The Wandering Skier Part One: Jackson, NH

Mount Washington’s summit was covered in clouds as I drove towards Jackson, NH. Everything’s bigger in New Hampshire: much as I love the Adirondacks, the White Mountains a positively gargantuan in scale.

Looking east from Prospect Farm Trailhead

Decades ago, I drove to the western Catskills on a Friday night. On Saturday, I roller skied around one of the reservoirs with three other people, including a nordic athlete who’d gone to the Paralympics. That afternoon, I drove to Virgil NY and camped out near a bullring where dirt track race cars snorted and roared.

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Prospect Mountain: Too Much is Just Enough

The cliffs of the Trapps escarpment glowed pink with the sunrise as I drove up the Thruway. When you work weekends, you ski on Tuesday. With the impending holiday, I wanted to get at least one more day on skis before the end of the year.

Prospect Lodge

Between New Paltz and Kingston, a Volvo station wagon hurtled past me, going 85 mph at least. The vanity tag read “TREESKI.” I know Harv favors Honda CRVs, who else might it be?

Diving off the Thruway in Troy, I had smooth sailing up Route 7 towards Bennington. In Pittstown, I saw the scar of land where the long-abandoned Moon Wink Motel had been demolished.

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Mount van Hoevenberg: The Calm Before

Mount van Hoevenberg, December 6th: my first day on snow. You can’t control the weather, so while my drive to then north country on the preceding day was sunny, 6th December was anything but.

Pitchoff Mountain view

After driving up on Monday, I woke up at 1:45 AM after 4 hours’ sleep. I couldn’t relax, so I dropped a Xanax (DEA, I have a scrip). Invariably, I sleep well but wake up later than I would like. I moved slow in the morning, and by the time I arrived at the Ho, it was raining.

The gloom was offset by the sliding athletes I saw as I hauled my gear to the lodge.

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