Tuesday, February 15, 2005

My Holy Mountain back on an uncrowded day in December.
copyright 2005 Kim Velk

View from the parking lot at Jay Peak
copyright 2005 Kim Velk

Mitchell, STAY HOME or "Too Many Skiers!"

If you have been following along here you know that we got about a foot of snow here on the Vermont/Quebec border last week. This snow was well publicized. I played my wee bloggish role in this. Well, the down side - believe it or not there is a downside to a snowstorm - is that it attracted a gazillion PFAs to my holy mountain, Jay Peak. (PFA = Vermonter for "people from away). I think of it as "mine" because when I hike there in the fall and summer I never see anyone else.

When I get off the beaten ski paths (in the woods where a person can snowshoe) if I meet one person on a beautiful winter day it's an oddity. True, people do go there to ski and I guess I have to put up with that given as it is someone's business and a ski resort, afterall, but the beauty of Jay has been its big, quiet, line-free nature. I fear all their TV advertising may have screwed that up. My little girl takes a ski lesson there each Saturday and she and I ski together on Sundays. This, the most far north of any U.S. ski area, was simply MOBBED. I waited til afternoon on Sunday to do our little ski outing thinking that the out-worlders would have decamped for Connecticut and Massachusetts and Ontario etc. but most of them were -- are you sitting down -- STILL THERE! Reader, I was clobbered by a youngster on a snowboard who cut me off and set my aging out-of-shape frame down hard! A responsible citizen chased the kid down, "buddy you need to apologize." I, when I could speak, lamely excused him. The kid, no doubt afraid he was in trouble, muttered something in French and beat it. My neck is still sore.

I have an unfortunate Babbitish streak that has compelled me from time to time to play booster to this rural no-wheresville I call home. A wail has been going up from a large and generally irritating subset of Vermonters for years, lamenting the arrival of the rest of the world. I have generally been out of sympathy with this crowd. Burlington and environs may need saving but people up here need jobs and schools. Of course, I am from that larger world but I got here when country wasn't cool, as the saying goes. This weekend makes me feel sympathetic to those who want to pull up the ladders.