Why I Ski or Ride | Chapter 2: Snowbirds to Skiers

Why I Ski or Ride | Chapter 2: Snowbirds to Skiers

A series of stories from skiers and riders, and why they love what they do.


Chapter 2: Snowbirds to Skiers

Part 1

My husband and I got into skiing later in life, if you can call 50 "later in life." When our kids were little, they skied and boarded. But the cost was too much for us to buy the passes and all the equipment.

We went to Hawaii in January of 2007, our first vacation without kids. Our son had just graduated and was working (for Boyne, I might add). When we returned, he suggested that we find something to keep us active through the winter months, so he took us skiing.

That first time, we got to the Highlands after going to 10:00 am mass, so we got there about 11:30 am. Not having been a skier, we didn’t know how much of a difference first tracks make.

We rode up Camelot and did that run a few times. Wheeee! Then we moved over to the Heather. Wow! What a difference that ski lift made! Then after doing Heather a few times, he suggested we try Olympic. Oops! My first fall. No biggie, I thought. Tried again. Fell again. Needless to say, I was freaked out and wouldn’t do that run for the rest of the year. But I’ll tell you this - I was hooked. I LOVED SKIING! Everything about it.

That first winter, we only went a half dozen times, but I knew what my future winters would look like. We bought our first season passes at the spring sale, so we were set for 07/08. That fall, I went to Boyne Country Sports with my son. Bought everything! Complete outfit, all the accessories, new boots, and skis. I couldn’t wait for the snow!

Had a great year. Got better every time, which was every Saturday and Sunday. Who wants to go to Florida to escape the snow? Not me!!! We loved it so much that we even started talking about taking a family trip out west.

Got lucky and booked a week at a timeshare near Beaver Creek. I’ll never forget that first time driving from the airport towards Vail and Beaver Creek. The mountains were so big! On that trip, we had five adults in a one-bedroom condo unit. But who cared! Not me for sure.

On the first ski day, we went to Breckenridge. I was so nervous. But I knew this was it for me. After that first trip in March of 2009, we took a ski trip out west every year, except for 2021. We didn’t want to deal with all the issues with Covid protocols.

Our trip in 2020 was for three glorious weeks; we have a 4-week trip planned for 2022 starting February 4. We drive now and have the mile marker noted where we can first see the mountains.

I could have winter weather nine months of the year, as long as I could ski. That’s my story.

- Terri Niezgoda


"The cold never bothered me anyway!"


Part 2

Ahh, the memories. We moved up to the Petoskey area in 1982 to start our family - and have stayed right here. I am 65-years-old now and started skiing when I was 50. I never thought I would be skiing, let alone build a passion for it. I love heat and summer and always thought we would retire somewhere warm.

When my wife and I turned 50, we decided to take our son's advice and learn to ski, enjoy winter, and build lasting family memories. So cold, too hard, and so much trouble, I thought. Well, how wrong I was! We learned how to ski on the Boyne Mountain and Boyne Highlands trails. In the first year of our son teaching us, I got hooked. So much so that in the next couple of years, I was going night skiing to get extra runs in because I was still working 50 hours or more a week.

After a few years, we took our family to Colorado for a ski week. That sealed the deal. Now we sharpen our skills and appetite for skiing all week at the Boyne Resorts, then travel to other winter ski areas for our vacations.

We have skied Boyne's Sugarloaf Mountain on the east coast, Vail, and seven other resorts in Colorado. Lake Tahoe in California and Boyne's Big Sky Resort in Montana. We caught the ski bug so deeply that when my wife retired, I gave her an "Around the World" ski coupon (how convenient for me!). We are working on it.

So... from not skiing to skiing a month out west almost every year, it is safe to say it has changed our lives unequivocally for the better. Warmly, we look forward to many more miles and memories on the Boyne trails every year with our kids and grandchildren.

- David Niezgoda


"The mountains are calling, and I must go!"

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