Here in Ohio we have ski hills. I've come to the conclusion that a ski "hill" is better than no hill. And to an eleven year old out for the first time on skis it may as well be a mountain. Now that winter has finally decided to show it's face we geared up and took a short half hour drive east to Snow Trails for some family fun on the slopes.
Sharing new experiences with a child is one of the greatest rewards in parenting. Seeing the excitement in his face after making a few slow and easy turns and arriving at the bottom of the practice hill without crashing is something money can't buy.
About four inches of snow recently fell and temperatures dropped sufficiently enough to allow the snow machines to make additional white stuff. Here it is half way through January and all the runs are finally open. The temperature topped out at 27 degrees F during our visit keeping conditions near perfect.
We rode up the ski carpet on the practice hill several times before venturing onto the lift. Wyatt was nervous but he made it to the top with a successful dismount by his mom's side. Because LeeAnn has experience teaching I kept my mouth shut and let her play the part of ski instructor. After a couple hours Wyatt mastered the snow plow and was starting to get a grasp on changing directions. He took some spills of course but we all did when learning the ropes of this wintertime sport. I look forward to watching his skills ramp up on our next trips to the hill.
Much bigger hills lie to the East in New York, West Virginia and PA all within a four hour drive. Traveling to those ski areas almost certainly requires an overnight stay and additional travel expenses so my wife and I consider ourselves lucky to have a place just a short drive from home where we can at least carve a few turns.