Adventures in Vermont

First off, big kudos to the students who planned the OCASA (Off Campus and Apartment Student Association) ski trip this year and thank you for letting this guy tag along. It was definitely an adventure surrounded by bad hair, silence, snoring, a google maps FAIL, and thinking that Verizon guy is full of crap.

– Those of you who ski or have been to a ski lodge will know what I’m talking about. But anyone can feel free to tell me their thoughts on the following statement:

There is no such thing as a bad hair day on a ski mountain.

It’s true. You can walk into a ski lodge, whip your ski hat off, have the worst hat hair in the entire world, and no one will look at you any differently for it. I walked in to get lunch the first day and did my usual double take as my hand went for my hat. But then, I took a look around, and it was like people were saying to me, “Go ahead! Let it run free! Let it breathe!” I was amongst bad hair friends and it felt good.

Problem is that you get comfortable with this feeling and on the way home, walk into a Subway for a quick lunch, stand in line next to a cute girl, do the cordial Jeff Spain smile, get one in return, and whip the hat off. She then turns (and I really wish I was kidding), looks toward the hair, and then giggles. That’s right, giggled. I’d have to say it was a six out of seven on the Jeff Spain red face meter.

– That dude with the glasses from Verizon along with the “network” apparently have never been skiing at Smuggler’s Notch in VT. Wonder what would happen if, in that guy’s walk around the world he suddenly happens upon Smuggler’s Notch. What would he do? No one would answer his “Can you hear me now?” Would those commercials finally stop? I guess I picture him going, “Well, I guess I’ll just wait here then…”

What it comes down to is that it was weird to be without cell phone service for three days. You don’t realize how much you rely on it until it’s gone.

– Nowadays, we find directions by heading to Mapquest or Google Maps. Maybe even you’ve got your own GPS unit in your car. It gives you fairly accurate directions with the street names usually being correct but sometimes the distances are a little off. To set the stage for this part of the story, you need to know two things,

  1. The map of what I’m looking at:
  2. The directions so far are fairly correct and have brought me to Point A, Stowe, VT, about one mile away from Smuggler’s Notch.

Route 108 is a small two lane road that drives up into the Vermont mountains and connects the two ski resorts. So I start driving up and come upon Stowe Ski Resort, then I hit a large snow bank. Literally, the road ends into a large snow bank. There’s a sign that says “Road Ends Here” so I’m thinking that I’ve reached Point B on the map but maybe the resort got bought out recently. I park the car, take a look around, and notice that the “hotel” is under construction. It’s getting dark and there’s only 3 or 4 cars in the parking lot. Not seeing a soul around, I get back into my car, start driving back towards the town because I’m playing the Find A Cell Signal game, and call Smugglers Notch. A very nice woman answers the phone and the conversation goes something like this:

Me: Hi. Um, I think I’m at your resort but I don’t know where to go.

Nice Woman: Oh, well just follow the signs to our check in desk.

Me: Don’t really see any signs. All I see is construction.

Nice Woman: Did you almost run into a snowbank?

(Now two thoughts go through my mind, either they’re sitting in some high perch getting a laugh out of all the people who drive towards the snowbank only to pause for a few seconds as if it’s going to magically move, then turn around, OR, something is not right here.)

Me: Ha ha. Yea I did. Did you all see that or something? (Yep, went with option one)

Nice Woman: Oh no honey, you’re on the wrong side of the mountain. Our place is on the other side. You need to….

At that point, my mind completely shifts to frustration. She could be telling me the winning lottery numbers and I wouldn’t have remembered them. I had just experienced my first

See, if you look closer at the map Point B is in the completely wrong place. It should be up where the 108 symbol is. Oh, and the other thing it FAILS TO MENTION, during the winter, the space between the two 108 symbols doesn’t get plowed. If you want to get to the other side of the mountain, you have to drive, oh, FORTY FIVE minutes out of your way. Gee thanks Google Maps. If I had cell phone service by the time I calmed down, I would have called.

Overall I had a blast on the trip! Thanks again to OCASA.

Thanks too for reading:-)

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