January, 2001, Trip Comments by Chris Nason

On the first weekend of the New Year approximately 34 New Englanders along with several of our New York friends headed north to be close to the Canadian boarder. Our destination was the Craftsbury Outdoor Center where we hoped to experience great snow conditions so that we might fulfill our snowshoeing and cross country skiing goals. Our hopes were more than fulfilled. Craftsbury Outdoor Center held all that we needed to feed our bodies and souls. The snow conditions were excellent with fresh snow cover each day. The accommodations were clean and very comfortable. We were housed all in one building and mostly on one floor. At the end of the floor was a wonderful down home type living room area that suited our group to a tee. In addition to all this, the food was superb with home made breads and dressings, fresh mixed green salad each day and dishes that originate right there at the center. In fact they publish their very own cookbook, which is available in the gift/accessory shop. We were able to rent snowshoes and skis at the touring center shop, which is right, down the road from the gift shop.

I chose to snowshoe on the first day. So with my guide Linda, and Mark with guide Annie, and Marie with guide Kari, we heeded out and had our choice of well-marked trails. We laughed and joked and huffed and puffed. The quiet of the pristine snow and fresh air was spectacular. I have enough sight that I could appreciate the glistening snow on the trees and bushes. We headed out again in the afternoon on another of the many trails. This time some others joined us in our group that heard our tales of fun and laughter and frolicking in the morning snow.

On Sunday, I tried my hand at cross-country skiing. My experience on skis is very limited, to put it mildly and my balance isnít that of a tight-rope walker either. However, with the assistance of my very wonderful guide and roommate, Sandie, I was able to remain upright for quite a while. I was so excited! Sandie was so supportive and encouraging and patient.

There is so much that might be said of this latest of NERSFL adventures that itís hard to know where to stop. My trip ended by saying good-by to a very cool guy Jim, who was our driver and a first time guide. With Jimís great sense of humor and Kelly and Marie and Me as the best "back seat drivers"....well what can I say except that everything was "awesome!"