"I've gotta say, babe, this is great. The slopes are top-notch," Jim enthused. "But why come all the way to Utah? There are places a lot closer to home where we could get in some good skiing."
"You needed to take some vacation time before year's end, and I wanted to come here once more before it gets revamped for the Olympics. I skied here in my teens." Blair looked around. "I doubt it will look like this in two years."
"I didn't realize you skied that long ago. Was it as beautiful then as it is now?"
"Yeah. You know, it's one of the oldest ski resorts in the country, but it wasn't well-known back then, which made it fun to visit. No long lines or crowds." Blair looked down at the ski lodge and smiled. "Hey, while we're here, let's check out the progress they're making on Olympic Park. It's only an hour away and the drive is spectacular."
"Fine by me. Let's do one more run, break for lunch, and head out." Blair nodded.
"Wow, I didn't realize they were so far along. This looks like they could hold the games here today," said Blair as he surveyed the facilities.
"I read that because they were hoping to get the 1998 Olympics they ramped up construction. After they lost that bid, they continued to build, but more slowly," Jim answered. "It's used now for training."
"Look, Jim, they're practicing right now," Blair called out as a four-man bobsled raced by. "I always wanted to try luging," he said wistfully.
Jim looked at him incredulously. "Why?"
Blair shrugged. "Naomi dated a luger. I'd watch him and it looked like so much fun. He'd get done with a run and he was just there, you know? In that perfect nexus between danger and excitement. He was willing to teach me, but Naomi nixed it." Blair sighed. "The next year we were in California."
They continued to walk around the park as Jim thought about that younger Blair and his willingness to try something dangerous for the thrill of it. Little wonder he preferred the roller-coaster of police work or the potential dangers of expeditions. "Hey, babe, it's getting late. Let's grab some dinner and a room."
With a last look at the track, Blair turned to Jim nodded. "Sounds great. Let's start with Irish coffees at the lodge." They spent a pleasant evening drinking, eating and, later, making love in the old-fashioned four-poster hotel bed.
In the morning, they were taking one last look around when they were approached by two young men. "Mr. Ellison? We're ready for you," one of them said.
"Mr. Ellison's my dad. Call me Jim," Jim said as they shook hands. "This is Blair, my partner."
"I'm Joe and this is Peter," Joe said. "If you'll follow us, we'll get started."
As they followed, Blair asked, "What's going on, Jim? What're we doing?"
"Well, I couldn't arrange a luge run; it requires too much training. But these guys are part of a four-man bobsled team. They're going to take us down the track in their sled." Jim looked at Blair. "What do you say, Chief? Still willing to try an 'in the moment' experience?"
Blair's expressive face gave his answer. He stripped down to one layer of clothing, donned a helmet and slipped into the sled with the man he loved most in the world tucked in behind him. And then, in a moment he'd waited 15 years to experience, his breath was taken away as they sped down the track on that beautiful December morning.