Last weekend I was finally able to break out my skis. It seems sort of funny to have brought them so far to be used only once. But of course if I hadn’t brought them the ski season would have started in October. Sometimes you can’t win.
I had laid all my gear out the night before but when I woke up early Saturday morning I definitely had to give myself a little pep talk. I am good at doing things by myself (and I like doing things by myself) but I had never been skiing by myself. All the what ifs.. ran circles in my head – what if the ski resort wasn’t actually open? what if there wasn’t a bus to take me from the train to the lift? what if I had a bad time? what if it was really cold? what if I fell off the t-bars (bad memories of Whistler 2010, although that was not my fault)? what if I got hurt? Then I realized I was being silly – because there is no such thing as a bad day of skiing – and headed out for the bus.
Oppdal is a 90 minute train ride from Trondheim. In theory there was supposed to be a bus waiting at the train station to transport skiers up to the hill. But I guess the first day of the season meant no bus (one of my what ifs… realized, oh no!). And that is how I met Arne. He too was stuck at the train station and were were able to share a taxi. In the shuffle of getting my gear on and getting a lift ticket I lost Arne, but that wasn’t the last I’d see of him.
There was only one lift open, but it wasn’t too crowded and there were several runs to explore. I’m a creature of habit so I don’t mind skiing the same thing again and again, especially if it is fun. Nothing was too steep but there was a lot of untracked snow which was good for getting my ski legs back. Every year I have this irrational fear that I somehow forgot how to ski over the summer. And as always, it isn’t the case!
PS – They had free helmets that you could borrow, which was pretty much awesome! I hate skiing without one (safety first) but I couldn’t bring mine due to lack of space.
While I was glad that I had made the decision to come, I have to say that I learned that I am not the biggest fan of skiing by myself. The chair lift was cold and lonely without someone to talk to (and even if I could speak Norwegian, I was told that any effort to chat someone up probably would have been rebuffed). I kept an eye out for Arne but never saw him out there. Each time I went up the lift I said it would be my last. But then after each run I said one more.
The lifts didn’t close until 4pm but it was starting to get dark and more and more people were leaving. I realized that if I was going to try and find a ride back to the train station I better get on it. I surveyed the parking lot and decided to approach a random group of people standing around 2 cars. It turns out it wasn’t so random after all – it was Arne and his friends!
I asked for a ride back down to the train station and they said sure, just as soon as they figured out how to pop the hood on the car to jump the other (then they asked if I knew how to do it because you know, I’m American and it was a Ford…). After the cars were running the guys had a discussion in Norwegian and then it was decided: sure they’d give me a ride to the train station but since the train doesn’t leave for 4 more hours I should come over for dinner first. I had flashbacks to the many Criminal Minds episodes I’ve watched but I thought what the heck – I’m in Norway and you only live once.
And that is how I ended up eating tacos with 7 Norwegians. They cooked me dinner, made me laugh, and all in all it was an awesome way to kill the time before my train left. It was the perfect reminder of the rewards of pushing yourself a bit beyond your comfort zone. And as promised, I was back at the station in time to head back to Trondheim.
Clockwise from the left: Arne, Tormod, Berge, Thomas, Andreas, Terje, and
Hovar Helge (I think they’d be impressed that I got them all straight! Hopefully I did get them all straight… So close!)
Thanks for the great evening guys, lets do it again!