When 2015 rolled into 2016 almost 40 days ago, my family made the decision that this was going to be the year for adventuring. We have committed to having 12 epic adventures, which boils down to one a month. Now, we could skip one month and double up on another, but that can get dangerous. You don’t want to fall too far behind the pace and risk never catching up again. That is why I am happy to report that on the first weekend of February, we adventured forth to the Olympic Sports Complex in Lake Placid, NY to watch the luge races.
The most exciting part of this adventure, to hear my son speak about it anyway, was sleeping in a basement. Since the races started at 8 am and were a few hours away, we decided to spend the night in Lake Placid. And since hotels in Lake Placid were either sold out or $400/night, we decided to dip our toes into Airbnb. We were able to find a very reasonably priced spot, right in downtown Lake Placid, and it happened to be somebody’s very nice basement apartment. There was a bedroom, living room, bathroom, even a sauna! And Edward spend the day leading up to the trip sing-songing “We’re sleeping in a basement! We’re sleeping in a basement!”
I have to pause here and say that not only was the basement fantastic, but the people hosting us were also of high quality. From the plate of cookies and bowl of apples left out for us, to the friendly conversation and dinner recommendations, I could not recommend them any higher. So what if they had a huge, loud dance party to “Horse With No Name” late into the evening? It’s their house, they are retired, and we’ve all done that before.
So we slept in the basement, and then we drove the few short minutes to the Lake Placid Olympic Sports Complex. Now, the coolest thing here, really, was the fact that our neighbor Bullet Bottger was in the race. He has been training for a year or two now to be on the Olympic luge team, despite the fact that he is in middle school. You know those olympians start young. The best part about all of this is that I can tell him what a big luger he is all the time. The second best part is inside access to the luging community.
Bullet’s mom met us there and showed us around the place. We got to see all the best places to watch the lugers come whipping past us. Starting at the bridge over the Chicane, we watched dozens of young people fly underneath us at speeds rivaling cars on the interstate. In fact, the lugers go so fast down that mountain that they have to go back up it again to slow down enough to stop. This meant that we were able to watch Bullet whiz past us and then run to the finish line behind us and watch him again as he slid to a silver medal.
Yes, he came in 2nd overall, and we got to go to the medal ceremony and watch him up there, which was a great way to really give my kids a connection to it all. Watching people zoom past you is cool, but watching your friend zoom past you is even better. As any good adventurer knows, friends make the journey far more interesting.
After the luging was through we explored the rest of the complex, checking out the bobsleds and slipping and sliding on the ice. We spent the afternoon puttering around the village and buying fancy popcorns. It was a fine adventure, but what would a true adventure be without the unexpected?
On the way back we were stopping at my mother’s for dinner, which meant that instead of driving straight back the way we came, we curved up through Saranac Lake. As we passed through town, what should we see, but an ice castle, with superheroes in it! And an ice car to drive! And an ice tunnel to crawl through! And an prince on an ice throne! And it was free! Bonus adventure!
So we have had two adventures now, and 10 more to go. Or maybe we will do more than 12. Who knows? At this rate there may be no stopping us. And maybe we’ll see you on the next one!