Sunday, March 01, 2009

White country

I must apologize for my two week blogging absence. I was literally away from the technical world for a while. I flew off to NY to meet up with Marathon Man and join the rest of the teachers on a ski trip in upstate New York. Everyone was in the mood to save a dime, so we stayed at a cabin that one of the other teacher’s parents had. It was only 20 minutes from the ski mountain, so it seemed like the perfect deal right. Well we show up and realize it is a SUMMER cabin, meaning it was totally not warm! Well more like down right freezing. The cabin had zero insulation and was in the middle of a dozen construction projects. Yeah, there was a sheet of plastic separating us from the outside. We could see our breath while sitting around the fireplace. The only means of heating the place was the lone fireplace which was as finicky as a 13 year old girl. We scored two space heater radiators, but had to turn them off because they kept tripping the breakers. So we would spend the day skiing and then return to the cabin without taking off anything! Seriously, I slept in my hat, gloves, and ski pants! The fire went out each night at 2am, so I was surprised not to see frost in the morning. One night, the host tried to beef up the fire to make it last longer, and it only resulted in setting the carbon monoxide detector off. I then spent the rest of the night petrified and going over the symptoms of carbon monoxide poising in my head (do I have a headache…maybe…am I feeling excessively drowsy…yes…am I going to die in a frozen hick cabin in the middle of the mountains…oh God). One time we even turned the oven on to 500 degrees and left the door open in an attempt to heat up the place. Yeah, we were stupid, but brain cells freeze up when the temperature is consistently below freezing. My favorite moment was when one person spotted the thermometer and said “look it is 17 degrees outside” only for the host to say “well actually that measures the indoor temperature”.

To add icing to the cake, the cabin did not have any running water! Sure, it had indoor plumbing, but the water was turned off to prevent the pipes from freezing and bursting. The sinks and toilets were full of antifreeze. If nature called, we visited nature. Seriously, we peed outside in the snow which frankly didn’t bother me since the temperature was about the same. For our more robust bathroom needs, we had to wait to do our business at the ski resort. Also, no running water meant NO SHOWERING! I would spend the day skiing (in the same warm clothes I slept in mind you) and then spend some quality time with the warm water sink faucet at the ski resort.

Frankly, we were just a step above homeless, and that is only because we could afford to eat AND drink booze. Oh and our meal choices predominately came from the selection at the gas station. Yeah, I wonder what the nutritional value is of my many meals consisting of Pringles, jolly ranchers, and Oreo cookies. At least my palate was better than the host who seriously ate 6 bags of beef jerky! How can you humanly consume that much dried meat in 36 hours? I’d believe it if he told me he was a caveman. The first night, we got sub sandwiches from a Hells Angels looking deli worker who almost had to sit on the sandwiches in order to close them. We kept watching him pile on heaps of lettuce, meat, and mayo and no one thought to stop him and say “wait, you are making a sandwich for me right….not you”. The sandwiches got their revenge too the next day when we all had mad gas. Yes, I know that is gross, but I was audibly farting so loud and funny that I still bust up laughing out loud just thinking about it. It was kind of musical and almost cartoonish. Ha! One fart got broken up by my laughing so it sounded more like automatic fire coming out of my ass.

The only other food option in the tiny mountain town was the Black Bear Inn. The sign showed two black bears ogling a blonde white woman who was on the bar (think trucker mud flap type of girl). Classy with a capital K! Our waitress, Flo, was surly and barked at some people passing through that “no, we don’t got no ICE-CREAAAAMMM”.

The teacher host made the bone head move of the week by driving his car down to the cabin. Too bad the drive had 4ft of snow and ice, and we ended up spending an hour digging out the car and pushing it UPHILL for about 50 yards. Yeah we tried everything from shoveling out snow behind the car, wedging wood under the tires, and even laying down some area carpets to create some traction.

Although I am making this out to be some horrid trip, I must admit the skiing was AWESOME! The area got 4ft of snow right before we arrived. Of course that meant we had to dig out the front door of the cabin. I had so much fun on the slopes. This is going to sound cheesy, but I love to enjoy myself while skiing. I like to get challenging runs with lots of turns, bumps, bends, and sudden drop offs. Yeah that sounds like a death wish, but I am a rather cautious skier. Some people will just zoom down a difficult run and pray that they don’t spill or hit someone. I take my time and will even do the run again to see if I could do it better. Needless to say, the second day I decided to go off on my own so that I wouldn’t hold up all the fast fast fast skiers. I ended up hitting every slope (well except the double blacks and bunny hill of course) and some even twice or three times! That rounded out to around 35 runs and 22 trips up the ski lift. Not bad for a days work huh. I only spilled once and that was on a particularly long black diamond where they were making snow (as if they needed more). It was a really fun challenging run, and I spilled on some natural moguls that I am obviously not good enough to handle. I didn’t end up losing any equipment and only had a small insignificant bruise on the knee. God I love skiing.

Some pictures from the classy black bear inn restaurant.


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