By Phil Caracci from Dec 10, 2023

The emotions leading up to the first trip of the ski season have elements of the first day of a new semester in school as well as  the premier of a heavily-hyped movie.  There is expectation of greatness because you’ve been talking about it for months. “Winter is coming!”  “Think snow!!”  Like school, we know we will see our “classmates” again. The old routine will become the new routine but this year we may have some different “teachers”.

OK, I’m done trying to make this analogy work!  LOL. By now you figured out that classmates is in fact fellow members of this ski club and the teachers represent the employees, in this case the cook and the bus driver to name a few.

Carolyn, who cooked for us for 28 years, retired over the Summer and now we will discover what’s  next. But before we talk about food, let’s talk about snow.

The 23-24 ski season got off to an above average start.  There were a few good snow storms at the end of November and into the first week of December and even Mad River Glen, which relies on natural snow, opened up a day or two before my first ski day in VT.

There is always a lot of excitement for Opening Day of the Miramar season but the anticipated good conditions amped it up even more. And Saturday’s skiing at Sugarbush did not disappoint!  It was so good to see the gang and do what we do again!  Great snow!

Our cook that weekend was a new face for most of us and he delivered superbly crafted meals. Nobody left the table hungry!

As a special treat this weekend I invited Steve Joslin to come for dinner and talk about his family’s history in the Valley.

Steve has recently been part of a local project called “Take Me Back” where he, and others, were interviewed on a local TV station to tell the story of the early days of Waitsfield.

The Joslin family has a library named after them and a road and perhaps some other places too.  But it’s special for Miramar because the ski lodge was once the Old Joslin Mill in the early 1900’s.

Steve told the story of how the hydraulic powered mill got water from the Mad River to grind the grain and that same flow continued on to power a saw mill right next to it.  In 1944 a fire burned both structures, The following year another structure was built on the mill’s foundation but it was now used to sell 100 pound bags of feed for cattle.

While club members like to say the lodge was once a mill the reality is it was once a “bag feed store” (built on the foundation of a mill).  Not as exciting as it being a grist mill!!! LOL

Saturday was such a good day that few of us seemed to care that it rained rather convincingly on Sunday before changing over to more snow by night.

Any time you engage in an outdoor activity you have no choice but to accept the weather you get. One thing I have found consistently is that skiers and snowboarders seem to just roll with it instead of complaining about that which cannot be changed.

This season just started.  We know there will be many more good days to come.

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