So, how's your first of two fabulous February Vacation weeks going?
My late brother Steve Eastman (1949-2008), co-founder of The Mountain Ear, always used to say, “Give me a winter with a good Christmas Week and a good February vacation week, and things will be fine.”
Well, Steve, you finally got your wish, as it appears that everyone is having a strong week following Nemo the Nor-easter and small snowstorms, just as most places did when we got that Christmas storm just prior to the holiday week.
And, we may be in for more snow this Saturday — anywhere from 3 to 6 inches, according to one computer model, or 10 to 12. “It will be the third weekend in a row that a snowstorm will impact parts of the region,” notes AccuWeather's Alex Sosnowski Thursday.
Imagine: snow, great conditions, and lots of visitors. Who could ask for more, right?
“We're having a great week, up over last year,” said Dick Delaney, co-owner of Delaney's Hole-in-the-Wall Restaurant of North Conway, and president of the Valley Originals group of independent restaurants, when we called at lunchtime Thursday, yet another mostly sunny day. “Lunch has been slower the past few days, but nights have been busy.”
(Lunch, we opined, may be slower because people in this good weather have actually been outside, enjoying the conditions).
Last Updated on Thursday, 21 February 2013 04:16
Did the valley somehow get relocated to Colorado or Utah this week in the days following the powdery Nemo the Nor-easter last Friday and Saturday?
No complaints here from this sun-loving skier and ski writer.
Last Updated on Thursday, 14 February 2013 05:21
“Sweet!” is the collective word expressed by skiers, snowboarders, snowshoers and snowmobilers as we welcome the anticipated storm.
When was the last time you saw a headline on AccuWeather.com of “Blizzard to Bury New England at Week's End”? Wrote Alex Sosnowski Thursday morning, “Two storms will merge quickly enough to bring colder air, tremendous snow and damaging wind to New England.”
The storm will do more than end a recent snow drought in part of the New England, added Sosnowski on AccuWeather.com. “The list is long on storm characteristics and impacts. Some areas will be hit with an all-out blizzard and buried under a couple of feet of snow and massive drifts.
“The worst of the storm will hit the Boston area late Friday and Friday night and will wind down Saturday morning. However, lingering effects from blowing and drifting snow, blocked roads and other travel problems are likely to linger into much of the weekend.”
Local weather observer Ed Bergeron reported that headed into the storm, we had received 33.3 inches of snow for the year to date, but this will get us back on track. Let 'er blow!
SUPER SUNDAY: Sunday, as the Conway Daily Sun's meteorologist Tom Chisholm notes, is shaping up to be a great day on the slopes, touring trails and snowmobile trails. Visit his daily forecast at www.conwaydailysun.com.
Among the day's events is the American Cancer Society's 36th annual Race to Beat Cancer Hope on the Slopes Race, to be held Feb. 10 at Cranmore Mountain Resort.
It's a great day of camaraderie, all for a great cause.
Having done this race for the past two years, I urge you to participate, either as a racer, volunteer or sponsor. I will be part of Team Believe, which will feature a few members of the young When Pink Pigs Fly team of Race to Beat Cancer and Schneider Cup fame.
You can enter as a skier or snowboarder, or even as a snow tuber. A minimum contribution of $75 os requested for those 18 and over, and $50 for those 17 years and under.
We ran into local snowboarder Jenn Goodson at the marketing meeting of the North Conway Village Association at the Up Bar at Horsefeathers Monday night, and she said she was raising sponsorship money on-line.
Like the ACS' annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer every fall, North Conway Village Association's Paint the Town Pink promotion, also in October, and Jen's Friends' annual Climb Against Cancer in September, the Race to Beat Cancer is a meaningful and touching way to raise funds in the fight against cancer.
We all long to have another birthday, and the ACS helps to make more birthdays everywhere.
Hope to see you there at the race!
REMEMBERING GREG: News colleague Gair MacKenzie of WMWV 93.5-FM had a wonderful interview with Steve Cote of Chalmers Insurance Thursday about his late friend and former Fryeburg Academy teammate Gregg Sanborn, the Maine Warden Service's No. 2 man, who died Tuesday at age 47 after battling cancer for more than a year.
In the interview, Steve told how Sanborn arrived late to a basketball practice as they were preparing for the Western Maine Conference finals in 1984.
They practiced, but 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, and there was no Gregg, who was the tri-captain.
“Finally, after 20 minutes of practice, he burst into the small Gibson gym, wearing [hunter] camouflage and the whole bit. As he was sprinting to the locker room to get dressed, he yelled out that he had been 'deer hunting and had shot a deer, and tracked it but couldn't find it!' Coach said something to the effect that that 'was all very impressive,' but that we were all going to have to do some running because of his tardiness. So, when he came out of the locker room, we all had to run for 20 minutes!”
Cote, coach of the Kennett boys' team today, says he tells the story because it says so much about his late teammate and friend.
“First of all, how many people would show up 20 minutes late to face the music? But that was Gregg,” said Steve. “He had gotten up early to go deer hiunting, because he was such an avid outdoorsman, but he also was committed to basketball.”
A good story, and a good man.
Due to the forecast for the storm this weekend, the events celebrating the life of Gregg Sanborn have changed –
Visiting hours have been moved to Sunday, Feb. 10, from 4 to 6 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy, 15 Oak Grove Road, Vassalboro, Maine.
Gregg’s funeral is now on Monday, Feb. 11, at 11 a.m. at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy. Buses will still transport from Fryeburg, please call Marion Brine for more information at (207) 935-2974.
A Celebration of Life hosted by the Friends of Gregg Sanborn will be held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 13, at Fryeburg Academy’s Performing Arts Center.
SO LONG TO FRANK: Our Lady of the Mountains was packed last Saturday for the Mass of Christian Burial for our late friend, former Boston Det. Frank Graham, who passed from prostate cancer a few weeks ago.
A devoted husband and dad, he was a tireless local volunteer and beloved substitute teacher at Bartlett Elementary.
Local Irish troubadour Dennis O'Neil of Dennis and Davey fame played “The Irish Blessing” on acoustic guitar near the end of the service, and there wasn't a dry eye in the church. Frank's fellow Knights of Columbus paid silent tribute during the well-attended service.
Frank's widow, Paula, thanked members of the Boston and Bartlett Police Departments for their attendance, with Chief Tim Connifey and the Bartlett color guard standing at the entrance of the church.
Frank loved to sing, and as a true Irishman, always loved a good story. His son, Mark, in his brief eulogy shared a story that I never knew about Frank, and that was that he was the first to volunteer as an officer to be partnered “with a person of color on the Boston Police Department.”
Again, another good story about a good man. The valley will miss his service, as will his fellow parishioners at Our Lady of the Mountains.
That's all that fits for this week. Good luck to the valley's Leanne Smith at the World Championships in Austria this weekend. As for the rest of us, stock up, and ride out the storm with a good book or movie. Then, see you on the slopes!
Last Updated on Monday, 11 February 2013 02:29
From another crazy Mountain Meister race in the fog this past Wednesday for Week 4 at Cranmore, to the second record for high temperatures for January on Thursday at 53 degrees, it's been an odd week here in the Mount Washington Valley, as everyone gears up for skiing locally while the rest of the world is getting ready for Sunday's Super Bowl XLVII between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers.
Without the Patriots in the big game, it just doesn't seem to matter as much, does it?
Local ski areas and touring centers are coming up with all sorts of ticketing gimmicks to entice skiers and riders to the slopes. The game doesn't start until 6:30 p.m. Sunday, which means everyone has plenty of time to enjoy the slopes and touring trails before rushing off to a local watering hole or the home TV, flat screen or otherwise.
“With many season passholder appreciation events planned for the weekend, and our big game $39 full-day lift ticket offer on Sunday, Feb. 3, all of the trails and terrain at both mountains [Attitash and Wildcat] that we have made snow on and can groom should be in good shape,” said Wildcat and Attitash marketing director Thomas Prindle. “I’m personally hoping that some forecasted snow that we may get Friday and in to the weekend will also contribute to the best possible conditions for the weekend. We’re having a great season so far and I’ve had a couple meteorologists indicate that February looks like a much better month for snow storms.”
Last Updated on Friday, 01 February 2013 00:27
Pipes freezing, cars that won't start ... isn't this nice way to celebrate the best of winter?
Wildcat Mountain closed Wednesday and Thursday, which was a good call, and planned to reopen today.
Neighboring Mount Washington as I write this Thursday at noon is experiencing a temperature of minus 23 degrees F, with a wind from the Northwest gusting to 94 mph, giving the summit a windchill of minus 69.5 degrees. Talk about Brrrsday.
“Oh yeah, Wednesday was the coldest it's been in a few years [a reading of minus 35 was recorded], and today is cold, but it's not record cold. The record cold for the day is negative 43,” is how Mount Washington Observatory observer and IT specialist Steve Welsh put it when we called at noon Thursday.
Last Updated on Thursday, 24 January 2013 03:53