Tuesday, I had my best visit to Costco, since the onset of the Pandemic. No line to get in, nothing out of stock and no line to check out. I was home in less than an hour! I think it took me longer to put the stuff away, than the whole round trip. The rest of the day, was spent leisurely getting my snowboarding gear together and packed up, for a two day trip to Whiteface Mountain.
Wednesday morning I was up, out of the house and on the road by 5:15am. I was well past the Tappan Zee Bridge in an hour, and near Kingston, when the sun began to pastelize (made up word) the sky to my right, an intense pink. The farther north I pressed, the more snow there was on the ground and my anticipation grew.
The drive took almost exactly 5 hours. It seemed to get more scenic and beautiful the closer I got. When the mountain comes into view, it is quite a sight. Whiteface is a big and imposing, World Class Mountain. Not just any place, gets to host the Olympics! I felt a bit rusty when I first got to the slopes, but got my footing about halfway down my first run. I decided to make my way over to the Summit. It is an intimidating view and only has one way down, which thankfully is not too difficult, and not too icy!
I went at it non-stop, until about 2:45, when I began to fatigue, and decided to call it a day. I thoroughly enjoyed the 9 mile drive along the Olympic Scenic Byway, into the classically charming town of Lake Placid. The entire drive was just gorgeous, with the Ausable River leading the way through the rugged Adirondacks. Lake Placid is just as I remember it (I have been there a few times), though without the bustling crowds (thanks to Covid).
I got to my room at the High Peaks Resort, Lake House, across the street from Mirror Lake, and began to realize how hungry I was. I got cleaned up and ordered a Cheeseburger and Fries from The Dancing Bears Lounge across the street (I did take out). It may have actually been just an ordinary Cheeseburger, but for me, at that time, it may have been the best Cheeseburger, I have ever eaten! I spoke with Debi on the phone and read for a few minutes before falling asleep around 8pm. It had been a long, taxing and wonderful day!
Yesterday, I rose early, determined to begin Day 2 at the mountain, when the lifts opened at 8:30am. It was kind of easy, since it was just me. It was in the teens at the base, and who knows how cold, at the top, but thankfully, I was dressed for it. Getting on it early like that, takes a bit of hustle, but it is so worth it! That early morning snow, is the best. I ventured to the top again, and the view was even better than the day before, and with the conditions having been improved, I kept going back there until the morning snow had been schussed away, betraying the ice that lay beneath.
Whiteface is vast and challenging, even with many trails not being open. After the early morning spent going to the top, I stayed on the lower part of the mountain for the remainder of my day, enjoying every second. With the early start, no real lift lines, and no breaks, I was surprised by how long I lasted out there. But, discretion being the better part of valor, I finished up at about 1:30 and was on the road a little before 2pm.
As I began the trek home, I asked myself if two days at Whiteface, was worth the ten hours of driving? Of course it was, and I am looking forward to going back, soon! I don’t really mind driving long distances, anymore. In fact, I mostly enjoy it. And so it was yesterday. I soaked up the natural splendor from the great white north all the way down the New York State Thruway. As always, I was lifted by the musical energy of XM Radio. For “Song of the Day”, I have to say, Simon and Garfunkel’s Classic, “Cecilia”.
A quick personal story. It is 1970. Imagine a young mother, in the Supermarket with her three young children (say 7, 6 and 4 years old). The children have gotten ahead of her and are in the next aisle, and they are singing the words to “Cecilia”… “makin’ love in the afternoon with Cecilia, up in my bedroom…” I think about that story and laugh, every time I hear the song.