Back Road Scenery And Ski Slope Puddles Formed Indelible Pictures.

Author Harriet Wallis tries out a puddle at Mt. Snow, Vermont, back in the 80s.
Credit: Harriet Wallis

I loved the scenic springtime drive to the slopes. Steam rose from little sugar shacks as the golden syrup was simmering inside. Horses stood motionless in frozen pastures and breathed clouds of fog into the frosty morning air. Christmas tree farms had fallen silent.

Lichen-covered stone walls divided the winter-flattened landscape into a patchwork quilt. Farmhouse porches that had been stacked solid with fire wood were now nearly empty. What remained was a littering of chips and bark. Frozen laundry flapped on a few clotheslines.

And then there was mud. Road shoulders were rutted. Unpaved roads were impossible, and some parking lots were a quagmire.

Above all else, I loved New England’s ski slopes in spring. When it rained, we put on garbage bags. Those were the days before Gore tex. The bags rattled in the wind. Rain ran down the bags and soaked the legs of our ski pants. Then it wicked into everything we were wearing. We were soaked inside and out.

But the rain also softened the ice, and the ice became slush. It slid downhill like a glacier and melted into puddles. The base area became puddles. A maze of puddles. Many puddles. Deep puddles. Normal skiers went around them. But I loved skiing through those puddles—spraying water everywhere and hoping I could dry my boots by morning. And hoping there would be big puddles the next day.

If you see a puddle at the base of your ski area, please ski it for me—or send me some vibes that springtime puddles still exist at ski areas.

To read more from Harriet click here for her stories on SkiUtah.


One Comment

  1. Susan McConchie says:

    And the really big moment was if you could “ski” all the way across the big puddle in front of the lodge at Mt Snow without falling in!! Loved your description of NE springs. I miss them, not the same here in San Diego!

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