I took off Friday to drive up to Lake Placid for Empire State Games, because that is a five-hour drive and I had to be there by 5:30 to register and get my ESG hat. I also wanted to ski at the Van Hoevenberg trails before it got dark, so I left Boston around 10am all suited up for a long weekend. It was shaping up to be a good one, ESGs on Saturday then heading over to VT to meet up with Jess to spend the night with my Aunt and Uncle, then on to Holderness on Sunday for the last Eastern Cup.
A snow storm was predicted to hit the eastern region at some point, and I was driving through flurries all along the masspike, but nothing bad. As I turned north on I-87, the snow was starting to accumulate on the road a little; although the right lane of the highway was perfectly clear, the left was pretty slushy. Traffic was moving, but moving pretty slowly, so at one point, as the left lane looked a little clearer, I decided to pass a semi truck. Once in the left lane, it was a little loose but not too bad, and then it got a little slushier and I got ready to carefully move back to the right lane. This was where shit went down. The second my right front wheel hit clear pavement I went into a 60mph spin into the side of the road, then a roll down the embankment until a small grove of trees stopped my car from moving any further. It was weird, when I stopped, I knew I wasn't right-side up anymore, but I had to figure out which side the seat belt was pulling to figure out which side was right-side up. I turned off the car, turned off the ipod, and climbed out the passenger side window. Apparently the semi I had been passing almost jack-knifed, I'm really lucky I didn't get hit by him, because then I probably wouldn't be sitting here typing this.
So, there I was sitting in a cop car with no idea how to get myself and my massive amounts of crap up to Lake Placid, whether or not I should even go, and what to do with my car. It turns out there is a bus from Saratoga Springs to Lake Placid, so the cop called the bus station, who said that there was one bus a day, and it was coming in fifteen minutes. Hold that bus! So I loaded two ski bags, two waxboxes, a wax bench, a clothes bag and myself onto a bus after my car was towed away. My insurance policy does not cover a rental car.
Three hours later, the bus dropped me off across the street from the Olympic Center. Twenty minutes too late to check in for ESGs. Such is life. I'm standing there on the sidewalk surrounded by my crap, wondering what the hell to do, when I remember that Chad Day (we skied together in high-school and he skied with Ed at Clarkson) was skiing at ESGs. I called him up, and he said they were just heading out to dinner and they'd come get me. Turns out "they" meant his friend Jason and Jason's parents, all crammed into a pickup truck. Even better, they were staying in some of the private rooms at the Jackrabbit hostel, so I got a ride there too.
Of course, when I got to the hostel, the promised envelope with my name on it and a key in it was not there. There were many other envelopes with keys in them, so after calling all four "after hours" numbers listed, I gave up and just let myself into a room, found an empty bed and went to sleep. I'll admit, the little sleep I did get was filled with images of car crashes and other restful thoughts like that. When I woke up and looked in the mirror I wondered when I'd turned fifty thanks to the bags under my eyes. Not knowing what else to do with myself, I got a ride to Van Hoevenberg with Chad and Jason and all my crap, set up shop at the biathlon building, and tried to figure out what the hell I was going to do next. There was a bus back to Saratoga Springs at 11am Sunday, but I was hoping to get myself to Middlebury, where Kris Dobie was shooting for EISA, and ride with him to Holderness.
I got lucky, and found some people heading to Rutland after the ski-o. Jess came to rescue me in Rutland, and we had some awesome Thai food before heading to my Aunt and Uncle's house. Life was starting to feel normal again. Sunday morning we went to Holderness and skied in the last Eastern Cup, and then I got a ride back to Boston with Dobie. Now I just need to figure out what to do with my car, whether or not its totaled, and what to do if it is...
Race reports are coming.