Peter Hines

by Peter Hines
Photos by the author

Before I knew it, the season was over

I am always looking forward to hitting the slopes.  I do this all year round.

All summer long it is in the back of my mind.  I wonder what new trails there will be?  Will the snowmaking and snow be better?  Did they put better padding on that one lift?  The questions are endless.

Autumn photoIn the fall I begin to look at the literature that different mountains produce.  I think about new equipment that I might buy.  Is my car going to get me through the winter?  Do I need new tires? I research who's rates are going up the most. I look for deals.

And then in mid to late November there is snow and we can hit the slopes. Which mountain has the best conditions?  When will there be a storm? All winter long I find myself constantly looking at the weather predictions for the next 10 days.  I often do this before I go skiing.  It seems that I am planning the next ski trip before I have taken the first.

When things are in full swing, the time flies by.  When others are lamenting winter we, skiers and riders, relish it. We plan our trips, travel to different areas, ski hard, try new things, see old friends and make new ones.  I look back at the end of the day knowing that I have another trip planned in my head.

Before I knew it the season was over.  Winter is gone and spring is here.  We knew it was coming; but the end just creped up on us. Thinking back I remember leaving and coming home from the slopes in the dark.  That ended in February.  I think back to the cold cold days when we had to watch for frostbite, when my fingers and toes were cold, everyone was so bundled up that we barely recognized them.  The sun was much lower in the sky back then, the shadows were longer.  Just think, only seven months until we can go again.

Low Sun photoThere was snow, sometimes deep, sometimes icy.  There were trails that we could only go on a few times because there was not enough snow, or a mid winter rain had crusted things up.  The snow banks were huge this year.  They’re gone now.

Looking back it was a grand time and other things actually happened over this ski season.  We had several major holidays, including Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Martin Luther King and President’s day.  In my family we celebrated several birthdays and anniversaries.
The landscape is much different now.  I can see my lawn, it’s greening up.  There are other things to think about, some of which are not as much fun like gathering up the winter dead fall of tree limbs, raking the yard, planning and conducting outside maintenance; putting my ski equipment away too.  I find it hard to do.

There will be plenty of good times ahead this summer until we can ski again.  There will be boat rides, warm summer nights, concerts in the park, cookouts with friends, trips here and there to do this and that. In the middle of summer it will only four months to go until we can hit the slopes again.

And as we go through the autumn with its warm days, cold nights and beautiful colors I think back how quickly summer when by.  Before I know it that season will be over. The end had crept up on me.

With the winding down of any season there is the anticipation of the next.  Autumn is great because I know winter is coming.  Unfortunately, before I know it, the next season will be over.

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