Dennis Miller on Skiing Tenaya Lake

Search
Go

Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
This thread has been locked
Messages 1 - 20 of total 26 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Don Lauria

Trad climber
Bishop, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Dec 12, 2008 - 08:11pm PT
Here is another contribution to mountain lore from Dennis the Millis ... there was no accounting for the limits to which Bard and Carter could push the needle on the funmeter

Skiing Tenaya Lake by Dennis Miller aka Millis

I'm not certain if it was '82 or '83, my memory is kind of foggy on dates farther back than last year, but it was early in the 80's. It was a Tuolumne Meadows wedding, and I was an invited guest.

The drive from Jackson Hole can be done in two very pleasant days or one very long, grueling ordeal, especially in an old van with a bad muffler and no tunes! I chose the latter. Nevada can be a boring place if Nevada isn't where one wants to be. I left the "Hole" at four in the morning and made it to Montgomery Pass just as the sun was setting over the Sierra Range. I managed to make it to the Tuolumne Meadows campground by midnight. I had no sooner got into my bag and fallen asleep when I was awakened by the crunch of pine needles. Something, or someone was creeping up on my campsite in the middle of the night. Bears, raccoons, perhaps park rangers looking for a midnight bust.

And then I beard a familiar voice, it was Tom Carter. "There he is A.B! Allan answered, "How can you tell, it's so dark?" Tom replied, "Geez, look at that bag and that mop of hair, its Millis all right, no one else would be caught dead in that sleeping bag!"

True, I had a bad habit of keeping sleeping bags years past their dumpster due date. Taco sauce, burn holes, grease, pancake batter, poor patch jobs over even poorer patch jobs, and stains of unknown origins pretty much covered the outside and inside of my bags. Hey, it was my trademark! Anyway, Tom gently tugged on my hair, "Hey Millis, good to see you old pal, let's go skiing!"

"What the hell are you talking about pal, it's the middle of summer!" I could see Bardini's mischievous smile even in the pitch darkness. "No one said anything about snow Millis, get your ass up, now!"

We made our way down to the parking lot and found Allan's old faded-orange Opel hidden amongst all the shiny new pickups, sports cars, and yuppy mobiles lining the tightly packed lot. On top of the Opel was a single water ski strapped on with several lengths and widths of nylon webbing. "What the hell, you guys are nuts!", I mumbled.

"Right!" Allan replied, "and you're not!" We all laughed, it was going to be another epic adventure.

It was still quite dark when we got to the west end of Tenaya Lake. There were absolutely no cars on the road - the night was still and very chilly. Allan and Tom began getting dressed for the cold water while I tied the perlon ropes to the back of the Opel. Allan was first.

I drove while Tom hung out the window of the passenger side yelling reassuring words to Allan as he sat in the frigid water waiting for the rope to tighten up and snap him out of the near freezing water. After several near fatal headlong dives into the alpine water, Allan was up.

I watched the speedometer as Allan swung away from the shoreline. Ten, twenty, thirty miles an hour. When I hit thirty-two miles an
hour, Allan screamed and disappeared into the murky depths. Just as suddenly, his head popped up from the water and he burst loose with a thundering scream. "Yahoo, skiing the high country!"

Allan grabbed the ski and managed to get to the shoreline as Tom pulled in the rope and I coiled it. Allan dried off as best he could. He was coughing up enough water to brew coffee for ten people, but still smiling and laughing "Did you see that?" he yelled out. "The first water skiers on Tenaya Lake!" I said that it was probably illegal to ski on the lake, but Tom said it was probably forbidden to ski on the lake from a boat, but no one had said anything about using a car, right?

Tom was next. Once again I drove and, as Tom sat in the water waiting for the snap of the rope, all I could envision was me next. I don't think so, no way, Jose!

Now you must remember, Tom Carter was born with skis on his tiny little feet. His mother claims it was a difficult birth, but his innate
talent became evident the second the rope came tight. Tom was up and shooting a rooster tail twenty feet into the air. There was no going back into the water for Tom - not until his ride was over. Ten, twenty, thirty, then forty miles an hour. "Crank it Millisl" Allan yelled.

I finally hit forty-five miles an hour when just ahead, that old dead Lodgepole pine loomed out of dim morning light - you know the one that sticks out of the lake about four fifths of the way up from the south end of the lake."Damn, Tom's going to get creamed by that old tree!" I yelled.

By the time I stopped the car, just a few feet before the rope could tangle with the Lodgepole, Tom had let go of the tow line and
was already swimming toward shore, ski in hand.

Just as we were packing the ski and ropes away, an old pickup truck stacked high with furniture and an assortment of children passed by, and from the cab of the truck we could hear one of the kids yell out, "Hey dad, they got water skiing here, I love Yosemite!"

Sunlight was hitting the tops of the surrounding domes and we was decided the skiing was over for the day. I let out a great sigh of relief. Saved by the sun!

Breakfast at the Tuolumne grill was superb. Later that day, Park Ranger Paul Cowan cornered the three of us and asked us if we
had any idea who might have been waterskiing on Tenaya Lake using an orange Opel sedan as a ski boat. "Got no idea, Paul, you
know we're law abiding citizens just visiting this magnificent national park."

Yeah, like we would tell Ranger Cowan .....
 
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Dec 12, 2008 - 08:21pm PT
"there was no accounting for the limits to which Bard and Carter could push the needle on the funmeter"
Don Lauria

Trad climber
Bishop, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 12, 2008 - 08:23pm PT
Allan and Tom were always redlining it!
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Dec 12, 2008 - 08:26pm PT
Card & Barter???
WBraun

climber
Dec 12, 2008 - 08:26pm PT
Ha ha I remember this one like yesterday. It was yesterday wasn't it?

hahaha .... Pettigrew kept blackballing Cowan from getting on Sar for awhile.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Dec 12, 2008 - 08:28pm PT
Ever heard Tom tell the story where he and A.B. somehow got invited to a fashion show and there was food there, and TEQUILA, and they ended up winging Oscar Mayer Wiener treats, "piggies in a blanket" maybe, all over the populated banquet room?
Don Lauria

Trad climber
Bishop, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 12, 2008 - 08:37pm PT
Here's the meter still pinned to Allan's white cap. Notice that it's still red-lined.

Lynne Leichtfuss

Social climber
valley center, ca
Dec 12, 2008 - 10:05pm PT
Great Thread here Don Lauria. Where do I get me one of those Fun Meter thingies? What a great reminder on how to live. New Years resolution ..... aim for the red line. Cheers, Lynne

Ps. Ensemble for the New Year. Paisley clothes and a Fun O' Meter. Sounds Grate to me.
Don Lauria

Trad climber
Bishop, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 12, 2008 - 10:16pm PT
This was actually Allan's. He obviously got it from BUHS (Bishop Union High School). I was teaching there at the time and I have no idea where he got it or who produced them or for what purpose they came into being.

Looking back, if I had known they were available, I would have acquired a dozen or so.

east side underground

Trad climber
crowley ca
Dec 13, 2008 - 01:47am PT
card& barter could also be seen skiing in gorilla suits on mammoth as i remember. fun hogs to the core
Doug Robinson

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Dec 13, 2008 - 10:25am PT
Yeah, one of those days skiing beautifully, just fully shredding, Allan started skiing up to flailers; he'd hockey-stop and say, "Take a lesson!"
mastadon

Trad climber
Tahoe
Dec 13, 2008 - 10:40am PT

Fun meter buttons....

http://trainingsys.com/resources/funmeters.htm
Michelle

Trad climber
El Frickin' Paso
Dec 13, 2008 - 11:16am PT
maybe there should be supertaco funmeter buttons for sale...
hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
Dec 13, 2008 - 01:07pm PT
Thanks Don
It made me laugh out loud-kids were wondering what Dad was up to
Don Lauria

Trad climber
Bishop, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 13, 2008 - 02:10pm PT
Oh, goodie!
Thanks for the fun meter source Mastadon.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Social climber
valley center, ca
Dec 13, 2008 - 04:07pm PT
Mastadon, Yo the Greatest Guy !!!!!!

Guess who's getting some for my crazy families Christmas Stockings ???
tom Carter

Trad climber
CA
Dec 13, 2008 - 05:36pm PT
Millis has it pretty close. And he was a mess that morning. Pretty funny tying the rope through the car windows to get the rope high enough to clear the bank. As now the doors were tied shut we had to climb through the windows to get into the Opal. I skied first and was so excited that when taking over as driver I yarded Allan right out water superman style (cars have soooo much more friction than boats). So we had to re-start. One car passed us going west while AB was skiing. Millis and I were in hysterics - they were standing up in the front seat pointing at AB arching way out into the lake. The rope was an 11mm Fantasia tied to a piece of pipe (handle) so at 150 or 165 feet we were not within the Federal Waterskiing Association regulations?

The skis were picked up at a yard sale in Fresno by a good friend. And since the skis had a pair Mallards on the top deck we called ourselves the "Lame Duck Ski Team". Cowan was beside himself (he didn't turn us in) but "morally" his knowledge of the crime made him complicit (in his mind)! Anyway we always figured we would do it again and the skis stayed in Tuolumne under Tarbuster's and my tent for a decade or so until Messick rescued them from the cleanup crew one fall. They are down in Midpine somewhere?

As for the Gorilla suits, I have to post a photo with the help of Mastadons scanner and DSL. Those were some good days. I remember when Allan, to give the fashion police a fit showed up to a "chic" ski event wearing oven mitts for gloves and a tea cozy as a hat. I think our team won the charity race?

As for the Tequilla even I didn't drink that stuff for at least 10 years after the "event". But I do remember never having as much fun being so belligerent. Tequilla does buy you diplomatic immunity - right? Someday I must reveal that bizarre and twisted evening.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Dec 13, 2008 - 09:00pm PT
Something rather gallant about those two fun hogs Carter and Bard, flinging weenies through the air during the reception of haute couture...
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Dec 14, 2008 - 12:01pm PT
I think what everyone here is struggling to say is simply posed in the following way:

Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Dec 14, 2008 - 12:24pm PT
Ha!
Nevermind the Gorilla suits.

Someday, there will be rubber masks of Carter & Bardini, and we'll all have a chance to stretch one of those down over our mugs and go forth reeking of merriment and jest (less the skills on the boards), our fun meter buttons pegged to the red-line!!!
Messages 1 - 20 of total 26 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Return to Forum List
 
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks


Try a free sample topo!

 
SuperTopo on the Web

Recent Route Beta