Snow Bunnies and Lodge Lizards
Posted by PintofStout on January 24, 2007
(Written January 20 from Peek’n Peak Ski Area in NY)
Well, winter finally decided to make an appearance this year in the Northeast. Many people weren’t complaining, but one group that would are all around me right now. As I sit in the cafeteria-like ski lodge at Peak’n Peek Ski Area in New York State, surrounded by red-cheeked and runny-nosed skiers I think of how beautiful the snow and (modest) hills would look, should look, with white-shrouded trees; although the trees aren’t really shrouded. The first significant snow of the winter prompted many skiers to the slopes even though conditions are far from perfect or even half-decent.
Most of the snow on these particular hills can be seen blowing from long crane-arm-looking things providing a base for the natural stuff to settle on. I’m pretty sure without them there would be no other way to make the attempt at skiing – from what I can tell; I’m no skier. Unfortunately, I have the coordination of a three-legged moose with one short leg. So rather than risk the health of myself and anyone within a 20-foot radius, I stay at a table in here to watch the bags and some snacks and read or write all day. I’m not alone, either; there are a few laptops around the lodge, a few books, and a few headphones with music or audio books. We the waiting and uncoordinated (or with a strong desire to stay warm) sit and act as place-holders and watchmen and try to ignore everyone else around us. I actual welcome the opportunity to be mostly uninterrupted to do this all day. It would be quieter at home by myself, but some music and headphones combines with the reduced din to keep me from focusing on either, which is perfect.
I was going to complain a bit about the crowds and the overwhelming human presence in what would ordinarily be a beautiful natural setting, but I realized that I was looking outside the lodge where the ground was crawling with people struggling to move in their skis or waddling in their boots awkwardly and not at the white slopes emerging from the trees spotted sparsely with graceful forms swooshing from side to side down the hills. Even with the human parasite encroaching upon it, the hills and trees and snow (natural or not – what difference does it make?) are still quite beautiful. I’m not a big fan of crowds and this setting would certainly be better with less people, but there are worse places to be. So, I’ll just relax and breathe in the essence of hot, melted processed cheese product and hot dog and try to enjoy it a bit.