Short Bridges to GREAT Skiers!



We started driving North from Pennsylvania towards the Piskura’s in New Fairfield, CT.  A wonderful gift we recieved from Lauren’s dad before our trip,  a TomTom.  You type in your destination and off you go, right?  Wrong!  After we went over the George Washington bridge our crazy TomTom told us to get onto 9A.  I have taken this route many times in the past driving home towards New Hampshire and I never remembered taking this road.??  Whatever, maybe we have to go a little more West then normal so I’ll go with it.

Next thing I know we are in Manhattan with a sign stating the height of the bridge just ahead. 11 ft. 6 inches.  I new we were over eleven feet but I did not know by how much.  “Lauren, open that manual and see if you can find our height!” I yell.  You would have think I would have known our height before we left, right?  Wrong! Haha  After spending more than an hour maneuvering all the doubled parked cars in Manhattan I finally found my way back to the highway!

We get onto the highway and start cruising finally!  An hour later the TomTom tells me to get back onto 9A.  I doubt the directions this time but Lauren continues to tell me that is what it is saying to do!  I pull away from the exit and at the last minute take the exit onto 9A again.  Why, I’m not sure but let’s just get there!

I failed to say that one of our jacks came down earlier and I spent an hour working on it so I was just ready to be done with this leg of the tour!

I see a cop car following me and next thing I see are red and blue lights.  I pull over in hopes to have no ticket handed towards me.  He asked us a few questions and then told us to take the next exit.  I asked why and he said, “This is a New York (Parkway) and RV’s are not allowed on Parkways.  He continues to tell me that the next bridge is about “this high” as he points half way up our door.  “Yeah, it about eight foot high.  “Thank you so much for stopping us Officer!” I reply.

We pulled into the Piskura’s around 10:00pm tired as could be.  We caught up quickly with each other and made our plan for the morning.

We arrived at the “Kahuna” site I grew up competing on to find glass water.  Joining us was Pete Sylvester.  We set out towards the lake because of the crew (scullers) were hogging the river.  As we skied out to the lake the wind began to blow.  We searched for miles only to find a few patches of decent water.  The plan was to head back to the river in hopes that the scullers would be gone.  We ended up getting lucky with water and skied till lunch.  Lorraine spoiled us with a catered lunch, which I have never experienced at a clinic before.  Enough food to eat later at dinner too!

Jim Piskura has a love for barefooting.  During the clinic Jim worked on his step over turns.  As with many skiers it’s hard to make a change, but once Jim figured out the step over turn was much easier he was happy to keep working on getting it correct.  Consistency is important for great skiers like Jim.

Working the turn

Lorraine Piskura is such a clean and beautiful skier!  She is working on her back one foot wake crosses and turns.  When at the level things become extremely challenging.  Technique must be perfect and falls can be a little brutal if not careful.  Lorraine jams her back wake slalom on shoes but the next big step is doing it on her feet, which she has done in the past.

Front Slalom- Lorraine Piskura

Lorraine Working Her Turns

Pete learned a few new things on the water and was ecstatic about his foot’n!  Pete also owns Sherman Hardware and I was able to get the tour later on.  He is a hard worker and built this business up in nine years and is now ready to sell it to enjoy his retirement. Checkout Pete’s back toe hold!

Happy Footer!

Back Toe Hold- Pete

Eric Gorman joined us for the afternoon set and worked on his back deep starts.  I was able to get him riding his position longer and make his back deep starts more consistent.  Like most people, he has a hard time breaking at the waist when trying to stand but he has full understanding of it now.

Eric Gorman

Eric was kind enough to invite us to his White Silo Farm Winery that afternoon.  We were all excited about that.  Eric works in New York City during the week but helps his dad run the winery on the weekends.  The winery is a hobby for him but he’s working on growing it into a business that will support his family in the coming years.  I fell in love with the Rhubarb Wine, which is something new his father came up with.  Lauren loved the Sweet Blackberry wine and when mixing both of them they call it a Sangria that is to die for!  Thank you Eric for the gift of the two bottles!  Cannot wait to drink them!

On the second day we arrived at the lake early only to find the wind blowing down the pipe.  Everyone attempted to ski but I had to draw the line and say it just wasn’t worth it.  Trying to learn new tricks in choppy water just isn’t the right way to learn.  We had 30mph winds with gusts up to 40mph hour so we called it at about 11am.  We headed back to the Piskura’s and jumped into the Jacuzzi to warm up. 

Later that evening Jim, Lorraine, Pete and Pete’s daughter Emma, Lauren and I went to a restaurant on Candlewood Lake.  We could not leave without stopping by John Shwanke’s house/museum for a quick chat.   John goes way back to being a driver and judge at the second World Championship held.  He has driven many Regional and National tournaments.  He is also known for building stages on Broadway and the first stages for the band KISS as they went on tour.

The hospitality of the Piskura’s are second to none and we thank them from the bottom of our heart!

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