This past weekend, for the first time in quite a while, I didn't have to ski on Saturday and Sunday. That doesn't mean I didn't want to ski, but there was no requirement to be out there.
After a hard workout last Tuesday and two hard skiing days on Wednesday and Thursday, Friday was a rest day. My wife and I even stopped by Three Penny Taproom in Montpelier on the way home from work to enjoy some of their great beverages and food.
Saturday we slept in a bit, due to freezing rain the night before. We knew the mountain would be icy to start, so there was no hurry to get there. It was almost noon before we were ready to ski. We skied one warm-up run with some friends and then took a break for lunch. After that, we pretty much skied until the lifts closed. We skied a few runs off the Lincoln Peak summit, but things were pretty icy and sketchy even in the afternoon. My two ski school buddies (both Level 3 PSIA certified - I'm only a 2) wanted to push to harder terrain. I wanted to ski with my wife, on terrain where she would be comfortable. So, we split up for the second half of the afternoon. While my buddies explored Paradise and Castlerock, we headed to North Lynx to enjoy some intermediate bump runs and easier black diamond terrain. And, a little after 4:00 we all re-convened at our favorite post-skiing location, the Castlerock Pub.
We were looking at the TV monitor that always shows local weather, and options for Sunday didn't look so good - rain and freezing rain overnight, and then some altitude based snowfall on Sunday. Earlier in the week, it had looked like Sunday's snowfall would be significant, but by now, it was looking more and more like rain, with a lot less potential snow. As we left, I told my friends that I probably wouldn't ski on Sunday. They said they'd text me with a conditions report, but one of them also told my wife they would say it was great no matter what.
Sunday morning, I slept in. I caught up on internet stuff and drank a lot of coffee. I had a late breakfast. I worked on my taxes for a while. I tied some flies. I cooked. I had a nice pile of wild mushrooms that I was cooking with grass-fed rib-eyes for dinner. I had black trumpets, hedgehog, and yellowfoot chanterelles for the wild mushrooms, plus a pile of non-wild shiitake mushrooms. My wife and I made an afternoon trip into town to get a first look at One Main Tap and Grill, a new restaurant that had opened downtown a week or so ago. Clearly, they must have been busy, because only 16 of their 21 tap lines had any beer or cider at all. They had sold out of quite a few flavors, but good options remained. I was relieved to see mostly local beers and high quality craft brews from out of state. No mega-breweries occupied the tap lines, although PBR and Bud Light were available by the can or bottle.
We took some fries home for my daughter (I swear she eats every 90 minutes) and I cooked dinner. We drank our last bottle of 1993 Chateau Montelena Reserve Cabernet with the steaks. It was amazing and I'm sorry that it was the last one.
Ski season isn't over yet. I hope to ski in May of this year. But, after being gone all day Saturday and Sunday all winter, it was nice to spend a weekend with my wife. If I wasn't teaching, we could ski together all the time, but that just doesn't happen.
We will ski this coming weekend. But, the weekend after that is the trout season opener, and I will skip skiing that weekend to fish with my son in a fly fishing tournament. We do it for fun and I'm sure we will never win anything, but it's also a fund-raiser for a group that does a lot of work to preserve one of VT's best trout streams.
Sometime in April, I'm planning to ski and fly fish in the same day - something I've never done before.
Today or tomorrow, we expect to see 50 degrees for the first time in a long, long time.