It was the worst of times, it was the best of times. It was February and a dead brown stretched across the hills of NY like a widow’s veil. My eyes mourned for winters past and for winters yet to come.
But under my feet it was different. Under my feet were my favorite pair of skis and soft, beautiful snow. Yes by Dickens, this has been the winter of despair. Killington has had less snowfall than New York City. Puffy parkas are languishing in backs of closets alongside wedding dresses and graduation gowns.
But I’m here to quell your fears. Skiing isn’t dead yet. This ski season isn’t dead. I can assure you, for I found meaning in the Catskills this past week at Plattekill and Hunter.
As I waved goodbye to Matt from the motel parking lot, it dawned on me: if, for some reason, my friend Sean couldn’t make the drive up from the city that night so we could ski the next day as we’d planned — I’m screwed.
I didn’t have much cell service, I didn’t have a car, I don’t even have a license. How would I get home? Wait around the whole week and take the Hunter bus back next weekend? Take a white-knuckle Uber ride back to Queens in some dude’s Camry? Do they even have Uber in Tannersville NY?
I strolled back into the lobby of the infinitely charming and slightly ramshackle Green Mountain View Inn and figured I’d get into the leftover wine from our previous evening and all would work itself out. The universe provides; the universe loves skiing.
In some ways, Hunter is the victim of its own success. On yet another drive up 87 with a recent transplant, I was asked to describe the hill. Being articulate or coherent at a quarter-of-six is hard work, so I settled on my gold standard of sports analogies.
Hunter Mountain is kind of like the Yankees. Even if they win 100 games, the season is a failure if they don’t win the World Series.
Since not everyone knows about Baseball, The Yankees are not only my favorite team but they are historically, the most successful. And in other news, precisely because of this, they have as many passionate detractors as they have casual fans.