Friday, March 6, 2009

franconia new hampshire

Franconia 09

Hectic times, doing taxes, and death, and heading out into the storm to gain the motel la quinta, and park sleep fly accommodations, my flight leaves at 6 am so im taking the easy route. Another adventure back to childhood haunts, family and old friends. Ski cannon, party for cindys 60th, and hang with the north country scenery and crowd.

Kk and I talk and I surface after 2 near accidents in shallow alto, a row of high class stores, restaurants, and the apple store, where kk and zoe, looking hugely pregnant, are perusing the latest in apple ware. We oo and aahhh over a monster computer screen and mac tv wireless setup and head into th e night in search of sustenance. The usual choices, all high class, settle into Vietnamese, very posh, typical silicon valley types, wining and dining. We settle in and choose a pinot by the glass, all wines are 40 or more, with emeritus pinot on the menue for 125. ouch. These friends of mine know how to market.

We have a great chat, and leave with kk and zoe ready prepared and willing to be parents of my next granddaughter. I crash late, rise early 3:40 and do a seamless entry into the world of international travel. Catching my flight to ohare, watching quantum of solace with the bose headphones, and making the transition to the flight to Manchester seamlessly.

Tom isn’t there, and I finally duck out of the cold with a beautiful sunset behind, and there he is, looking for me. We nosh and I sleep on a bench until jostled out of reverie by Carolyn, in from dulles, complete with skiis boots and ready. We rocket off to Franconia thru the night, intense conversations, growing up up here, old trips in the night with blinding snow, freezing rain, where we slid into a snow bank, and watched cars crash into the barrier and spin around us. The notch is clear and they are grooming garys and avalanche, so we have a good day ahead to ski. Cindy greets us with spaghetti and nonstop conversation, I break in every once in a while,, but feel a bit left out. They are intense conversationalists, not leaving a break between stories for me to get my oar in, I crash as the chatter contines, and rest the rest of the dead.

The alarm wakes me right on time for my flight 3:40 am, shit I forgot to turn it off, and then the cell beeps its low battery refrain, up a gain, more ibu and a s pill and im off till 8. awake to cindy opening the garage door below me, and the race is on, nonstop conversations, events, prepping for a day on the slopes, like old times in the cabin. We scrape 1/2 inch of ice off toms car, freezing rain coming down, the mountain in clouds. Andy fixes me up with a great set of salomons and technical boots that fit great and we are off tot he slopes. The usual prep scene, dressing for the day,now raining, and booting up, ready for a typical day on cannon, so many times in our youth we are on auto pilot, still chatting away and planning the logistics for the day.

Im bundled up, the facemask on, new goggles,helmet, new parka ready for anything. Its warm and raining, and we realize our first mistake: sittting on the wet chairlift and soaking our butts. Oh well, a normal day at the coldest worst weather mountain in the east. The snow is soft and groomed, so we find places to turn abundant, and follow like rockets down the narrow trails, all skiing in unison, a thing of beauty, like the old days, for the first time in years. Exhileration explodes in cheers and yodels as we scream down the slopes, taking the inside of the turns on ravine, singing the praises of the master of trail builders, sel Hannah, with hair growing out of his ears, planning and cutting the original trails on cannon.

We hit the top lift and the seats on the chair are glazed with ice, which we melt and make our butts even wetter, still non stop chat, great memories, wonderful family times, all set by dad and mom, we are now continuing a long tradition, only we have had. Into the clouds, flat light and boilerplate ice conditions, like skiing on marbles, but soon I find the snow has been pushed to the sides of the trail, and it great going there, easy turns, keep ing up with the flashing image of cindy, in perfect race form, zinging in front, flying down the mountain. We explore the old haunts and some new ones, little trails no one uses, with good snow, easy turns, few people and great feelings.

Lunch break with sandwiches from home, despite the sign that says no bag lunches at the door, all kinds of people around, loads of kids, still a family mountain. Carolyn is there in a ski class, and we tag a long, but they are ripping the mountain. I notice few snowboarders, and they are very polite, unlike the unruly, disrespectful sort at mammoth. We ski the top again, the doors blaring at the base station for the chair. it has warmed up and no ice on the seats, but still glare polish on the upper part of the trails, but tom has sharpened my edges and im holding firm, even on vast patchs of ice. Cindy and I head down the mountain, leaving tom and Carolyn to their devices, I crash and up and suddenly dinner is ready, early, a full evening ahead, picking up Ronnie, going to a play, I play dead, and write this, hook up the ipod with the doors playing, at peace with the world.

copyright 2009 terry wright

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