By Phil Caracci from Jan 22, 2023

My first bus trip of the season is always exciting because it’s the return to an activity that I’ve enjoyed for the last quarter century.

When people hear I’m taking a 6-hour bus ride to ski VT they think I’m crazy. But they don’t realize this bus ride is not a mere commute. It’s a time to enjoy a party with some friends you haven’t seen in a while (some since the pandemic), a chance to meet and welcome the first-timers with Miramar. It’s also dinner time, a time to catch up on email/text/social media and if done right there’s a nap in there too.

The Friday night ride lived up to my expectations! I saw Wendy on the bus for the first time in years! David and Jim joined veteran Trip Leader Amy as the organizers for this weekend. I met guests Nancy and Clina both doing their first trip with us. Other friends like Thirsty Kirsty, Kas, Azra were there as well. It was a marvelous reunion!

This is the 3rd weekend of January and typically by now I’ve been on 2 or more bus trips. Why the late start? Well winter had a late start in the East. There was some nice snow in December but right as the clock struck 2023 the rain and meltdown began. I actually skied in VT that first week of January and there was grass sticking up through a thin layer of snow. The ski resorts work so hard to be open by Thanksgiving but that head start was washed away so we were starting over.

Don’t get me wrong. There was enough snow by now for skiing and snowboarding. In fact there was enough snow for racing! Yes, every year Miramar, under the direction of our Race Chair Chip, reserves the NASTAR course for our exclusive use where we battle head-to-head running the gates against the clock to take home the Gold. In my case I settled for the Bronze. But please understand I’m in the category called “Why Are You Racing?” LOL

I won’t bore you with every detail of our Saturday night. In summary I gave a tour of Waitsfield including the famous Beer Cave, we enjoyed a Happy Hour in the lounge with food and open bar followed by a 5-course dinner served in our dining room by our cook. The evening concluded with more drinks around the fireplace and a few people shaking it on the dance floor.

I can’t overlook this. One activity on Saturday night was writing out birthday cards to a VERY longtime member who turned 99 that week! Harry isn’t skiing anymore but he still gets a Gold Medal.

Sundays are usually spent at Killington and this was no exception. But they did direct our bus to park in a different base area. They have a bunch to choose from. So our day started and ended at the Skyship base. It is one of the lower elevation bases and the last ride of the day is a long winding Green trail or an easy Blue that goes more direct but you had to jump a stream mid way down!

Overall it was a fine day skiing “The Beast” as Killington in called. It was a gray sky wintery looking day. More snow is on the way.

On the way back I couldn’t help but sit there looking our the window and smiling. I also couldn’t resist the urge to sign up for the following weekend’s trip because these are just great weekends now as they have been since my first time in 1997

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