water ski until my mid-40s. But once I was able to slalom it was just the right combination of speed, skill and the risk of falling to get the adrenalin going as soon as I smelled the lake. The rule was that the speed boat didn’t go anywhere without a skier behind it. Otherwise it was a waste of gas. That means skiing in your clothes if you’re making a trip back from town.

The summer of 2001 was the year that was doomed from the start. I flew down with the farmer in charge and a couple of his teenagers. The rest drove the five-hour trip to Beaver Creek marina. We had all of the makings of an unusually active week. We had a blow-up boat with motor, tubes, a great crew and lots of corn on the cob, frozen pork chops, steaks and our favorite cook, Betty. Betty hated being on the houseboat; she didn’t much like the water. To take her mind off of where she was she spent hours cutting and chopping and cooking for a crew that inhaled food like air.

The first casualty was when one of the young adults tried to swing on a branch over the water to the other side of the cove. He landed on a rock cutting his leg and requiring a trip to the dock on the way to the emergency room for stitches.

The next casualty was another young adult who threw out his back trying to ski barefoot.

Our ski boat was being cantankerous. It was out of commission more than it was running. We got stranded in the middle of the lake with nothing but duck tape to make repairs. Every day it was another trip to the marina and town for another part to try to salvage a few days of skiing.

When a crew pulled out to go to the slalom course, I jumped at the opportunity to ski behind the boat for the trip over. To get to the course the coves feed into the open lake with its choppy water.

Written by
ANITA BRIEDA
For the Journal & Courier

 

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