turkeys, Cranmore, Wildcat 11-22-14

Bonus day!
The weekend before Thanksgiving has always been the least likely weekend of the whole year for me to get on the slopes. I've had more days in June than on this November weekend. For my whole adult life the weekend before Thanksgiving has been all about killing and preparing turkeys for the holiday. Usually about 700 per year. But last year was the end of the family's full farm operation. This year we only did enough for ourselves. Out of habit I showed up at dawn to get things started. It was a sucky 19 degrees, but it's been worse and there's really no choice. We got he birds moved out of the pen, cleaned the pen, and got prepped for the kill. But then we discussed the forecast, and the fact that there were only 25, and the fact that there was some pie coming out of the oven. And for the first time in my memory....we put it off. We went and ate pie, and talked about past years, and talked about the plan for tomorrow. There's plenty of work to do tomorrow, including 25 birds that don't know what's coming......

But that meant I was 100% free at noon on a Saturday in November. Holy @#$# what a concept. I seriously didn't know what to do with myself. I thought about Christmas shopping in North Conway. But as I rolled into town I could see a white strip down Cranmore. Yeah, I know It's Cranmore, but it's a whole lot better option than the misery of retail. The place was dead! Did they announce that they were opening? But the snow was nice and it had turned into a sunny, 32 degree day. They snow was very friendly and Mt Washington looked pretty majestic off there in the distance...

As good as it was, the flatness and the pull of Mt W was just too much to take. So after a handful of runs I bolted for the Notch.

But of course the Notch is fickle. By the time I got to the Pinkham lodge strange things were happening.

I rolled into Wildcat still in my snowboard boots, still in all my gear. I hustled to the lift because I knew the weather and daylight were limited. I had pretty low expectations for 3pm snow on a cold, dark, windy day. But Wildcat didn't disappoint at all. Conditions were firm but edgeable. And the 2K of vert was a blast after the 540' of Cranmore. Washington had a nice cap on and I squeezed in 2 T2B runs before full on night set in. Good enough for me on a day when I expected nothing at all!

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