Many Spokane natives remember Lou Lou's - the ski shop on the outskirts of downtown. I sure do. During the winter, it's all I heard about on the radio as a kid. Lou Lou's closed in 2002, but Loulou Kneubuhler has opened up The Ski Museum of Spokane in the same building, and let me tell's quite the time machine.

What do I mean by time machine? Well, for one, right when you walk in the door you'll walk along what I like to call, "The Evolution of Skis." This display of skis includes many that were used before The Great Depression. Loulou told me everything I needed to know about the different and evolving designs of each ski (and I needed to know A LOT). I also noticed a semi-evolution of bindings on each ski. Let's just say may we never go back to the vintage technology! Some would smash your ankle in no time.

But the coolest, most interesting ski Loulou has isn't even on the wall when you walk in. Why would that be? Well, this ski is so special it has its own place on a different wall. This ski is so old, it looks like a wood board on an old deck - the kind of ski used between 1870 and 1880 near Glacier National Park, which is where this particular ski was found. It even has a leather binding to hold your boot in. It has to be one of the coolest ski artifacts - and it's right here in Spokane! I can't even imagine skiing down a snowy mountain on a piece of wood!

But vintage skis and bindings aren't the only items on display. I asked Loulou to show me around. He justifiably boasted about every piece of equipment and collector's item in there. Let's see...there was the poster signed by Picabo Street, the signed picture of Warren Miller, the picture of Pope John Paul II holding a pair of skis, Lou's wall of signatures dating back to who knows when, and much more. Loulou revels in giving you all his knowledge like he's giving you his own special present, so pack your questions and ask away!

Speaking of questions, who remembers Magic Mountain? That, for those who don't, was the indoor ski trainer that was quite popular at LouLou's. Magic Mountain didn't implode - it's still there. Though it needs a little dusting. Lou hopes to reopen the training mountain someday. When he does, I want to be the first one on it.

Loulou also hopes to expand his museum and its old newspaper clippings-covered walls. And really, who in Spokane wouldn't want a great big ski museum? You could watch it grow, and dream of how someday, your skis might line up along The Evolution of Skis.

So help Loulou out and visit The Ski Museum of Spokane at 428 E. Pacific Ave. It is open from 2 - 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. The best part? Admission is free!