Fun and Games at Craftsbury Outdoor Center
Craftsbury Common, Vermont
January 6 - 9, 2006
Written by David Fisk

Conditions and Ski Adventures :
Of course, the snow conditions were good, as they always seem to be at Craftsbury. Apparently, Craftsbury gets snow when no one else does, and the operators groom (the trails) well and often. Skiing on Big Hosmer Lake was especially good this year, and several of us discovered that it's a great workout (including me, chasing Duane) and a great place to practice classical technique. And there's no reason to face plant on the lake.

We had about forty skiers and guides (I lost count), but by Saturday around dark we had misplaced Nancy and Ron. They, too, had discovered Hosmer and were still skiing. Fortunately, they returned before the search party went out. (Now Nancy sees the logic of carrying a two-way radio!)

After our Craftsbury weekend, I found some satellite photos of Big Hosmer that were taken that Sunday. Someone appears to have tramped patterns on the lake snow to entice aliens to land. The patterns weren't in any known language, but seemed to have a structure. Perhaps Chris could decipher them for us (and NASA).

New People :
We had several attendees new to Ski for Light or to the Regional: Mary, from Minneapolis (ha ha—St. Paul, really), Marilee and Ed, from Virginia, George, from Vermont, and Andrew (Susan and Joe A’s son), from Wrenchville, Connecticut (Wrenchville, Ridgefield, whatever—they sound the same). Any who have attended SFL International events probably found a somewhat less structured atmosphere at Craftsbury. I hope they found it appealing, and hope all the newcomers will return.

Evening Activities :
The Silent Auction and Raffle offered both bargains and laughs (we have to get a better looking model, though!) As I recall, Sunday evening was much subdued compared to Saturday. Not even a Scrabble game to be found—or maybe the Scrabblers were hiding from me.

Food :
There were some comments that Craftsbury's food isn't as good as it used to be. Although I agree that some meals aren't as exciting as they once were, the food is always freshly prepared, is mostly  homemade, and is healthful. I still think it's the best ski weekend eating we've encountered. We might talk to the owners about a larger supply of vegetarian dishes, however.

Miscellaneous Musings :
Several years ago, skiing replaced bicycling as my favorite sport. The feeling of exercising outdoors in the clean, crisp air, in a season that would logically have us huddled indoors, makes me feel very alive.  New England Regional Ski for Light and its people add another dimension to the experience.

Sue C. and Donna had good coffee brewing in the common room every morning.

Nancy’s lost cell phone: I had fun calling all the numbers in the phone's memory trying to figure out whose phone it was!

A great feature of Craftsbury is that once we arrive, there's NO DRIVING! Walk to meals; walk to the gift (wine) shop; walk to the trails.

We're scheduled to go to Craftsbury again in January 2007. Not only that!  We’re going back for a summer weekend of canoeing, kayaking, hiking, swimming and relaxation from August 25-28.  I hope you can attend one or both of these events!

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