WINTER DOLPHINS????? What the hell ..........? Well to make a long story short; several weeks ago Mike's son Cole overheard Mike and Christi talking about the endorphins you get playing in the snow and especially x/c skiing uphill. Young Cole thought they said "winter dolphins" and figured out that they must live somewhere up the hill! Yeah Cole!!!!
Saturday, we met Mike and Christi at Whitegrass. WG is a fun, funky backcountry cross country ski area and cafe located between Canaan Ski area and Timberline. Definitely a great "let's play then eat " place, and one of my favorite places in the world.
It was windy and cold down at the lodge, so we headed into the woods and uphill in search of dolphins. We skied up to Bald Knob and then back down to the lodge via Powderline Trail and 3-Mile. It has been awhile since Sarah and I had been on our X/C skis, and to be honest I felt very uncoordinated and somewhat like Michael Jackson doing the moon walk with my skis shuffling back and forth. I never really found the dolphins, (they were probably hiding in the trees and laughing at my ineptitude on the skis) but we still had fun and then went back to Mike and Christi's and ate brie and lasagna.
At the Hatteras house in the fall, there is sort of an unspoken rule that after windsurfing and surfing all day, that it is OK to go to sleep anytime after 9pm. It is barely after 8 and we are full of food and everyone is sort of just nodding in and out in front the fire, and Christi informs us that 8 is the new nine. Awesome, good night! In addition to the "play and then eat" theme, we now add SLEEP! ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZsnore ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZsnoreZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
When you go to bed early, it is easy to get up and play early. We all headed over to Timberline at 8am, where Sarah and I signed up for an all day Telemark clinic. Unfortunately Sarah and I didn't get to spend any time skiing with Mike and Christi, but we both had fun in the clinic and learned some things that I hope will help up us become better telemark skiers. Mike and Christi headed back home to Annapolis, and Sarah and I hung out at their cabin and ate leftovers. Somehow we both managed to stay awake til 9 before turning in.
We awoke Monday and spent the day snowboarding at Canaan. There were very few people there when we first arrived and we pretty much had the mountain to ourselves. I broke out my race board and hard boots for the first time in a couple of years and cut some big fat grooves in the corduroy. After a couple hours and many leg burning runs later, I switched to my Arbor A-Frame (which still lays down nice turns) and soft boots for a more mellow rest of the day. Sarah and I snowboarded until almost 4pm, and then drove over to Whitegrass to catch another session on the X/C gear.
We skied out across the valley (no wind) and then climbed up Springer Orchard and then up an even steeper climb on a trail named Cathedral. I'm not sure why "Cathedral" but I think it might have something to do with "Oh God please help get me up this hill". Once we made it up Cathedral we had a short ski over to the warming hut, where we found the dolphins hanging out. It was getting late, and the dolphins followed us back down hill to the lodge just before dark. We spent a few minutes hanging out with Chip before starting our trip home.
Quick stop to close up the house, phone in a carryout order from Sirrianni's and we were on the way. It was snowing hard, and it was pretty much a white knuckle drive getting off the mountain, but once down the hill, the trip home was pretty smooth except for a short stop for an accident on I 70. We arrived home way past our 9, oops I mean 8 o:clock bedtime and hit the sack sometime after midnight.
Much to my surprise (and delight) I awoke to see snow on the ground out side of our house this morning. I guess some of the dolphins decided to follow us home...............cool!
Play hard, eat well, sweet dreams, and save the dolphins.
In the words of Chip Chase, "There is snow and it has to be used."