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Bring back Detroit Mountain, memories

When I was little, I looked forward to the weekends the most. Those were the days when my dad and mom took my brother and me out to Detroit Mountain to downhill ski.

Detroit Mountain is where I learned to ski when I was 3 years old. My absolute favorite run was Chipmunk; I just couldn't get enough of it. I remember heading down that winding dirt road that seemed to be out in the middle of nowhere. The ride to get there seemed to take forever even though it was only about 10 minutes long.

The lodge was big and cozy, just how I liked it. It reminded me of the big ski resorts out west. My dad would buy the four of us tickets and we would be ready to go. Of course there was always the usual fussing around (mostly done by me) and the last minute bathroom trips.

The lodge had these huge windows overlooking the runs and lifts, and I would love to sit and stare out the window while the tickets were being purchased. I loved to see all the fast skiers doing crazy things, and I would hope that I would someday be able to ski like them.

When we would ski, I would mostly just bomb the hills. Once I got going, there was almost no stopping me from going straight down as fast as I could. Feeling the wind rush into my face is one of my favorite feelings in the world. Being a little child just made it 10 times better.

On the backside of the hill, there was a "steep" run. I remember being so scared that my parents would just ski down and leave me at the top. I then realized that it wasn't so steep, and the bombing of the hill commenced.

The run was serviced with a t-bar (a bar in the shape of a T that you sit on) that I had some trouble riding. I couldn't understand the concept of how to get on. I finally got it down after a huge number of tries.

Sadly, after an accident on the hill the place was shut down. No more weekend trips to go night skiing with my family. No more follow the leader down all the jumps on Chipmunk. No more trying to win the race against my brother to get up that last uphill into the lodge. Until recently, I didn't realize that we can bring this all back.

I really miss Detroit Mountain. I really miss being able to ski down Chipmunk. I have been lucky enough to ski at Winter Park, Steamboat and Copper Mountain in Colorado and Bridger Bowl and Whitefish in Montana, but there is no substitute for a ski hill in your backyard. At Detroit Mountain, you ski with your best friends. I now realize that with a little campaigning and a little support from people who miss it just as much as I do, we can bring it back.

The time to act is now. Show your support! Donate your time and your money! Do what you can! The mountain can be a hustling, bustling place of winter activity again. Let's get going!

Having Detroit Mountain back up and running would be great. It would give people all around a place to ski. Driving to Alexandria or Bemidji to ski will no longer be necessary because there will be a place right in our backyard. Detroit Mountain will bring people to Detroit Lakes.

We are well on our way to recovering the old mountain. Trails are being mapped. Lifts are being planned. I am looking forward to the day when I get to glide down those trails and ride up those lifts again. The day when all my memories of skiing there as a child come back to me. And someday maybe, the place where I can teach my own children to ski, just like Mom and Dad did for me. Berit Ramstad Skoyles is a sophomore at Detroit Lakes High School.