I planned a last minute ski trip to Killington Mountain. At first, I thought I'd just go up to New York state to ski solo for a few days, but as luck would have it, Yvonne, my friend and original gangster ski partner, had a 4-day block of time free from her weird pilot schedule. And as a bonus, Kelly was already going to be there. So after Yvo suggested driving 2 more hours to ski Killington, the answer was obvious. We booked a sweet hotel and headed North.
The ride up was an adventure all in its own - we drove through the windy Vermont mountain roads in the pitch dark. We passed by the Ben and Jerry's that I went to last summer, and I thought about how excited I was to see Killington under snow the next day. I skiied it years ago, but that was before the mountain meant anything to me. The last time I was on Killington, Persistent and I camped below the summit on a squishy bed of pine needles after watching the sunset, and the time prior to that was on my thru hike, where my feet fell apart and turned to hamburger meat on the ascent. I also recall Rocket having a mini melt-down at the gondola, after we couldn't find water anywhere. I'll forever love the time I spent on that mountain, destroyed feet and all.
We woke up early to hit the trails. After a small debacle with my skis, we took the gondola up and carved our way down a few green trails to warm up. It felt amazing to get back out there after a long, 5 year hiatus. By the second run, I was ready to tear it up - it wasn't long before I went balls to the wall and was flying around the mountain. One crash later and I was happy I had my helmet on.
The upper 1,000 feet of the mountain was completely snow-covered and beautiful, and the weight of the snow made the tree branches hang low. The wind whipped hard, but I didn't care, it was too beautiful to realize that my fingers had gone numb.
After we tore it up on the mountain all day, we rewarded ourselves with dinner at the Long Trail Inn, a beloved AT stop. The Inn also has my favorite recipe for Irish Soda Bread, so of course I indulged. I also had a Guiness, complete with a shamrock crafted into the head. A true talent. Kelly and I shared trail stories over our beers, and talked about how much we missed it. Sometimes it feels like just yesterday, and sometimes like it was in another lifetime.
Yvonne and I had a kick-ass breakfast at Sugar and Spice, complete with Grade B pure Vermont maple sizzurp. I could drink that stuff, it's like liquid crack. Rocket always brings me a colossal can of Canadian maple syrup every time she visits Montreal, so she helps feed my heinous addiction. What a good friend.
The abbreviated trip to Vermont was a much-needed and well-deserved break before getting back to school in another 2 weeks, and also taking on a second job. I recently described my upcoming semester to a friend as "pure unadulterated hell," so I will rest my brain while I can. Which reminds me, I need to apply to schools now for the fall semester, so that will be another whole adventure in itself. I've already decided on a few that I'd like to apply to, and perhaps Vermont will creep back onto the list.
Things I learned on this adventure: Shortie skis are nearly as fun as ski blades, getting snow up your back will always suck, and there's no such thing as too much maple syrup. Period.
A few photos from my little Vermont adventure. And a video of Kelly and I, courtesy of Yvonne, who was crazy enough to video with her phone while skiing.