When we last saw our hero, he was taunting the world with an image of an island beach, yet unknown to him a the time, fate would have other episodes in store before his Hawaiian departure. With his island vacation less than a day away, our intrepid hero decided to take advantage of the building snowpack and dust off his cross-country skis. When he arrived at Lake Herman State Park, however, he found that his little two-wheel drive Ranger wouldn't make it through the unplowed entrance. Undeterred, he parked the vehicle and strapped on his skis for the first time in years, heading out over the wind-whipped snow drifts toward the relative shelter of trees half a mile away. Never one to follow convention, our hero sought the shortest route to the trees, over the field of cattails and snow. This decision proved to be fateful. As he glided high over the wetlands, his skis nicked the tops of the cattail stems, the shelter of trees coming ever closer. Yet suddenly, the lightly packed snow in the cattail field gave way, depositing the surprised skier into a snow pit with only his head visible. Our hero could see the road only yards away, the shelter of the trees within a minute's walk, yet there he stood in a snow pit surrounded by snow and cattails.
Never one to give up, however, our hero struggled to pull his skis up, widened the hole, and released the latch holding each ski. Once he had them off, he calmly used them as supports on the ever-collapsing snow surrounding him, and eventually once again was perched on the surface of the six-foot snow drift. Carefully crawling along the surface of the snow, our hero wisely used his skis to keep himself from once again falling through, and soon emerged at the side of the road, with never a car passing to note his embarrassment.
Only barely into the ski session he had planned for himself, our hero assessed the situation, dusted himself off, and put his skis back on. Soon he was in the trees, the wind now reduced to swaying the treetops, and he blazed a trail through the park just as he had planned. Squirrels and deer, pheasants and rabbits, none of them spoke of the narrow escape of our hero as he glided through the park, then back again, then finally taking a shortcut once again across the lake, returning to the park entrance weary and satisfied, ready for the beach.