I have always known my parents were a little off center mentally, but now I have proof (though I’d have loved to do what they did, too!).
I already talked about their trip to Park City, Utah, and how awesome I thought it was. What I didn’t mention was this little nagging voice in the back of my head that was telling me that there was more to their trip than cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
Boy was I right.
You see, in Park City, the buildings, aparatus, and facilities from the 2002 Winter Olympics are still there. I believe they are used as training facilities at times, but I do know they are tourist attractions now, as well. Not just from a sight-seeing point of view, either. If you visit Park City, you can actually PERSONALLY EXPERIENCE many of the events of the Olympic Games. Very cool. What is not surprising is that my parents decided to have a couple of those experiences, which does not surprise me. The activities they chose to experience does not really surprise me, either, but then I know my parents pretty darn well – even though at the moment I’m trying to decide if these people really are my parents, or a couple of 20-somethings masquerading as my parents.
You, however, will probably be stunned.
My mother has ALWAYS had an incurable need for speed. When Emma was a baby, she loved to ride in the seat on the back of my mom’s bike because she knew Nana would go fast and wouldn’t hit the brakes on the hills. From the stories I’ve heard, she’s been like that her whole life. I also know my dad has an adventurous side, but his logical (meaning “I get hurt just walking across a flat floor”) side usually wins over any thrill a risk might produce.
So, what activities did they participate in? Well, they did go cross-country skiing, and they also went snowshoeing. But they also did a couple of other higher-risk activities.
They went on the FULL BOBSLED RUN, and part of the SKELETON RUN!!! There really isn’t anything going through my mind as I try to process this other than the phrase “HOLY CRAP!!!”
Here is a quote from the e-mail I got from Dad tonight when they got home:
When we were watching the Olympics last winter, Mom thought the skeleton event looked really fun–you know her penchant for speed! So, I found where you can get skeleton rides–Park City was the only place in the west. We started the ride on curve 11 (there are 15 total)–each person on their own, nose about 1″ from the ice. We got to speeds of 45 mph and it took slightly less than a minute. Mom was surprised when she found out what we were doing–kept it a secret until about 2 hours before the ride.
For the Skeleton, they each rode by themselves – I still cannot believe 50 mph with their noses an inch from the ice – but for the Bobsled, they went in a group of four. Their tour guide from the day (the blonde girl on the left, and Pat Brown rode with them. If you didn’t know, Pat Brown was the coach of the 1988 Jamaican Bobsled Team that inspired the movie “Cool Runnings“. He is now the Head coach of the UAF Bobsled Developmental Program. You can’t really read the writing on this picture, but this is what it said:
- Sled 4
- Speed: 78.9
- Time: 0:54.97 (a little over a mile)
- Pilot: Pat Brown
One of the things I love the most about my parents is that they are adventurous and love to spend time together. After observing them really LIVE their lives, I am determined Aaron and I will be at least as half as adventurous and young as they are when we are as old as they are (which is not old at all – 65 & 62).
Oh, and I’m pretty sure this experience did not relieve my mom’s demon need for speed – if anything, I’m sure it just added more fuel to the fire!
I am so happy you had fun, and I cannot wait to see the pictures from the rest of your adventures!