My 2015 winter visit to Craftsbury turned into something of an ad hoc redux of Run2Ski camps past. I met up with my two friends Patsy and Dave at the Center for several days of running and skiing. We likened it to an After Party where the folks still standing at the end of the night rock on. And so we did. We skied twice a day, we ran in the silent hoar frost mornings, we did yoga with Patsy’s iPhone app and we reveled in the perfection of each meal.
Upon groomer extraordinaire Eric Hanson’s recommendation (previous blog post) we started our holiday with the Great Circle Loop over at Highland Lodge. It was a 10 mile classic ski amidst bucolic Greensboro’s backcountry. We climbed, we dropped, we passed beautiful barns and cozy houses tucked into secret places, we traversed open meadows and glades. I think we might have seen 7 people on the entire ski. Best of all was our feeling of accomplishment as we climbed into our cars to race back to Craftsbury in time for supper. We were rewarded with the old timey Craftsbury Sunday night classic: a full-on turkey dinner.
A pair of brand new skate skis had been waiting for me in Davis’ back office in the old Touring Center for well over a year. I broke them out for their inaugural outing by chasing Elinor around for an hour. Her smooth and balanced technique made me work to keep up with her and it was good to emulate her as she flew along.
After she and I parted ways, I went sightseeing around the Center. The boathouse looked cozy with its blanket of snow. The Duck Blind, my three season living quarters, looked less so.
For runners who are used to seeing Craftsbury only in the summer, a winter visit is a must. To see the Center in its winter guise, to ski with deer and weasel and fox tracks criss crossing the pristinely groomed trails is to appreciate how fully Craftsbury inhabits each season. I shivered to imagine eating out on the snow-covered veranda and in my mind’s eye could see it all as it will be in just a few short months, golden and beautiful with Big Hosmer stretching out below.
See you again soon Craftsbury!