Maryland Outdoor Club
Fri, Jan 16 2004 - Canaan Valley Ski/Snowshoe Weekend (View Original Event Details)

Event Organizer(s): Jesse Allen
Participants:Jesse Allen, Gina Vachino, Debbie Haggart, KC Yi, Laura Paszkiewicz, Ronit Fix, Lisa Soule, Bernadette Wassmann, Roger van Boeyen, chanath ather, Rebecca Hill, Colin Babb, Emilio Ungerfeld, Shelley Sanner

Write Up:
In the beginning, all was null and void and without form. That might have had something to do with the dubious driving instructions to find the cabin in Canaan Heights. The trip organizer for reasons unknown even to himself managed to try to direct Baltimore drivers onto US 522 past Cumberland when the correct road is US 219. One pair of intrepid skiers took an unplanned visit to Ohio as a result, although that actually meant going only one or two exits too far on the interstate, and they found their way to the correct place ahead of the later travelers from DC and Baltimore.

Our cabin on Friday night was a snug fit with 15, but with several of us taking spots on the floor in rooms or on couches, we had a place for everyone. After a late start, we all settled for a good night's sleep, missing what proved to be our only clear night, though those who did take a moment to notice saw that the stars were very bright and viewing conditions excellent. The Milky Way was very evident across the skyline and the multitude of stars drowned out the familiar constellations and shapes of the light-polluted city skies we are so much more used to seeing.

Saturday morning got off to a slow start between the battle for the bathrooms (there were only two between us all) and the limitations of trying to serve breakfast to everyone at once. Breakfast was a simple affair of bagels and cream cheese and a less simple affair of finding a place to sit and enjoy them. But we hustled out eventually to the Highland Inn, where we picked up our cross-country skis and heading for a full day at Whitegrass Ski Resort, a beautiful cross-country ski area with some 50 kilometers (that would be 30 miles for all the nonmetrics out there) of trails winding across open fields and into the forest. There also was an impressive hill in the middle of the resort that looked manageable for downhill skis, but a rather terrifying challenge on cross-country skis.

Most of the group took an hour out after a quick lunch to take lessons while those skipping lessons stopped to admire the rest attempting 180-degree turns in a single ballet step that we tried to imitate with amusing results. Rather than demonstrate we should have been in the class too, we took off into the woods and through the orchard and later caught up with our now more educated colleagues. We split apart into a few different groups heading out on different trails, including one faction that went into the Canaan Wilderness area on one side along a forest access road on the Three Mile Loop, but perhaps one mile in faced a slope that looked easy enough to ascend but challenging to descend without terror and crashing. This impression was probably encouraged by the terror and crashing of other skiers coming down the opposite way. We took that as a bad sign and went back to regroup ourselves and head back to the cabin, but not before trying to find out where Emilio had gone.

Apparently he had heard the siren call of the large hill and made some considerable progress in getting well up it and coming down with a remarkable lack of tumbling. A man of many talents!

Dinner was a pleasant affair: Gina and Jesse each had brought a slightly different persuasion of lasagna, as well as wonderful fresh baked-on-the-spot Portuguese bread. While dinner was being prepared, we each took turns repeating the bathroom challenges of the morning with the additional plot complication that the last people to hit the showers tended to get only cold water. Cleaned, scrubbed, and well fed, we broke into teams to play Cranium. Jesse was the last holdout for the showers and planned to stay only temporarily with his team. But fascination with the game kept him in while Colin impersonated Elvis and Marilyn Monroe on demand, Gina

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