I'm sure every high school english teacher cringes when they see the word gotta... but this is a blog. So relax. I know it's not a real word, neither is outta. But they help me expresses exactly how the month of February makes me feel. I'm over it, I'm tired. I'm lazy. It's dark and dreary all the time. The ground is covered with snow and slushy ice mixed with trash and dog poo. It's just a sloppy month. On top of all of this it's mostly miserable surfing conditions at the beaches. By Valentine's Day the ocean is at bone chilling temperatures for the New England states. You gotta wear a lot of rubber. There's that word again.
My wave count has been low in the month of February since moving to New England. Last February I was able to escape to Costa Rica for 5 days. This February, I'm not going to be able to travel too far. If I go anywhere, I'll need to go by car so I can bring the Fletch Dog with me. So that pretty much eliminates the possibility of escaping to any place warm. As I'm looking at the long-range surf forecast there doesn't seem to be much on the horizon, other than a few wind type events where the good days will surely fall during times when I won't be able to get outta work. Yup. I used the word outta again. Yup's not a word either. I'm on a roll.
So I'm thinking about a possible snowboard run. Which isn't always easy. Most mountains are crowded during the month of February. The New England States have a week off from school, so families use it as an opportunity to go on vacations... a lot of them ski vacations. It's not like out west either. The mountains are comparatively small (5-10 minutes top to bottom on a snowboard). You spend more time waiting in line for a lift than actually riding, and then the rides are short and packed with skiers everywhere. Snowboarders are a little farther down in pecking order on the east coast. It's not totally like skiers are snob elitists and snowboarders are rebel anarchists, but I definitely notice the tension a little more than when I'm riding in Tahoe, Vail or Whistler.
One place I think is a decent day trip is Mt. Sunapee in Newbury, NH. It's an OK size for the area and a good value if you buy advance tickets online. The snow is pretty good and it doesn't get crowded until early lunch time on most days. I can drive to Sunapee from my house in 1.5 hours. So I do it early, first few chairs, and I shred until I get hungry for lunch... or the crowd starts to annoy me. I can usually get a half dozen runs before this happens. Then I go eat in the snack bar. After, I brave the lines for one or two more and then I'm outta there. OK, maybe I'm forcing it now.
On a normal crowd size day, it takes about 25 minutes roundtrip to wait in line, ride the lift, then shred down the mountain on mostly blue runs. I used my surf watch to give you an idea of the distance and set-up of the mountain. I ride slow. Gimme a break I'm from Florida. The mountain is not my natural habitat. Gimme. Ha.
This year I really wanted to get up to Vermont to do some shredding. I hear really good things about the Killington and Jay Peak areas. Sunday River in Maine looks fun as well. But once I start doing the actual planning I realize what a mission it would be to do the trip solo. I've tried to put the idea in my brother's head to do a family vacation at Jay Peak, and I can meet them there. My niece and nephew are toddlers, they would enjoy the indoor water park for sure. They'd be stoked just to see real snow. I didn't see real snow until I was like 24 years old. The Jay Peak family trip could possibly happen 2018 or '19, but no plans now. Tax season is about to get cranking for the Brunts down south, so I probably won't hear from them until after April 16. Bunch of nerds ;P
I'm watching a foot of snow pile up on my back porch right now. Dude. I wish I was in my bungalow apartment in Floridana Beach for this month. February is really good for surfing in that area. From Cocoa Beach down to Ft. Pierce, there are a lot of waves to be had in that stretch of coastline... and relatively warm water for the time of year. Relative to 38 degrees at Nantasket Beach in Massachusetts. But my school break is only a week away and Florida just isn't going to happen. I'm keeping my eye on the surf forecast for New England, just in case it improves. I'd drive out to Cape Cod for a few days if there was something worth riding. But right now, the forecast is down. I'll post some pictures from Mt. Sunapee if I do hit the slopes. I bet I can squeeze in a few snow shredding sessions between sitting around, not surfing. For all my friends in Florida, I'll just leave these pictures right here. Be glad you're warm in the Sunshine State. Man, I gotta get outta here!