January 5-8,  2007

With scant snow and none predicted, it was suspected that there would be little or no skiing at Craftsbury Outdoor Center.  This turned out to be true.  Despite this, twenty-four people came and a good time was had by all!  We are learning that the fellowship and personal interaction that these weekends provide are just as important as the activities themselves.

There was a multitude of things to do despite the lack of XC skiing and snowshoeing.  The Craftsbury staff went out of their way to provide alternative activities and group members generated plenty of options as well.   The activities included a yoga class, a fascinating talk complete with animal pelts by a naturalist followed by a tracking walk, plenty of walking and treks in the woods and even a challenging hike at a nearby mountain. As a nice contrast to all the outdoor exercise there were also opportunities for shopping, massages, and just plain hanging out. Some attendees even took advantage of the exercise room and sauna.

In the middle of Saturday afternoon a violent storm came up with thunder and lightning. This caused torrential rain and a complete power outage. The fun came in adapting to this event. We thank Nancy for use of her three flashlights and for the many glow sticks that Craftsbury staff provided, not to mention the superb mobility skills of the visually impaired participants who guided the sighted guides around.  Eventually an electrical cord was strung through the window of the common room from another building that had a generator. That evening the center was able to serve a delicious hot dinner despite the power outage.  By late evening, the power was back on. 

That evening a very successful silent auction and fundraiser were held.  Later in the evening many of us went to a performance by a local folk singer who performed in the dining room.  On Sunday night Russ Spring, the founder and owner of the facility gave a talk about the history of the Center, where he also raised his family.  He has now turned over much of the management to one of his sons who was also present for the talk.

All in all it was a fun and relaxing weekend. The group decided to return once again.  Next year’s trip will be held the weekend of January 4th-7th 2008.

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