Friday, June 8, 2007

Man, no offense to the good people of Okemo Mountain Resort (tm) (r) (sm) (motto: Smile Until Your Face Hurts), but the skiing's pretty lousy right now.

OK, so it's June. But, still... c'mon. Is it too much to ask for a few open trails for some late-late-late Spring skiing? Some bumps? A rail or two? Not for me, of course, but for the kids. Think of the kids, Okemo! Yes, even the ones with purple hair and body piercings large enough to make certain African tribesman say, "Whoa, dude. Overkill." The kids. See, I believe the children are our future. Treat them well and let them lead the way... head-first down twenty-foot rails. Yes, these are the future leaders of America, which is why I plan on retiring to New Zealand... but I digress.

So it's almost mid-June and I haven't skied in three months and I'm getting a bit testy. Sure, summer is lovely up here. The green, verdant mountains. The meandering valley streams. The lazy drone of the blackfly. The refreshing whoosh of the out-of-state Ford Expedition passing seven cars in a row on a double-yellow line road. Ah, Vermont.

OK -- the Marketing Director just walked in and told me to stop goofing around and be more straightforward in my blog -- to get to the point, already. Here goes:

There's Ever So Much to See and Do at Okemo in the Summer!

No, seriously. It's just about the only thing that keeps me from flipping out and doing something completely indefensible and borderline irrational -- or as I like to call it, "pulling a Bode" -- due to the glaring lack of snow on the hill. (Hah -- so much for how "great" this legendary Okemo "snow team" is supposed to be. Look, pal, anyone can make snow in January. But snow in June... now there's a mark of exceptional performance! Heck, no one's done that since Killington / ASC pulled a Bode, right? Of course, I may not be completely familiar with the science of snowmaking here, but goshdarnit, as a taxpaying American with a new blog, too much free time and a misdirected, ill-informed opinion, I have the right to spout off and say whatever I like, right? Free Paris Hilton! OK, now that I have that out of my system...)

First, there's the Spring House. That's where you go to find out exactly how out-of-shape you really are. Lots of exercise options at the Spring House. Exercise your lower body on an elliptical machine. Exercise your upper body on a weight machine. Exercise your right to do nothing by relaxing in a giant steaming hot tub for four hours. (Sounds good to me. I was planning to adopt, anyway.)

Then, there's the Ice House. Of course, it's summer now, and there's no "ice" there, but since it would be silly to just call it "The House"... work with me here, folks. You got your tennis courts and you got your basketball courts. Personally, I'm into the tennis courts myself, but I think I can get my overly-aggressive-white-yuppie mojo going for some full contact b-ball. (Yes, "b-ball". That's what us guys from tha Jersey hood call the game.) Either way, I'm good.

And every Friday, the Jackson Gore Outdoor Music Series, or as us summer residents like to call it, the JGOMS (pronounced "jay-gahms"-- just throw that into conversation to demonstrate how "in the know" you are. You can thank me later), brings live music to the courtyard outside of the Jackson Gore Inn. For example, the Boston-area band "The Jumpoff" is playing today, which will roughly quadruple the naturally-occurring Funk Quotient of the Okemo Valley, so that should be a good time for all. There's also BBQ and beer and wine available, which will also provide a good time for all, provided that you're into the whole "good time" thing.

As for me... I'm off to the hot tub. Hey, there are a lot of kids out there who need good homes, right?

Photos from Jackson Gore

Took a walk around the Jackson Gore Base Area this afternoon and just wanted to share some photos. Everything looks so different each time I am there.
The hot tubs just outside slopeside Adams House.

And, for my next trick....voila, The Bixby House!

And, we now have tennis courts!

what's the magic number?

all these posts "bLOGGERS" talking about summer and the future....blah, blah, blah. When's it gonna snow? That's all that matters to me. Riding my bike around the green mountains of Vermont, running up and down the local roads and hills, swimming, canoeing, mowing that yard....all these things simply fill the time while I wait for winter to return..... and it always returns.

Here's my magic number for today 139! That's my guess for the number of days until the snowguns turn on again.

This summer I am refusing to take the snowtires off my truck and my 4 sets of skis are still waiting for their "summer" waxing. (I just can't bring myself to put them away). The best part about summer, is putting all my ski clothes in the cedar lined sweater chest upstairs in the back room....because in October everything will smell like cedar.....what a great childhood. Actually, that's a lie......when I was a kid, my parents stored everything with could smell us coming into the baselodge from a mile away.

gotta's "Who Cares" I'm outta here.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Verdant Mountains

It occured to me that it must have been a day in June, just like today, when whoever it was that was in charge of state names came up with the name "Vermont." Verdant mountains = Ver Mount = Vermont. The hills are so green today - as green as anything I've ever seen. As much as I love winter, it's the color green that I miss most during the snowy months. Oh yeah, the balsam and hemlock and long-needled pines stay green and they're beautiful when their boughs are frosted in white. But it's this lush, spring green ... the color of grass and maple leaves, that I miss so much. I'm so bad, I make a point of going to Boston every year for the annual flower show - just to get my fix of green. I'm a junkie - I admit it. I love the displays with big swaths of perfectly manicured sod. It's pretty amazing to see entire blooming landscapes on display in the same Expo Center where, just months earlier, the Boston Ski Show was in town and folks from ski resorts were all there telling Beantown (I know Bostonians hate their city being called beantown - I lived there for five years and I was one of them) to get psyched for winter and skiing and snowboarding up north.
Well, there's no sense dwelling on the time of year when the mountain is covered in white - not when the fairways are calling and all the world (at least this little corner of it) is Kermit-the-Frog GREEN! And it will be for some time to come.
It looks like I'll have a chance to get up-close and personal with some pristine blades tomorrow evening during the Jackson Gore Outdoor Music Series. Spiritual Rez will be playing a free concert in the recently sodded courtyard. Pay no attention to the weirdo splayed out, face down on the lawn. It's just me getting my fix of chlorophyll ... and springtime green. Cheers!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Another Day in Paradise

Hi, I'm the resident chicken dance coordinator here at Okemo. Not the wedding coordinator mind you, that job entails far to much. I only make sure that people know the moves when the dance comes around (and it always does).

Now that I've got your attention let me give you a brief rundown of the week so far.

Monday - you would have though we lived in the rainforest
Tuesday - Hail and thunderstorms in Vermont - just crazy
Wednesday - it's chilly - it might snow - I'm waxing the skis tonight!
Forecast - Everything looks great so far for a perfect Friday Night Concert with Spiritual Rez!

Ludlow is a great place to spend your summer though - this crazy weather is sure to move out soon, and the Okemo Valley is just beautiful! So even if you don't have a wedding here, make the short drive to Ludlow for a summer vacation. Hey, I only work on Saturday nights, so look me up when you arrive! We'll go play some tennis, shoot some hoops, or take a divot tour around the golf course (they hate that, but I can't play well at all). There is lots to do, and the best way to hear about activities is to call 228-1313 - that's the lucky events hotline!

One final note - from someone who knows - I think it's a soft 'b'. In Vermont you're a bLOGGER, as in - not the best Logger in the state. The best people are posting on other sites. I think they are called Alog's. Either way, I've only cut a few trees in my short life, so I'm happy to make the 'b' grade.

For my first ever bLOG - over and out. Time to go do the chicken dance!

What's in a name?

It's a pretty quiet day here at Okemo, so I decided to take this opportunity to jump on board the blogging bandwagon. As a contributor to this new form of communication (new for me, that is) the first order of business was coming up with a handle (I hear that's cool lingo for name). I like to think that I'm something of an optomist - always looking on the bright side and trying to stay positive. I guess it takes someone with a sick sense of optimism to work in the ski industry and I go into every winter season certain that this is going to be the best one yet ... best snow, best weather, best apres parties ... you get the idea. There's an old adage - that every cloud has a silver lining. So on this day, as a giant cloud was hovering over the summit of Okemo Mountain when I drove to work this morning, it seems fitting to call myself Silver Linings. Don't go thinking that all you're going to get from me is a bunch of sacharine-sweet, candy-coated yadda yadda yadda. I like to tell like it is ... you'll just have to remember that I'm a glass-half-full sort of person. Cheers!

Change is in the air

Boy, the weather here on the mountain keeps turning like we're on a tropical island! Monday and Tuesday brought humid and drenching rains, and some pretty powerful thunderstorms last night. Now we're clear and sunny but temperatures are cool and dry - maybe 65 or so today. Boy, the mountain is so green though, it's beautiful.

It almost seems appropriate. The tides are definitely changing over at the Big K. Maybe that is what is stirring up all the wild weather? As they say, when one door closes, another opens right? I hope those of you that might be feeling a bit trounced on come experience our mountain next season. I think you might be pleasantly surprised by what you find.

Change is happening here too, but only for the good. The base area at Jackson Gore has gotten a total face lift - the landscaping is absolutely beautiful. Hats off to our mountain operations team - they planted all 600 of those trees and shrubs themselves! And, the carpet of green grass is nothing short of amazing. Nice to see after all that construction mud this spring!

I'm off to Willie Dunn's for lunch. I just love that place - and sitting outside today will be perfect. Maybe I'll take a few pictures of the Jackson Gore Base Area and share them tomorrow. You won't believe your eyes.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Let the Games Begin

I always get asked "what do you do at a ski resort in the summer"? Funny this is, I tend to be more busy in the summer and Fall than I do in the middle of the winter. This actually works out well, though, as I've found a new passion for skiing. I almost didn't get this job, in fact, because I was not an "intermediate" skier. Boy, how far I've come. I count the days until the next snowflakes begin to fall.

Don't get me wrong, I love summer. And Okemo is beautiful when everything is green. If you are an avid hiker, biker, or just love the peaceful countryside...this is the place to visit. There is so much to do in the Okemo Valley, it makes a great place to visit with your family.

So this blog is a new idea. An informal way to share with you what's happening. I hope to get lots of Okemo people to contribute from around the mountain - especially when the snow begins to fly. Heck, maybe I'll even talk Tim and Diane into signing on.

Wish me luck!