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Archive for November, 2012

Falling Behind and Superstition

Saturday, November 10th, 2012

Last night we received enough snow to make a snowball if you scraped off the hood of the truck or porch railings. Not time to break out the grooming equipment just yet. This veneer of of snow did provide a wake-up call and a segue to a bit of collegiate memories.

Certainly not West Yellowstone and more like the first cough of trying to start a chainsaw with the choke fully closed. Hopefully we can go to fully open and get the winter into the scream of a throttle wide open two-stroke.

I had a professor who would assign a paper on a Monday and have it do Friday. This schedule gave his students five days to conduct the research and write the paper. His logic presume we’d wait until the last minute to start even if we had weeks of lead time. He could have assigned it to me on Thursday afternoon with no effect on my planning. Decades later and the pattern of last minute heroics remains the SOP.

Leap forward to this week and winter shooting a warning across the bow of my grooming operation. Groomable snow might be a few weeks away and there is still a lot of work to do. The trails provide a place to ski in the winter and access to firewood in the summer. My procrastination at collecting the bucked up trees bit pretty hard. My last post showed a dry season and firm trails. With a few good sized storms and steady rain have rehydrated the trails making truck passage a mud bogging adventure. Now I need it to stay cold with no snow so the ground freezes so the family won’t.

Last season I destroyed my wooden roller frame and had every intention of welding up a much stronger and hopefully crash resistant steel chassis. I haven’t even made the trip to the steel supply for materials. Granted, the drive is long and gas is expensive but these are only excuses to cover my procrastination.

My ego can’t admit/accept pure sloth so I’ll play the superstition card. Last season I was all set to groom by the beginning of November and we had a horrible winter for skiing. With a bout of omnipotence followed by humility, my preparation was responsible for the horrid ski season here in the Upper Valley. This year I’m going to wait until the middle of a blizzard to buy steel and begin the welding projects. Yes, the “s” is correct. I need to rebuild my drag too. Just a bit of insurance for the tempt fate strategy for enticing the gods of winter to bury us this season.

Busted and prototype grooming equipment looking pretty glum cavorting with abandoned appliances and other detritus. Just a piece of New England you won’t see gracing the cover of Vermont Life magazine.

The sled needs servicing, trees downed by storms need clearing, wood chips need to fill in the few holes and cover rocks and hollows, the fields need a bit of mowing, and the far out reaches of the trails have yet to be inspected. I’m certain the list is longer. Public admission to my procrastination makes me look irresponsible and not just lazy, or better yet, superstitious.

Since posting last ski season the email notice someone has commented on the blog has stopped working. I really appreciate the comments and feedback so I apologize to Tim for not getting back sooner. I’ll take the risk of running up the hit counter and cover my narcissism with the guise of maintaining relationships with the readers.

In Vermont people are pretty much at the top of the food chain and I never thought the noise of machinery as a survival mechanism. Seeing a bear in Vermont is pretty rare. I’ve seen plenty of evidence bears live near and use the trails for traversing the woods but I have yet to see one on the system near the house.

I’m making this post early Saturday morning and the day is setting up quite well for getting a bit of trail work/equipment maintenance/building today. Can’t do it. There are still a few weeks before the snow arrives for the winter and I don’t want to risk chasing it away by being prepared.