Pam and I got our first shots of Pfizer’s Covid vaccine last Sunday. It was a big relief. The second round is scheduled for Valentine’s Day.

Pfizer Covid vaccine

She estimates spending about 20 hours over the previous weeks trying to get the appointment. That involved phone calls to places listed on New York State’s Covid website and to area hospitals. It also involved being on hold for hours at a time. She was able to get a late February appointment for me because I’m over 75. Then the state changed the threshold to 65. She made yet another call and got lucky. We secured an injection time for early last Sunday at Javits Center, the massive exhibit hall on the west side of Manhattan.

Check out the sticker.

As disorganized as the scheduling was, the order in Javits Center was pristine. Camo-garbed National Guard guided us through well-marked mazes leading to a station where we filled out a two-page form and signed releases. Then we were shown to a station where a nurse administered the injection while another person entered information into the system. I have NEVER experienced as painless an injection in my 77 years.

The final step was to wait 15-minutes in a socially distanced seating area where help would be immediately available in the event of a bad reaction.

The entire process took about 45 minutes, and it was flawless. But there were many underutilized stations. I don’t know if that was because of vaccine availability, being early on a Sunday morning or something else.

While Pam was dedicating herself to securing our slots, some former colleagues emailed about places where they were able to get shots. One hospital, not far from us, was getting rave reviews for ease of scheduling and friendly service. We already were scheduled and decided not to change, but we gave the contact information to some friends who called and got their shots the next day. 

The lack of vaccine distribution coordination suggests that each of us is on our own when it comes to securing personal protection. If you plan to get vaccinated, my suggestion is to stay abreast of availability where you live and book as early as possible. It didn’t have to be this way, but it is.

The more people vaccinated, the sooner we’ll get back to normal. Whatever that is anymore.

World’s First Urban Ski-Share

Lahti (pop. about 120,000), in southern Finland, is rolling out City Ski, the world’s first urban ski-sharing program.  Skis and poles are borrowed and returned on the honor system. The program is part of the city’s commitment to reduce transport-related carbon emissions. Over the past 30 years, Lahti has reduced total greenhouse gas emissions by 70%. Within Lahti’s 180+km of trails is a newly constructed trail system in the city center. Lahti is seven-time host of the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships.  

Vail Not Negotiating with Stevens Pass Patrol

Stevens Pass Patrollers Demonstrating

After publishing an item last week about the possibility of the Park City Ski Patrol going on strike, we learned that patrol at another Vail Resorts-owned resort – Stevens Pass (WA) – has been going in a similar direction. In 2019, that patrol, seeking sustainable wages and co-equality as resort stakeholders — voted to join the Communications Workers of America. According to a report in Outside Magazine, Vail has yet to participate in negotiation sessions. The president of the Stevens Pass patrol group is Brianna Hartzell, who explains that it takes several seasons to build expertise needed to perform the multiple first-aid and safety tasks associated with good patrolling. An article in High Country News summarizes the conundrum facing patrollers with 3-5 years experience: “Embrace a lifestyle that leaves you earning barely more than minimum wage, or hang up the red coat and trade passion for practicality?”

Need Your Help Identifying Areas With Senior Programs

We’re asking you to help assemble a list of all North American ski areas offering programs for seniors. Some, we know, sponsor local groups, others offer workshops through the ski school, etc. We’ve heard of a few with weekly gatherings (similar to Women’s Workshops) that provide workshop, speaker, discounts, etc. If you know about these senior-oriented programs, please let us know by emailing [email protected]. No need to be exhaustive. Simply name 0r describe the program, name the area, and, if possible, a contact person with email and phone. We’ll follow up to get the details. Our goal is to publish the list for 2021-22. Thank you!!!

Got Pain? 

Biofit’s Relief CBD Cream works extremely well.

Sometimes I hurt. Maybe I pushed it too much on a hike. Or it’s an old injury acting up with a change of weather. Inevitably, my right wrist hurts after a day of skiing. Some over-the-counter meds work; others don’t. Recently, I’ve been rubbing the painful areas with Relief CBD Cream. It’s an anti-inflammatory, and it works very well.  Biofit 360, an advertiser, makes the stuff, and frankly, I was skeptical that it might be just another of the many CBD products found in every grocery, convenience, and drug store. Not the case. Like the company’s Sleep drops which have helped my wife get a good night’s rest after years of insomnia, Relief CBD Cream helps me keep doing what I’m doing without needing to gulp down more pills. If I were skiing this season (unfortunately, I’m not), I’d use a little on that wrist and around my knees in the morning and at the end of the day. In the meanwhile, it gets rid of my discomfort, whatever its cause. To learn more click here.

Before I forget…

…February is when we ask readers to donate to Your support (along with our advertisers) allow us to deliver a weekly package of articles about skiing and boarding through the eyes of the older participant. More on this year’s initiative next week.

and Finally…

The Kings and Queens of Corbet’s is an annual invitational in Jackson Hole’s Corbet’s Couloir. Each of the 24 competitors are drawn from the ranks of the world’s top skiers and riders (plus a handful of locals). They get two runs in the competition for the title, King or Queen of Corbet’s. This year’s event will be Feb 16-21. To get an idea of what happens among these mostly twenty-somethings, click on the highlight video of the 2020 event (above). It is nothing short of AMAZING! 



  1. Congratulations on your vaccination! It really is a miracle of modern science how they were able to develop this sophisticated vaccine so quickly. Show what greatness humans can achieve when we work together. For the BioNtech-Pfizer vaccine, the first shot is not bad… the 2nd shot you might have an immune system response (fevers, nausea, body aches). Nothing too dramatic… just plan on a couple days rest and maybe Tylenol or Ibuprofen. 10-days after the 2nd shot you should have immunity. Stay well!

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