Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Skiing escapade

Wow ! Couldn't have been better !
Destination: Smuggler's Notch, Vermont

All of us thought, finally some snow (considering the Boston snow drought) and there it was, plenty of it ! It was an excellent drive with the descended 'snow clouds' on the road making it a bit majestic (and cautious one). The following morning caught the marvelous sight of the combination of all colors in the visible light spectrum, yes, oodles of white color everywhere. There was snow all over the place houses trees as wide as your eyes could see and your mind could stretch.

Smuggler's Notch is apparently advertised as one of the best resorts (family) in the northeast. The next couple of days we were going to find out why. All of us were pretty much novice in all skiing and skating activities and only some of us had earlier tried these activities though just a bit here and there.

Some Wiki trivia:

Smugglers' Notch namesake comes from the smugglers almost 200 years ago, who used the thick forest on the mountain range and the caves and caverns along the Long Trail to transport illegal or embargoed goods across the Canadian border. The notch was most likely involved in bootlegging during the prohibition-era of the 1920's, using the same caves as a cache for smuggled Canadian beer, wine, and Spirits. Scenic Smugglers' Notch proper is comprised of the Sterling Mountain/Spruce Peak ridge line to the east, and Mount Mansfield to the west. Extremely steep terrain drops down into the notch where VT route 108 winds through switchbacks below, connecting Smuggler's Notch Resort with adjacent Stowe Mountain a few miles to the south. The road is closed to cars November-April, but open to snowmobile's and winter sports enthusiasts.

The day started with some skiing adventures. After doing all sorts of splits I finally got tired of falling over and took a break. All of us actually had our fair share of bruises and scratches besides the muscle pain at the end of day. (some more than the others though ;) ) However, the sheer joy of going uphill on the assembly line style escalator and coming down with a proud grin on your face was outstanding.

It's a shame that we did not go further up on the lifts but there always a next time. (beside the fear of tumbling down kept us at bay) I wish all these snow resorts had 'onion bhaji' stalls :)

In the evening we tried some snow tubing. (I guess snow is the default prefix to all activities around here) It's nothing but harmless sliding fun in a downhill ride sitting/sleeping on the tube. You can feel the ice-cold wind while cruising down. We had a lot of reruns until the stomach started growling for some food at the end of the day.

A good night's sleep on such a day is utmost necessary and comes to you naturally.

Snowshoes work by distributing the weight of the person over a larger area so that the person's foot doesn't sink completely into the snow, a quality called "flotation". It was the perfect activity to follow up the next day and I would strongly advise accommodating it in your schedule. We were literally diving, jumping and playing in heaps of snow. The river bed was stunning white leaving patches of water in between with more than 2 feet of snow next to it. I did jump/dive onto this 'snow pillow' and enjoyed the setting however it was quite a great ordeal to get out of it and walk back on the road since the more I was trying to get out of the snow the deeper I was eventually sinking.

The trip got over with the Ben & Jerry's factory tour and some Dublin Mudslide :)
Vermont is now embedded in our brains and the slightest mention of snow brings back those fond 'white' memories.

I guess I need another snow trip soon ~!

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