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Horton’s Southern Fried Baller Safari - Day 4 & 5


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Feeling like we had skied more in the previous few days than we do most weeks and slightly foggy from drinking all of Scoke’s booze, Dave and I got back in the rental to go to “Jones Town” in Lafayette. Slightly less late and lost than the previous 3 days, we arrived at their lake just after lunch.

I first met them when I was in college 20 years ago. At the time Lynda was an Open rated jumper and Scot was a technical slalom up-and-comer. 2 decades and 3 kids later they seem to be as devoted to skiing as ever. Scot’s slalom is technical and impressive by any standard. Lynda’s slalom is pretty darn good but when Scot is not within earshot she admits she misses jumping. My kind of woman.

It is fun to see friends from years back, live the dream. They will break ground on their lake-side house in a few weeks. There is idle chatter about how someday thier kids can build their own houses on the lake. The lake itself is a perfect training ground. It skis great and is only a few minutes from town.

Dave, Scot, Lynda and I all skied before Scot had to get back to work. Dave and I hung out to watch the kids ski. All three of us adults had good sets but the kids clearly had the most fun. The photos should tell you all you need to know about Jones Town. I am pretty envious of Scot and Lynda.

Two lakes to go and 3 or 4 hours left in the car, we headed to Shreveport to see Ward and Kim McLain at Olde Ward’s Pond. Ride number 10 on lake number 10 was starting to sound daunting. The Safari was my idea so I had to strap in and run some balls. I skied pretty good and then got in the boat to abuse the local Canadian. Sometimes my coaching is more comedy than helpful. I think I may have caused him to crash.

Some of Ward’s neighbors and club members skied, as well as Wards' wife, Kim, son Logan and daughter Landry aka “The Pterodactyl”. Dave mounted up my demo Razor and took it for a ride. If you look at the slideshow carefully you will see that his first pass was almost VERY entertaining. As expected it was a fun evening at Olde Ward’s Pond.

As with Scot and Lynda, I met Ward 20 years ago. I got to know him better a few years ago when I did the Ski Tests for Water Ski Magazine. Since then I have looked to Ward for slalom advice. Ward is truly a slalom monster. There are a few skiers around that may run as many balls but no one is more fun to watch from the boat as “The Dawg”. If you want to see how to turn 90 degrees and get across the lake in a hurry (at 41 off) you need to watch Ward.

Ward and Kim’s house has been ground zero for some interesting nights over the years. Every time I have been there the house is full of old ski friends and their kids. Something happens when we start cracking beers in that kitchen. As the kids to go bed and beers bottles empty, the stories get more interesting. The writers of “The Hangover” could learn from Ward’s stories about our mutual friends, Wally and Stinky.

Friday morning we drove 5 miles to Joe Darwin’s “The Lakes at Cottonwood” for the final ride of the Safari. This was also my practice ride for the upcoming weekend’s record tournament. As if by divine providence, this was also one of the best rides of my life. It seems like every time I go to Cottonwood and Joe is driving, I get one magic ride. Everything clicked and I ran straight through to 2 @ 39. My old nemesis Mark Schneewind tried to sabotage me by screeming at me from the boat as I rounded 4 ball at 38. There is a reason why the best skiers in the world like to ski at Cottonwood. When I returned to the dock the Safari was officially over and I was exhausted.
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Olde Ward's Pond is excellent. I will let Horton write it up as I am sure it will be interesting. It was nice of John to include photos of my first 1 to 2 ball on the Razor. The attached photos are before and after the pond. They will give you an idea of what went on.



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What I forget to mention in the above post is that this girl skis way better than I do.



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