Every spring when the season is over, I head to the cabin to turn off the heat, stack the wood for next winter and get the trails in shape for summer. I’m productive enough, but really it’s just another reason to return to my favorite place in the world.
Traditionally the spring work weekend was in early May, before the black flies had their game on. But over the last ten years the bugs are emerging earlier and we’ve moved spring weekend into April. Even this year it hardly feels like the ski season is over.
I arrived Friday afternoon and took a quick walk of the yellow trail. It was dry and I was surprised to find little deadfall; small consolation for the thinnest winter in memory.
When I got the email Friday night that Saturday’s little league games were cancelled due to weather, I knew what to do. I loaded up the truck and headed to Vermont for one more last day of skiing.
Barring another schedule clearing miracle this was likely the end of my ski season. So at 9:30 on Friday night I set out for The Beast of the East.
Saturday was also the day of the Bear Mountain Mogul Challenge. It says something about the year we’re having that the event wasn’t held on Outer Limits, for possibly the first time in history. Bear Mountain is closed for the season and the event was being held at Killington Base Lodge.
With the start of little league baseball season and the early closing of southern New York’s ski industry, it would have been understandable if I didn’t ski this weekend. The truth is I’m not ready to give up on the season yet.
My Saturday was full and, yeah, my local options were gone but I figured with a little ingenuity and determination, I could still squeeze out another ski day. That’s how I found myself jumping on the Thruway in Rockland County around 9:30 on Saturday night.
Destination Whiteface, over four hours away. I drove until 1 AM, settled into an unobtrusive spot (not saying where exactly) and crawled into the back of my truck. Something woke me up before dawn and I couldn’t get back to sleep so I got back on the road. I ended up in the River Lot at 7:30, drinking coffee and twiddling my thumbs.