Ted thinks I’m nuts, though I’m not so sure he’s right.
I start thinking about skiing in July, and I readily admit to that. And the fever builds over the long months of heat and humidity, though that doesn’t wilt my resolve that snow will come.
But then comes August, and things get worse.
I get my first issue of Powder magazine in the mail. Images of snow, skiers in mid-flight off jumps, bumps, lumps, and garbage dumps. Stories of endless days of gravity having its way with people with two sticks strapped to their feet careening downhill. It reminds me that winter is still far away, a thought both depressing and filled with hope.
But the signs are here that winters approach is inevitable. The “end of summer bugs” sing their chorus at night, and the days are shortening. My daughter Allison, pictured above, is off hiking the Vermont Long Trail wanting to finish before the first frost graces the mountain tops. While that day is in the future, it’s a not too distant future. Her look is not because she has 273 miles to trek, but rather that she’s going to Stratton, Killington, Sugarbush, Stowe and Jay’s Peak and forgot her snowboard. She, from atop Stratton and then Killington, reports that it is pretty weird to be looking out upon the slopes we not so long ago zipped down, seeing them draped in greenery. She is also rather glad she didn’t bring the snowboard after all.
I guess I’m not the only one inflicted with such thoughts. Ted reports he’s had a few people come into the shop and walk out with ski packages of boots, poles, skis and bindings. Their thoughts wander too into the future, and the images they see in their minds are themselves, carving graceful curves down the slopes decked out in new gear.
September looms, and I make a migration west to hike Mount Hood, and perhaps get the chance to tour the Dalbello R&D center and see the latest and greatest in their pursuit of the ultimate ski boot. And by the time I return east from that trip, the 2018 crop of skis, snowboards, boots, and other paraphernalia will be making their way to the shop and onto the sales floor.
Avie’s will be abustle as it transitions from summer to winter. Talk will turn to all the new “toys” of the upcoming season, if the winter will be good or band. And for better or worse, this blog will pick up the beat reporting on the new gear, trips, and whatnot.
On the “for what it’s worth” topic, The Farmer’s Almanac and other oracles of long-term weather predictions for once all agree on a colder, harder, harsher, more despicable, more crippling and cruel, exceedingly downright lousier winter than normal.
I guess Ted might actually be right. I’ve got a really, really big smile on my face.