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Published: March 6th 2006
A beautiful snow fell last night. For about two to three hours snow fell, as hard as we have seen here in the Czech Republic ... big fluffy flakes followed by tiny flakes ... a delight to children and to some adults as well. I won't mention that Nancy has been praying for more and more snow. So this morning we decided to strap on our Yaktrax and take another walk up the Sarka Valley. The Yaktraxs work very well on ice, but not so well in deep snow. The snow tends to pack on the trax and negate the grip of the tracks that work so well on ice. The ice on the trail had a three inch covering of snow this morning and that was fine. In fact, it made the trail less slippery to walk ... that is as long as the trail was flat and as long as sane people stayed on the main trail that runs along the floor of the valley. However, there are some people who decide that, "Wow, wouldn't it be GREAT to walk one of the side trials that lead up through the woods out of the valley." That is what 'we
This is the widest spots in the Sarka Valley. In the distance there is a couple with their dog. The dog was quite interested in us, but was afraid to appraoch even though his owners encouraged him to let us pet him.
' decided to do and in doing that we discovered a very slippery mystery.
"Look," Nancy said, "the slope is steep, but there is still a thick layer of ice under the snow. How is that possible?"
"I don't know," I replied, "you would think that as the snow melted the water would have run down the hill."
Regardless of what we think should have been, on the hillside, and it was a steep slope, the ground under the snow was covered by a thick coating of ice ... slick ice I might add. I slipped a few times as we walked upward. Then Nancy stopped and I stepped up to be beside her. Well, my body was next to her, but suddenly my feet were not. They here heading downhill while the rest of my body was, well not stationary, but heading toward the ground. I caught myself with my left arm.
No sooner had I gotten up and turned around
Did she become exhausted from the walk, or from watching Bill's Olympic performance?
when my feet decided to head downhill again. This time I landed flat on my back. Then ..................................................
I got up and my feet decided to head downhill again. This time, drawing on my experience as an Olympic figure skater. I admit this is a slight exaggeration of the truth there, I flung my arms about, tipped one way, than another, then backward and forward before re-gaining my balance still standing upright.
"I think it is time to get back down on the main trail," I said.
"How?" Nancy asked. "By sliding down the hill on our butts?"
"May have to," I replied.
We didn't have to slide, but we were very careful and soon we were back on the trail ... little worse for the wear.
Well, someone in the family HAS to take the lead. Who would ever know what was on the other side of the hill if someone didn't always say, "Lets go just a little farther". Who would get enough exercise if the two of us turned back each time SOMEONE said, "It's going to get too dark to see if we don't turn around right NOW."
I am happy to report that my desire to climb an ice slope gave Bill the chance to do something no one has ever even attempted in the Olympics. He managed a triple toe loop, a Hammel Camel and a Quadruple Lutz all at once and he landed on his feet. This is the first time we know that such a combination has been tried successfully on a mountainside. Of course his first two attempts ended up with him on his side and then on his back. But, after skating around for just one turn he managed the above feat in just a few second's time. All the while there were cries of "Oh No Billy NO NO". But he never gave up and pressed on. As he sits now on the couch thinking, he says he has decided he may be too old to try that trick again. He wants you to know he didn't get the perfect score for two reasons. The first two falls were deducted from his score and he thinks maybe, perhaps, some points were taken off for style. But I think he should have had the perfect score since I have never seen such a performance in my whole life.
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