Thursday, December 27, 2001

At Snowshoe

We had a fun 3-day trip to Snowshoe. Winter came late this year, so we only got one day to ski. But we made our own fun, and it was a nice opportunity to "get away from it all." I figure it was the first vacation from work I took that didn't involve somebody's wedding, or bunking at somebody's house.

Snowshoe as a resort was not exactly ready for visitors. The person who checked us in needed help to do so, the staff told conflicting stories about the availability of night skiing, the snack bar person had to ask for help ringing people up, a waitress was unfamiliar with the menu, the ski instructor didn't know what to do with our lesson tickets, etc. Each thing was minor, but it added up to an overall impression. Also, you'd think the lack of snow would lead them to arrange more activities, but the new aquatic center did not open until the day we left, and the comedy club opened up right after Christmas.

The snow itself they didn't have much control over. (Well, except for the fact that they made it, but they couldn't start until the week of our visit due to unseasonable temperatures.) As a result, they only had one trail top to bottom. (And one at the Silver Creek area, which we should have visited, but didn't.) After a few runs on the very crowded bunny slope, we headed to the top-to-bottom trail. Unfortunately, it was icy and not all beginner (green) terrain. More unfortunately, all the idiots on the mountain were zooming down it. (Not strictly true: some guy in a Jaguars jacket backed into me while we were in the lift line on the easy slope. Later, we saw him fall over trying to walk in the snack bar door.)

Here's something I realized: most people zooming down the mountain weren't good skiers. They just didn't know how to stop.

After a 2nd discouraging run down the mountain, Christina and I decided we needed a lesson to bring our skills close to where they were last season. It was a pretty good two-hour long affair, but by the end we were exhausted. The night skiing question was moot. On my last run on the bunny slope, my goal was to exercise all my newly acquired technique, but I ended up as the recipient of a snowboard in the shin. So I skied the last half straight toward the lodge yelling, "Ow."

The two best things that Snowshoe did were Saturday night fireworks and dinner at the Junction. But the overall best thing about the trip was hanging out with friends and throwing our cares to the wind.

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