1 May 2011

Lutsen parking permit

Posted by Teapots Happen

This last winter, my friend Nick helped me learn how to snowboard – the new hobby I’d chosen to keep me active during the snowy season, when longboard skateboarding isn’t an option.

Nick planned a snowboarding trip to Lutsen Mountain for early March, for his birthday. Six of us went, and I had a great time – the first day was all clear skies and amazing views of Lake Superior far below, and the second day graced us with well over 6″ of fresh powder.

That trip was my final snowboarding for the year; afterward, winter and snow slowly relinquished their hold on Minnesota. By the end of March, the snowboards had been put away, the snowboard rack removed from the top of my car, and one of the final remnants of the snowboarding season was my parking pass from Lutsen Mountain, which was still floating around the car, getting stepped on and coffee stained.

This parking pass surfaced as part of an amusing synchronicity on one of my earliest Spring trips out longboard skating …

It was late March, and I was out with Jay and Andrew driving around Minneapolis, hoping to find a decent place to ride the longboards around a little – someplace without snow or rivers of snowmelt. This quest was proving difficult; it really wasn’t skating season yet, but I was really chomping at the bit, eager to get out and get my body moving after a long cold winter. (Snowboarding had been great, but it just wasn’t the same.)

We wound up driving alongside Lake Calhoun, and I noticed that the paved lakeside path looked sorta dry – certainly not ideal, but we’d been hunting for awhile and I was getting impatient.

So when two cars pulled away from their parking spots at once just as we approached, I impulsively turned the car around 180 degrees and pulled into one of the open spots.

Jay protested that the Lake path looked crowded with people, and he was not feeling like such a lengthy skate. I argued that it was as good as we would find, it wasn’t a very long skate, people can be dodged, and fuck it – we were there and parked, let’s just roll!

As we discussed it and Andrew and I pulled the longboards out to test out and prepare for action, a car pulled in behind us, into the other newly-open spot. A young woman got out and started to prepare her small child and stroller. She started talking to us – her name was Susan, and she was quite friendly and easy to talk to. It turned out that she used to skate, pre-baby and pre-Achille’s tendon injury, and she missed such activities. Now her ankle was finally healed, and her daughter was getting old enough to bring along on outdoor adventures. She repeatedly told us that she “used to be cool” – and she took my board around a little bit to see how it felt on her ankle.

Although Susan joined me in encouraging Jay to skate the lake, it was to no avail. So we all said goodbye – Jay walked home (he lives nearby), Andrew and I went to skate the lake clockwise on the bike path, and Susan the friendly mom left stroller-jogging counter-clockwise on the walking path.

The bike path was wet and sandy and gross and clogged with wayward pedestrians – but it felt so good to be out on my board that I still enjoyed it heartily … even though the sandy slop on the griptape and the wet wheels made it almost impossible to generate momentum by ‘pumping’ the board back and forth. It was joy enough just to be out without winter gear, pushing along, re-energizing slumbering muscles and tendons and movement patterns.

We saw Susan and her daughter briefly as we zoomed past in the opposite direction, and waved.

I got back to the car a couple minutes ahead of Andrew, and stashed my board in the back … and then felt an impulse to leave a note for Susan. I wasn’t trying to hit on her; I just thought she seemed really positive and pleasant, and the first skate of spring has left me in a mood very open to connection and following flow and coincidence.

So I looked for something to write a note on – and found that parking pass from my Lutsen snowboarding trip. I scrawled a quick message, and stuck it under her windshield wiper before we drove off.

A week or two went by, and I’d almost forgotten about the incident when I got an email from Susan. We emailed back and forth a bit, and I decided to look her up on Facebook.

I found her – and was surprised to find we had one friend in common. I started to email Susan to mention the coincidence – but it wasn’t until I was describing how I knew the mutual friend that I realized that following the flow/my intuition had led me to synchronicity yet again:




Our mutual friend – Nick – was my snowboarding friend – the same guy who had planned and booked the trip to Lutsen Mountain, and who had handed me the parking pass that I’d used to connect with Susan when we’d met.



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One Response to “Lutsen parking permit”

  1. Gabe – you’re in the flow again! Love this one.