Day 3 at Stowe

The sun came out in the morning. The sky was gorgeous. The conditions were awesome. I headed to Stowe around 9:00 am.

Last night, I watched Lars Horstmann explained the positive-positive stance on snowboard for carving. This morning, I applied his method. Of course, it was harder than the way he made it seem to be. I even increased my front foot from 15 degrees to 20 degrees, but my toe turns weren’t gripping into the snow as I wanted to. I am on the right track though. I just need to figure out the right posture.

At noon, I went into the lodge for lunch as the band named Blues for Breakfast was setting up. At 1:00 pm, they started to play. The rain was pouring outside so I decided to sit, drink, and enjoy the music. At 2 pm, the rain lightened up. I went back to the trails to practice more carving. The rained picked back up.

I left Stowe around 3:30 pm and came back to my room to take a shower. I headed to Ben & Jerry’s for an experience and some samplings. Unlike the Turkey Hill experience, in which I could sampled as many ice cream flavors as I could, they only gave out one sample. The mango flavor was pretty good though.

After the 30-minute experience, I looked for a laundromat to wash my clothes. With the rain and my sweat, my clothes smelled bad. It was my first time using the laundromat in over 30 years.

When we first came to America, my weekend tasks were doing the laundry for my mother, sister, and myself. My mother came with me once in a while when she was not busy cooking. All the memories rushed back. I missed her dearly.

Day 2 at Stowe

I was too tired last night; therefore, I went to bed around 9:00 pm. At 8:00 am, I went down stairs, the Round Hearth Café and Marketplace, for breakfast. I met the owner and his wife. They are a young couple who run the café as well as the B&B upstairs. Nice folks!

I went to the Stowe Resort around 9:00 am. It was raining lightly. I put on my skis and went to the trails. The conditions were OK. I picked up carving on my skis again, but it still doesn’t quite feel natural to roll my knees and ankles. I ditched my poles so I could focus on my posture. Without the poles, I tried to grab my outside boot when I made the turn. I also turned my hips and pushed my knees to the side as I initiated my turns. I did those exercise all day.

I met a couple with two little boys (a two- and four-year-old). Because the four-year-old wanted to ski, they flew in from Florida and ski for a couple of days. Unfortunately, the learning side had closed for the season. The dad took his four-year-old to the bottom of the green slope and let him skied down. They did that all day long. Man, some parents are super patience.

Skiing in the rain was quite an experience. I was a bit hesitated at first, but after a few runs I just went with the flow. As I was sitting on the lift halfway up, the rain started to pour. I skied down quickly so I could get into the lodge to wait for the rain to die down. As I got closer to the lift, the rain stopped. I think Mother Nature was trolling me all day. I had a great time though.

Day 1 at Okemo

Last night, I was too excited to sleep. At 2 am, I decided to hit the road. I drove 3 hours straight to New Jersey. I stopped at the service area and napped for about half an hour. I bought a coffee and continued to drive.

I arrived at Okemo around 11 am and the rain was pouring. I saw people soaking wet coming into the lodge. I asked them about the conditions and they all said “good.” I had lunch and waited for the rain to light up.

I hit the slopes around noon. I continued to carve on my snowboard. I lost count of how many runs I got in. At 4 pm, I drove 2 more hours to Stowe, where I will be skiing and snowboarding for the next 5 days.

Trượt tuyết và Ngọc Lan

Trượt tuyết là niềm đam mê của tôi vài năm gần đây. Lần đầu tiên trong đời đặt chân lên chiếc magic carpet rồi thả hồn theo đôi skis (có biết thắng lại đâu), cái cảm giác tương tự như khi nghe tiếng hát Ngọc Lan lần đầu. Tôi không thể nào chống cự được. Càng nghe tiếng hát Ngọc Lan tôi càng say mê. Càng ski tôi càng đắm đuối.

Ngày xưa tôi sợ mùa đông lạnh lẽo và tuyết phủ kín đường về. Nhưng giờ thì khác. Trời không tuyết, tôi cũng lạy trời tuyết. Mỗi khi được đứng trên núi tuyết, tôi như đứa trẻ tự do tung tăng trên thiên đàng từ những đoạn đường màu xanh (green trails) đến những dốc gập ghềnh màu đen (double-black diamond terrains).

Năm ngoái tôi tự thử thách mình với môn snowboarding. Lúc đầu mới tập rất gian nan, nhưng khi quen rồi snowboarding mở rộng một không gian mới cho tôi. Tuy snowboard rất thú vị, nhưng tôi không bỏ được tình yêu đầu tiên của skiing, nên chơi luôn cả hai.

Trong hai video mới nhất ở Mount Snow Resort (tiểu bang Vermont), tôi dùng “Mal de Toi” và “Prisoner”, Ngọc Lan thu âm trong album Mặt trời bên kia mùa hạ, để giữ lại những kỷ niệm khó quên.

Seventh Day at Mount Snow

Since today was our last day at Mount Snow as well as our final day for the season, I caught the shuttle at 7:50 am to get to the first chairlift of the day. Unfortunately, the wind was too strong, they didn’t turn on the lift to the top as well as the lift at the back side.

There was only one lift opened and it only could take us to the blue and green trails. Since it was my last day and my legs were exhausted, I decided to take it easy on my snowboard. After my first run the blue trail, my legs were already burned from trying to carve. My heel side was fine, but my toe side couldn’t dig into the snow. I decided to change my bindings from -15 degrees (back) +15 degrees (front) to +15/+15 degrees. Just that alone changed the carving game. I was so happy. I ended up carving the entire day. I need to pick up these skills again next season.

I am sad to say goodbye to this season. My Epic counted 39 days on the slopes. I counted 43 days. I knew some days weren’t counted because they didn’t scan my card. My counts are based my journal entries on this blog. I wrote about each day to keep a record.

Without a doubt, this season had been great for us. A special shout-out to my wife for putting up with me throughout the season. I wanted to hit the slopes any chance I had. Skiing and snowboarding were a form of therapy for me. When I was on the trails, I left all of my stress and worries behind.

Sixth Day at Okemo

We diverted to Okemo today for a change. Okemo was an hour away from Mount Snow. The conditions at Okemo were slushy. I took my five-year-old son to the top. When we went back, I took him on the black instead of the green trail. He skied surprisingly well. He didn’t fall at all.

In the afternoon, I hit all the black trails on my own. I struggled on the moguls a bit. I did four runs and the back lift closed. The day seemed so short. I only did a few carvings on skis.

Tomorrow will be our last day. A week had gone by so fast. I will have to say goodbye to the season after tomorrow.

Fifth Day at Mount Snow

It was lightly rain all day. I switched to snowboarding and learned to carve. My favorite trail was Fallen Timber. It’s a mellowed black trail, not too steep and not too bumpy. I started to get into the carving groove, but my feet were too tired to bend and flex.

My wife and I went on a skiing date. We hit the green trails. She’s started to parallel on her skis. I am so happy seeing her making progress. I hope she enjoyed skiing.

We’re now resting and we’ll continue tomorrow. We only have two more days left to go. Damn, time flew by fast.

Forth Day at Mount Snow

It rained all day. Nevertheless, it didn’t stop us. The conditions were slushy, but skiable. I had to use my legs more. After the first run trying to keep up with the kids on the long green trail, my legs were burning.

I am not sure if I am getting old or I just needed some liquors to kick in. I had a can of beer for lunch and I was recharged. My wife and I had a bit of a skiing date on the green trail then I headed to the back side. After 2 black runs, they closed down the trails. The ski patrol told me, “Time to go home.”

I took the long green back to the base. I took my time to carve and it felt great to see the train tracks I left behind. Even it was raining, we had a great time.

Third Day at Mount Snow

I switched to snowboard today. I did 4 runs on the long green with the younger kids. They skied way too fast for me. I couldn’t keep up on my snowboard. Maybe I was just too exhausted on the third day. My legs gave up.

In the afternoon, I went to the backside to do my runs on the black slopes. The older kids joined me for a few more runs before we headed home. We had the whole black trail to ourselves.

It was a great day. I got a good work out.

Second Day at Mount Snow

The conditions were great. The crowd was spared. We headed to Mount Snow around 10 am. We went to Long John first with Vương, my wife, and others. Although Vương enjoyed it, he was done after 2 runs.

I went to the back side with the older kids and my brother-in-law. I led them to the mogul terrain. The kids navigated their way down. My brother-in-law was struggling so I decided to cut to the blue trail. Unfortunately, it led us into a bigger mogul terrain. He had to slide down on his butt while I side-slipped my way down.

I did a few more runs on black and blue trails and it was already 4 pm. We headed back to the rental house to relax. We’ll do it again tomorrow.

Bonjour Vietnam