Friday, June 20, 2014

Illinois is More Flat than Kansas.

My yard is flat. The street is flat. The whole town is flat. There's this one road named Ridge nearby that is perhaps 5-10 feet higher in elevation than the rest of the area. But for someone who used to live in Boulder County, Colorado where there is about 10,000 vertical feet of total elevation differential, the "Ridge" at Ridge Avenue is barely noticeable.

According to the Chicago Tribune, "Illinois is flatter than every state but one, according to researchers, and is less hilly even than Kansas, a place once proven to be flatter than an IHOP pancake."

The Tribune article goes on to tell us about Jerome Dobson, a University of Kansas geographer, who set out to compare how flat states actually are with how flat people think they are. In a 2013 survey that asked Americans which state is flattest, a full third of respondents guessed Kansas. But Dobson’s team found that Florida, with its low-lying coastal plains, was the flattest of the 48 contiguous states and Washington, D.C.

And Illinois is second. It's more flat than Kansas. Truth.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Imagine the Bairds in Aspen in the 1950s...

Ski School on the Little Nell, Aspen Mountain 1950, courtesy of Mary Eshbaugh Hayes &
While at a memorial gathering for John W. Baird earlier today, I heard his son Steve Baird talk of his dad taking him skiing in Aspen in the 1950's because it was cheaper than skiing in the Midwest at the time. I don't know the Baird family well, but I'm glad to know that they love skiing too.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Add Wisconsin to the list.

The Obsessive Skier took a small group of friends to Wilmot Mountain yesterday, so add Wisconsin to the list of places where his obsession for making turns on snow has prevailed over the obstacles of geography and topography. He also taught a few friends how to ski with speed control and style. The obsession seems to be spreading...

Monday, January 20, 2014

I shall return.

The Obsessive Skier is planning a brief return from exile on Saturday, January 25th.

With a new group of "I've-never-ever-skied-before" friends, the Obsessive Skier will traverse the suburban landscape of Northeastern Illinois in a potentially-futile quest for a few turns at, God willing. Pray that it does not rain...

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Family Values

I stopped by an open house this past Sunday afternoon. Nice house. Brick construction. Newer kitchen. Four bedrooms. Two and a half baths.

I wasn't thinking about skiing this day. I had not thought about skiing for quite some time, actually. Until I saw these three sets of kid skis and boots.

Anyone who has skied with a child knows both the joys and the perils of such risky behavior. Kids are unpredictable. Kids have wills of their own. Kids are often a lot like their parents.

Some kids go down the hill way too fast. Some kids make you carry them down the mountain in your arms because they are so afraid. Some kids will go up and down the mountain with you all day long. Provided you have enough candy in your pocket.

I salute you, "Mr. Northwest Evanston Dad with Three Sets of Kid's Skis in the Basement." You have earned my respect. And I share your family values.

Friday, January 4, 2013

What I did NOT do this Winter Break.

No kidding. 

The Obsessive Skier drove to and from Colorado in the past 7 days and did NOT go skiing.

But he did think about it. A lot.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Lake Effect Snow

We enjoyed some lake effect snow this Christmas holiday.

Too bad there's no such thing as "lake effect mountains". :-/