Shit happens sometimes.  You can’t change it, nor can you predict when it’s going to happen.  The only thing you can do is decide whether to let it bring you down or make the best of it.  Sometimes, life hands you a bunch of lemons.   When it does, make lemonade (or better yet, make limoncello!).

So friday night my fellow travelmates and I have been sitting at Rocklands, our local hangout, for a few hours waiting for news on our delayed flight up north.  A nasty winter storm up there had been pounding the airport in Portland, Maine and after 3-4 delays, the outlook for our trip looked bleak.  Then, at about 10pm (an hour after our flight was originally supposed to take off) we got the call none of us wanted to hear.

“We regret to inform you that your flight has been canceled”


I dialed the airline and found the next available flight we could all take together;  Monday morning.

We were crushed.  Months of planning, training, buying gear, re-buying gear, testing, reading, talking it up to friends; all down the tubes.  Scheduling conflicts between the three of us meant that we wouldn’t be available to go again until mid-april, well after the winter climbing season was over.

It’s at times like this, times when you’re nursing your 3rd bourbon on the rocks and feeling at your lowest when it’s easy to sink into despair.  You can choose to be angry, sad, disappointed and deflated…


You can  rise up out of your bar stool (carefully) and you can choose to seize the moment.  You can take a bad/unfortunate/shitty ass situation and twist it into something great. Right after you order another drink.

So over the 4th bourbon we hatched our plan.  We already had all the cold weather gear we needed to do anything outside.  We wanted to see mountains and get some kind of adventure in.    In the end we decided to wake up  the next morning, before dawn, and drive the 5 hours out to the Snowshoe mountain in West Virginia, rent a room at the lodge, and have an impromptu ski/snowboard weekend in.

And that’s just what we did.  Just a bit hungover, and after a 5 hour drive that involved copious amounts of Dunkin Donuts, numerous caffeinated beverages and more than a little John Denver and Johnny Cash on the iPod, we arrived at snowshoe to beautiful sunny skies, mild temps and many freshly groomed trails waiting to be ridden.

Taste the rainbow of outdoor apparel!

When we needed a break from riding, or falling in my case, we found plenty of time to enjoy a few of the finest 24oz tall boy beers

Yeah boyeeee!!

And that’s pretty much how the whole weekend went.  We rode, we drank beers, ate some bad food, met a lot of really fun people (I’m talking to you, the gang of folks from South Carolina!) and had a great time.

Do we still wish we could have summited Mt Washington this weekend?  Absolutely.  Am I disappointed we couldn’t make it?  Sure.

However, like all mountains, Mt Washington will always be there.   But completely improvised and incredibly fun weekends with two great buddies, well that’s a rare something you just don’t find every day.