Thursday, February 11, 2010

Feb 11/10: Mont Royal

Feb 11/10: Mont Royal, originally uploaded by susanvg.

It was the golden hour, that point when the sun is near the horizon. I drove a bit to find a spot for my photo. I stopped at a Montreal landmark, parking near the chalet at Beaver Lake. Shadows were deep and the sun's setting rays shone on whatever they could reach. Beaver Lake is a man-made pond on the mountain. It is not deep and is now off limits in the winter. Just above the lake is a slope where people go toboganning. Now there are lanes carved out.

When I was a child it was a free-for-all. I first learned to ski on the "mountain". The local sports store gave lessons there in the evening. We climbed herringbone style up the hill and skied down. Those who were more adept took the rope tow that pulled you to the top. I remember one lesson, after my share of falling and hoisting myself up again I was finally skiing down the hill when I found myself knocked from behind by a wooden toboggan. I slid part way down the hill sitting on the curved front. Imagine my surprise when we reached the bottom and, once back on my feet, I saw the tobogganers were clowns. It was the start of a winter festival.

This beginning to my attempts at skiing was a clear indication of what was to come. I have crawled up a mountain when I couldn't get back on a T-bar, felt the excruciating pain of feet thawing after a morning on the local hill at our country place (no chalet to warm up in) and my last attempt at skiing was foiled by high winds. The chairlifts couldn't operate, though I seem to remember the hot chocolate was very tasty. Some forty years ago I abandonned downhill skiing and have stuck to winter sports where I did not have to rely on machinery or share a hill with people who valued speed.


  1. I enjoyed how you segued from the particular into a memory, Susan. I must tell you that I thought the lines on the hill were grapevines! The eye does deceive!

  2. Beautiful light...sorry you gave up downhill of my favorite sports. You can participate vicariously during the Olympics :-)

  3. The picture with the warm hues is really lovely. And so are your reminiscences about skiing. I have only tried downhill skiing once -not for me either! I used to love cross-country, but haven't owned a pair of skis for decades now.