The first day of snowboarding: possibly one of life’s most painful experiences.
I have never seen one human being so entirely covered in bruises; I felt like I’d just stepped out of the ring with Tyson. Hell, Tyson can’t hit half as hard as some of those mogul-looking ice lumps that grace the mountains of the northeast corner of the U.S.
After seven years of skiing, I’d finally decided to try my hand at the sister sport. “It’s so easy to learn, you’ll be carving in no time,” my friends assured me. They conveniently left out the part about being battered, thrashed – thoroughly pummeled, even – by the mountain.
My first time out was at Sugarloaf in Maine. We’d just had an enormous dump; the conditions were marvelous. Brand-new rental strapped to my feet, I looked up at this mountain looming up the fresh bright morning air, challenging me, daring me to ascend. I’d beaten the mountain on skis; now I would on a snowboard.
My brother, then an instructor at Ragged Mountain, told me he’d have me turning by midmorning.
Before we ever got to that point, he got bored with the lower lifts and we proceeded up the main lift to the summit. I then spent the next two hours of my life alternatively side-slipping down the mountain (still being completely unable to successfully execute a heel-side turn) or bouncing my face off of the steep sections, which the morning traffic had conviniently scraped clean of any snow, as I rolled downhill, a flailing mass of limbs dragging along 153 centimeters of wood and composites.
The toe-side and I were getting along fine; I just had a nasty habit of catching my edge when I shifted my weight to cut back heel-side. Catching an edge is like hurling your head into the ground full-force, only unexpected; I imagine that it's similar to being clipped from behind by a three-hundred-pound linesman.
And the next morning, though I succeeded in mastering the basic turning technique, even strapping on my board seemed like torture. The sunny promise of hours of voluntary abuse was like a vision of sugarplums dancing in my head.
And as soon as I got the hang of turning, of course, I headed to the terrain park to continue injuring myself there in floundering attempts to catch air.
I must really be a sadomasochist, because I haven’t worn a pair of skis since. And I haven’t really gotten much better at snowboarding either – just more used to the self-inflicted punishment. There’s just no feeling like flinging myself into the air at high speeds and contorting my body into spins and grabs that inevitably make for ever-more-painful crash landings.
God, I love this sport!
Ellsworth Hummingbird Hide-Away Cottage
Ellsworth, Maine Vacation Rentals
Modern, quiet two bedroom cottage, everything you need but the groceries. Located 6 miles from Ellsworth,28 miles from Bar Harbor.Deck for sunning and a grill. Inside there is Direct tv, vcr/dvd, dishwasher and washing machine Weekly rate available...
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All the charm of a B&B without the cost! Designer cottages and classic Maine motel with Penobscot Bay views just .5 miles from Lincolnville Beach and the Islesboro Ferry. Free WIFI and daily continental breakfast. Dog friendly. Kids playground....
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Kismet Inn, has a reputation as a guest-friendly and completely environmentally toxin and fragrance free bed and breakfast. Kismet inn prides itself as an all organic bed and breakfast which has been recognized as the 3rd best Inn Nationally on CNN...
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Selected BEST Golf Camp and BEST Tennis Camp in America for kids 8 -17. Plus waterskiing, sailing, ropes course and full camp program of yoga, dance, theater, arts and crafts, trips, tournaments, travel teams and Advanced and Elite training...
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This unique resort inn offers upscale accommodations in Kennebunkport at an affordable rate. On site dining,heated indoor and outdoor pools and fitness facility are available to all our guests. We also offer great value packages....
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Located on the Kennebunk River- it is an easy walk to the beach & Dock Sq. The resort boasts 109 rooms, an award winning restaurant, family friendly activities program, outdoor heated pool, marina with boat charters, free wifi, bike & kayak rentals....
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Greenwood Mountain Inn Bed and Breakfast
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15 rooms with 9 bedrooms and 6 full baths on top of Greenwood Mountain....
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Five Gables Inn
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A hundred year old inn on a hill overlooking Linekin Bay on the coast of Maine. 16 rooms. All but one overlook the water, big wrap around porch, Private baths, a full breakfast by a Culinary Institute trained chef....
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Vacations for adults and families in Maine
Katahdin/Moosehead, Maine Hotels & Resorts
Summer vacations for everyone - adults, couples, families! Water skiing, tubing, kayaking, wake boarding, or just relaxing. Individual cabins with bath. All inclusive....
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