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Mountain Dew Vertical Challenge and Photos from the White Mountains

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

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"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

Mountain Dew Vertical Challenge and Photos from the White Mountains

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Bobby ended up placing fifth in his category today at the Mountain Dew Vertical Challenge. This was a very impressive result (in my admittedly biased opinion!) There were 36 competitors in his category, which was ages 26-35, so he was also competing against guys significantly younger than him. And it is also worth remembering--and it's easy to forget sometimes because he's come so far so fast--that he has only been doing this for four seasons now, and missed part of two of those seasons due to injury. So I am very, very proud of him. :)

Here are some pictures from yesterday. We were leisurely in our drive back from Bretton Woods. We stopped at all of the scenic pull-offs and then drove around Franconia, the town where we're staying, trying to find Robert Frost's house. If you recall the Family Circus comics that would show the progression of the young boy's day by tracing his footprints around his neighborhood, we made a scrawl of Franconia. And never found the Robert Frost place. We didn't have a map and tried to pull it up on Bobby's phone, which was worse than just driving around, so we just drove around.

It snowed throughout the day yesterday and so wasn't very clear.

For the history buffs on my flist who yesterday noticed the name "Bretton Woods" and went all like, "Bzwah? That Bretton Woods??" as promised, here is a photo of the Mount Washington Hotel, where, yes, that Bretton Woods Conference</em> established the International Monetary Fund and World Bank at the end of World War II. In the background is Mount Washington, New Hampshire's highest peak at 6,289 ft/1,917 m. The top of the mountain is swathed in cloud. If you look to the right, there is a white streak: That is the cog railway, which will take passengers to the top of Mount Washington. It is also possible to drive to the top, and those who do affix a sticker to their car that reads, "This Car Climbed Mount Washington."

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Mount Cleveland. No cool stories about this one; it was just visible from a "Scenic Overlook."

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Cannon Mountain, where Bobby would compete the next day.

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We didn't see any moose, but we did see a lot of signs warning us not to run them over if we did. Part of me is like, seriously? You have to tell people to hit the brakes if they see an enormous antlered animal standing in the middle of the road?? Where I live, we have a high population of white-tailed deer, and I know how they can destroy a car; I can only imagine what a moose would do!

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Looking over this rickety one-lane bridge in Franconia that we found while looking for the Frost place. It looked dodgy as all get-out, so of course I goaded Bobby into driving across it. (Spoiler alert: We made it across.)

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We went to dinner at a cute little restaurant in Franconia called the Dutch Treat. Outside the window is another little restaurant called MoJo's, which had a sign stating, "Give Pizza Chance."

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This morning, I woke up to find Bobby on his computer, checking the snow at Cannon. "My season just keeps getting better," he said. Cannon had the most fresh snow this morning of any ski/snowboard resort in the entire country: 8 inches/20 cm. He has been in his glory.

The mountains from the parking lot at Cannon. All that lovely fresh snow indeed shows why these are called the White Mountains!

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Bobby walking toward the lodge to sign in for the competition.

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Even though these mountains are part of the Appalachians, just like the ol' home mountains, what I love about these is their relative ruggedness and how they very often seem to be arranged in layers, with the mountains in the back towering over those in the front. This region--Franconia Notch--is some of the most beautiful country I've seen.

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Cannon, all festooned for the competition today.

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Cannon was packed because of the competition. Bobby got signed in while I wandered around and took the photos above, then found a place for me in the lodge at the window, overlooking the mountain. It was a gorgeous view but, unfortunately, just a few yards away from a door, so I froze my ass off most of the morning. And like I said in my last post, the man sitting next to me was very fragrant with the aroma of weed. However, he was a big guy, so he shielded me from the cold draft whenever the door opened, so I rather missed him and my contact high once he finally got up and left.

This was what I was looking out on.

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Like I said, the place was packed! This was first thing in the morning; by midday, it was worse than this.

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And Bobby, of course, before heading off to take his first runs for the day.

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After lunch, I relocated to the lower level of the lodge. It was much warmer but much louder, being a more closed-in space. All morning, the competition announcer had been telling spectators to go to "Corral 2," so at 1:30, I walked out to what I assumed to be Corral 2 to wait for Bobby to come down the hill. I was one of the only people there. A woman standing near me asked a question about the competition, then said, "You are very dedicated!" then complimented my coat (the long hairy) and my outfit (my typical hippie steeze). I must have looked like I didn't belong. But I did think it was sad that almost no one but me came out to Corral 2 for the old-young-man category.

I kept my phone in my hand, but by the time I recognized Bobby coming down the hill, I think I only got about three seconds of video. He hit a patch of ice coming down but recovered well and felt like he did okay ... obviously he was right! By this point, I had pretty much lost feeling in the bottoms of my feet from standing in thin-soled shoes on the snow for so long. Perhaps I am very dedicated!

After the lifts closed for the day and Bobby found out his results, we went back to the hotel to rest and warm up for about an hour, then went out to find the Frost place again, this time with, like, directions. And guess what? Wonder of wonders, we found it! So, for my fellow literati, I give you Robert Frost's house in Franconia, New Hampshire.

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It was finally beginning to clear up, and Ridge Road where the Frost place is located had a gorgeous view of the mountains.

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We went to supper at another little restaurant in town, called Above the Notch. Bobby had eggplant parm and I had a most-evil white pizza, and we shared an order of probably the best jalapeño poppers I've ever tasted.

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After I coaxed Bobby into doing that (see above), he insisted on taking a picture of me as well.

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Cannon had a fireworks show to close out the competition, so we rode over to see that. We arrived early and sat in the car listening to music with the heat blasting on my feet. It felt satisfying to have my feet finally warm while at Cannon, like I did win in the end after all. Take that, Cannon, with your cold, drafty lodge! After that, we drove back to the hotel, had a dip in the hot tub, and now I'm here, signing out for the night. Tomorrow, we drive home. It has been, as ever, a great trip.

This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!

  • Fabulous pictures. I think Bobby did extremely well. Congrats to him! You both look so happy.
    • I do too! I assumed there were about 15 people in his category, which is still respectable, but when he told me 36, I would have liked to have fallen over! We were in the hot tub later with a guy who competed in the next age group up from Bobby and placed 19 out of 38 and sounded like he had been skiing a lot longer than Bobby's been riding and on a lot more intense mountains than Liberty. But Bobby has worked hard these last four years, and I'm happy for him to have that recognized. :)
  • Looks like fun!
  • Congrats to Bobby!

    Those are some lovely photos.
  • Congratulations to Bobby! Also, you are dedicated! No way would I stand around in the snow like that--I hate the cold!
    • Aside from my feet, it wasn't too bad! :D I'm forcing myself to get used to the cold, having a snowboarder for a husband and therefore getting carted along to lots of cold places at the coldest times of the year.

      I kind of feel like our trip earlier this year to Stowe, Vermont, hardened me off a lot. It was -20F while we were there! So when the temp's hovering around freezing, like yesterday, I lately find myself going, "Eh." I never thought it was possible! I used to dread winter for the cold.
  • Oh, what great pictures! Congrats to Bobby--sounds like it was a fabulous time all around.
    • Thank you! It was. :) One last hurrah before spring.

      (Although he put his board away tonight without giving it its final wax on the off-chance that the Vermont resorts are still open in May ...)
  • (no subject) -
    • We passed Polly's Pancake Parlor! It was closed for renovations, though. But it's supposed to be excellent, so we'll keep it in mind for next time.
  • Congratulations to Bobby! That sounds really impressive, and he looks decidedly happy. As do you. :o) Thanks also for sharing the pictures. All real winter I have gotten this season was from some friend's pics! *g*

    About these "brake for the moose"-signs: for us Germans/Central Europeans, it takes some different thinking when travelling to Sweden or Norway where there are mooses, as we mostly only have roe deer and boar as possible street dangers. While boar is fatal we're encouraged not to brake for roe deer, but rather dodge, depending on the traffic which usually would make the braking worse. I've also heard that people not used to the size of a moose mistake the distance because they think of deer (in Europe, that is). But after having had one on the motorway in front of us in Sweden, I really can't understand that somebody would not brake for a moose! Also in Sweden we had a roe deer crashing into our car - it couldn't have been avoided, we didn't even see it coming, and it came from the left, crossing three heavily frequented lanes so quickly nobody even honked. I'm still amazed (in a morbid kind of way) that an animal of that size can come unto you so unawares, and wreak so much havoc in such a short time. But boy were we glad it hadn' been a moose!

    What is white pizza, by the way?

    Edited at 2015-03-29 07:34 pm (UTC)
    • White pizza is pizza without sauce: The crust is brushed with garlic-infused olive oil and then topped with cheese. It's delicious but there really are no redeeming nutritional qualities! :D

      Here we have white-tailed deer, which are big enough and skittish enough that there is no swerving around them, and hitting one at full-speed very often totals the car. My dance teacher hit one earlier this winter and her car just barely missed being totaled. They will also panic and run into the sides of cars (which again often totals the car).

      We have deer-crossing signs like Vermont and New Hampshire have moose-crossing signs! :D But we don't have to be told to brake if there are white-tailed deer in the road. Growing up around them my entire life, I have learned to look for the reflection of their eyes in the road ahead or in the fields beside the road to slow down and allow them to cross before going on. Perhaps, with moose, people see a large animal and assume it is sluggish and sedate and that they will be able to move around it. That's the only thing I can think of! But an animal of that size, I would be very wary of.
      • Ah, thanks! That would be "pizza bread" hereabouts, "Pizzabrot", usually without cheese, but you can have that as well. Mostly just with olive oil and garlic, but most offer also chopped tomatoes, some pineapple (what I adore) and many also cheese.

        We have deer-crossing signs all over Germany, too; it's a generic sign meaning any kind of game. And I think the same; it's a question of experience. The roe deer most Germans know, for example, either vanish quickly or run into you, so you haven't got a chance to do anything anyway. Moose, though, mostly seem to stand on the street or cross it slowly. I also know that people hereabouts tend to underestimate boar because they look so small, but they're more dangerous than deer as far as an accident being fatal is concerned.
  • When I saw the pic of the Mount Washington Hotel I rushed to find out when the conference too place (July). Otherwise it would seem the members wanted to get really isolated to discuss fascinating topics like monetary policies ;) - almost The Shining!
    Beautiful photos! Brrrrrr!
    • I imagine this region would have been fairly impassable in the 1940s during the winter! If it had been held in the winter, I'd think that being stranded there might be the only way for people to want to discuss monetary policies. ;) Even so, I don't think I've ever been so bored to come to that (not a fan of economics, as you can see! :D)
  • So happy that Bobby did so well. Frozen feet are no fun. I don't think anything makes me much colder than just sitting, even though I might be indoors.

    The Frost house looks quite nice - and such a great view!

    Evil white pizza? What made it evil and white?

    Congrats on a wonderful and successful weekend. I can hardly wait for next year's snowboarding season.

    - Erulisse (one L)
    • Thank you--I am too! :)

      White pizza is pizza without the sauce. The crust is brushed with garlic and olive oil, and then it is coated with cheese. It has no redeeming nutritional qualities (I suppose one could make it worse by using lard instead of olive oil ...) hence being evil ... but delicious.
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