Tampa Tribune, January 2011
As any Tampa area parent who has ever embarked upon a family ski vacation knows, they can start out as heaven â€¦ and quickly begin to resemble that snowless place farther to the south. And no, I’m not talking Miami. I’m talking H-E-double hockey sticks.
The reasons are many. For starters, there’s the long, cramped plane ride followed by the long, cramped car ride to reach the resort. (Sound familiar, Colorado?) Then there’s the chaos of getting little Floridians into endless layers of clothing and waddling out the door to get their rental equipment and enroll in ski school.
If things go well, those bundled-up cherubs make some friends and have a good day on the slopes. If not, they duke it out with 10 other students for the attention of a disinterested instructor who returns them to you â€” cold, miserable and expelling weird icicles from their noses.
Somewhere in the midst of all this, you and your significant other are also supposed to sneak out and actually have fun.
My family has been there, done that, and now stacks the deck by zeroing in on Park City, Utah…
Tampa Tribune, January 2010
Taken at face value, the ski resorts of North Carolina’s High Country are statistically challenged.
Here’s one: 365 feet. That’s the total vertical drop at Appalachian Ski Mountain, a height just slightly greater than the 27-story Tampa Marriott Waterside.
Here’s another: 1. That’s the total number of high-speed lifts in the entire region. Escalators at International Plaza move faster than most Carolina chairlifts.
And then there’s perhaps the most damning stat of all: 66 inches. It’s the area’s average annual snowfall. I’d wager the freezers at Bern’s Steak House produce more frost.
So why am I pleasantly satisfied as I slip into my seat for the short flight back to Tampa after three days on the Carolina slopes? Maybe it’s because statistics don’t tell the whole story.
Review: Lib Tech Skate Banana
Utah Skier Online, February 2009
When I first laid eyes on Lib Techâ€™s now nearly legendary Skate Banana, I thought the name fit. Yes, it looked like one, all yellow and with a suspicious curve. But I also thought it was, well, bananasâ€¦as in crazy.
Suffice it to say, Iâ€™m now a believer…
There’s Something About Breckenridge…
First Tracks Online, February 2008
I was wearing shorts, looking out my home office window at palm trees, when I made the call.
â€śBreckenridge, last weekend of the season,â€ť was all I had to say.
I could already picture the scene at the opposite end of the phone line â€” a guy in business casual, sitting at a desk, the annoying hum of responsibility hanging in the air.
â€śLet me think about it,â€ť he said, and was gone.
Where Else But Tahoe?
First Tracks Online, April 2009
There’s something about the onslaught of spring that makes me long for a few last days on the snow. Maybe it’s the simple realization that I won’t venture onto a slope â€” at least not one covered in white â€” for more than six months. Or maybe I just kind of like that combination of sunshine, corn snow, and those tanned faces at the outdoor grill. Whatever the case it’s about this time every year I start getting a little itchy to take one last, glorious road trip.
And no, by this time of year I donâ€™t mean March, or even early April. Iâ€™m talking the bitter end, past Easter, past tax day, past the time when most people have long put away their skis and instead are honing their golf swings or cranking up the miles on the bike. Iâ€™m talking late April â€“ early May, the time of year when one area of the country reins supreme.
Obviously, Iâ€™m talking Lake Tahoe.