Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Deer Instead of Disasters! #Ski Trip #skiing in Canada

Followers of my blog may remember the (in retrospect) hilarious details of my traumatic ski weekend--the trip that made me decide to hang up my downhill skis forever.  I gave it a fair shot, I improved enough to make it down the mountain in one piece most of the time, and kept it up for a few winters.  And then, after that last run, I decided that throwing myself down an icy mountain in subzero temperatures is just not my idea of fun.  But, I live in New England now, and this winter has been nothing if not snowy (see: blizzards).  So, when my husband expressed a strong desire to return to our their favorite ski resort over February break, I had to bite the proverbial bullet for the sake of my family's fun.

To be honest, I was fine with the thought of spending every day sleeping late in the comfort of our hotel, followed by more lazing around in my pajamas with a cup of coffee in one hand and a book in the other.  After all, I certainly needed to wind down after the first half of February--the beginning of the month was a crazy and sometimes stressful ride: Not only did I finish my fourth manuscript, HAUNTED SOULS, I also signed with a literary agent!  I was exhausted after all the hard work and excitement.

As wonderful as doing nothing sounds, though, eventually I needed to move.  In addition to writing, fitness is my other passion (and job).  And a member of the gym where I work happened to be at the same Canadian ski resort as we were...her family goes every year.  So she suggested we try cross-country skiing on one of the days.  I'd done it once before, and although it was two years prior, I seemed to recall it being much more my speed.

First of all, what a workout!  That part I did remember.  Despite the very cold temperatures, I was sweating after the first 5 minutes.  And the best part was that it was a fun workout!  Once I got the hang of it, I could glide along without fear of a collison, chatting with my friend while admiring the pristine, peaceful woods of Domaine Saint-Bernard.

The trail eventually led to a clearing with a little covered shelter, complete with benches and a firepit.  Strung along the trees were dozens of birdfeeders.  As we approached, my friend suddenly whispers, "Kathryn...look to your right."

So beautiful!
A deer was walking along side of her!  When we slowed, gaping at the close proximity of a wild and usually timid creature, the doe gazed back at us with expectant brown eyes.  I quickly put it together--this deer knew the drill--and pulled out the sunflower seeds we'd picked up at the lodge.  Supposedly, they were for the birds, but it was apparent the deer had decided to get in on the action.

No one else was around.  The deer came closer and closer as we tossed the seeds, and only the birds overhead broke the cold, still silence.  My friend held out a hand filled with seeds, and one of the birds landed on her hand and began to eat.  We felt like we were in a Disney movie!  The only things missing were colorful pastel gowns and uplifting songs.

I LOVE animals, and as I shared the experience with my family over dinner, my enthusiasm convinced them to give cross country a try, too.  The next day, they took time off from downhill and we all went together.

It wasn't quite as magical...this time, the clearing happened to be filled with people.  But the deer were there, and some of them were bold enough to eat from our hands!  One actually seemed ready to search my coat pockets once I'd run out of seeds!

Me with a bird on
my hand!
So, a happy and memorable skiing trip this year, with something for all of us.  And I still had most of the days to myself...peace, quiet, and good books.  If you need a winter escape, try one of my steamy romances...they are spiked with suspenseful ghost mysteries to keep the pages turning!  GULL HARBOR is set on the spectacular beaches of Cape Cod, and SILVER LAKE is set by a sparkling lake in Fairfield, Connecticut.  And BOTH novels take place in the sultry summer months...which seem far off in this never-ending winter...maybe the snow will have melted here by then!

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