Saturday, July 31, 2010

Val Chatel

Yesterday I was transported back in time.  I was a teenager learning to downhill ski.  My best friend in high school Cathie was a skier..she would invite me to go along.  I was not a very good skier, I was not coordinated enough to use the tow ropes..my only alternative was to go up the hill in the chair lift.  Once you are up there, you must ski down.  So I learned to ski out of necessity..it was a do or die situation.
 There was an estate sale happening at the old ski lodge yesterday. Next door neighbor Jo and Far Guy and I went.  Far Guy never attempted skiing so he had never been out there before.
 There were lots of people, and a whole bunch of Antiques for sale.  We visited with friends and greeted relatives.  While I was taking photographs, a very nice man joined me, he walked up and said "Take those photos now, because you aren't likely to get the chance again."  Then he proceeded to tell me about how much fun he had learning to ski here.  We stood for a long time, admiring the view..each knowing what the other was seeing.  Not green grass and a lake, but a frozen expanse of lake, and hills covered with snow, tow ropes and a chair lift..and skiers zigzagging down the hills..so cold that you can see your breath.  Red cheeked kids laughing as they came down the hills, snow plowing to a stop at the bottom of the hill..turning around and going right back up the ski hill again.
This is a beautiful setting, the usually long grass had been mowed for the sale or maybe to keep the bugs down.  It was such a long time ago that I had dinner here, before prom when I was sixteen..
I bought a set of old bells that I will use as a wind chime..Far Guy bought a couple of rocks to use in the landscape of his train set..he carried around my bells for me.  They are a handy device, I could tell where he was at throughout the rest of the sale.  I could hear the bells disappearing up the road and knew when he was headed to the car.

This was a beautiful place in it's day.  I have lots of good memories here of old friends from well over forty years ago.  In my mind I could still see that damned tow rope, the one where I could never get my hands and feet to cooperate..I always ended up face first at the side of the trail:)

17 comments:

  1. What a beautiful place! Glad you went back down memory lane...

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  2. It is a shame that such a lovely place is not be used right now. I hope you post pictures of your "new" bell windchime. Everytime you hear it you will be reminded of that special place and your teenage memories.

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  3. So it is not operational now? Is there another place where people can ski in the area? Not that I will be there to do that but just curious. It is fun to go down Memory Lane but you sure hate to see that road get closed.

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  4. I float down memory lane often and sometimes long for the calmer, simpler times.

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  5. beautiful area. it's good to have these memories. take care. Rose

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  6. Miss Lynda, No it is no longer a ski lodge and has not been for about 20 years..maybe longer. I believe it is for sale and will become a private property. There is one other ski area about 50 miles north of this one. This one was quite a place back in it's day:)

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  7. It's a beautiful piece of land and I loved hearing your memories - so different there in your frigid temps than growing up in the south! I was hoping that Far Guy found something to do with trains and he did! Can't wait to see your bells too!

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  8. It really is sad that it is outdated now. I suppose people fly to Colorado or go to other great far away places to do the same kind of sport.

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  9. Beautiful place for some great memories!

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  10. Beautiful place for lovely memories!

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  11. What a beautiful story of memories!

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  12. Chuckled at Far Guy almost being like a cat with a bell collar on. ;) Beautiful place now. Nice to know it is for sale and someone will use the place for something. Funny what 40 years will do to the places we remember--hehe!

    Hope to see the bell chimes and maybe the train stuff, too. :)

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  13. Delightful and enchanting place, if only I had a few bucks I'd buy it!

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  14. Lanny, A million and a half and it could be yours..I will come visit! :)

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  15. Very interesting place, I saw this place on a real estate page and stumbled on your blog when I went to research it. Very intruiging place to say the least. Why can't anyone turn it into a ski resort again? Would be neat to see a retro place like that in its full glory again. Not likely but it is possible. Are the ski runs not as long as other places? I would love to see this place if possible when I am in the area this summer.

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Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your comments! If you have a question I will try to answer it here. Connie