Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Spring is a Many-Splendored Thing

It's hard to believe, but as I type these words, we are currently enjoying Day 97 of Okemo's winter season. 97 days! Giuliani's presidential campaign didn't last that long! Since we plan to stay open at least through mid-April, that means we've got -- wait, gimme a minute, I can figure this out -- carry the three, subtract the remainder, amortize the cosine... uh... 87 days left in the season! Or twelve days! I don't really know... I wasn't a math major.

Look, my point is that we've still got a lot of season ahead of us, including my favorite time of the season: Spring. (Yeah, I know, "Spring" doesn't officially start until March 20... humor me here, folks. I work at a ski resort in Vermont. Up here, we have three seasons: Winter, Mud Season, and July.) Don't get me wrong... I love the entire winter season, which is a good thing, as I am a ski resort employee and would be a pretty miserable person if winter wasn't really, you know, my bag. But I LOVE Spring.

How MUCH do I love Spring? Let me count the ways... one, two, three, four... twelve... seventeen... pi... hey, I told you I wasn't a math major. OK, lemme list just a few:

1. Warmer temperatures. As the Earth continues its course of approach back toward the sun, a strange thing happens... the mercury on the thermometer begins to rise. (Kids, ask your parents what a "mercury thermometer" is.) The sun comes out a bit more up here in the Hinterlands. The sky begins to acquire a strange shade of what non-Vermonters have informed us is the color "blue". People start wearing fewer clothes. (Two words for ya, folks... "abdominal crunches". Seriously. Start now.) The smell of barbecue begins to waft through the air as Smokey Jo's opens for weekend business. (Uh -- maybe crunches AND an occasional jog wouldn't be a bad idea.) Vegetarians bring their own hummus-filled pita sandwiches instead. It's all good, people!

2. Softer snow. I love Spring snow... hero snow... whatever you want to call it. It's an entirely different sliding experience, and anyone who's never skied Spring snow owes it to themselves to give it a shot. It's a great time to learn, too.

3. Did I mention the fewer clothes? Man, there's nothing like skiing down a still-heavily-blanketed trail wearing nothing but ski pants and a long-sleeve shirt. And a helmet, of course. Just open the vents. It'll be just like having the wind rush through your hair, unless you no longer have any hair, in which case, you can enjoy the wind rushing past your scalp.

4. Spring events. Come springtime, it seems like Okemo loses its collective mind just a little -- seventeen straight months of winter will do that to a person -- and Okemo the Friendly Family Mountain starts hosting, well, some pretty weird events. Check the calendar if you don't believe me.

Heck, I'm getting ahead of myself, here. It's still February. We're still in the middle of what has turned out to be an terrific season. But March, April, and Spring skiing and riding is just around the corner. Personally, I can't wait.

I'm outta here. I gotta go do me some crunches...


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