Monday April 4, 2005

operation: vermont - sink or swim

Back in the days of 7th grade, my bestest friend Mike Anderson and I used to sit around watching Warren Miller ski films. Every now and then they'd show these spring skiing clips of people bombing down the hill trying to skim over a lake or pond or something.

Fast forward to three weeks ago when we found this flyer in the lodge at Mount Snow. They built a 100 foot long pond and anyone who can make it across on their skis / snowboard wins a season pass (retail price, $560). This is my destiny.

So, despite our best efforts to get a carload of kids up to VT, it was just me + Grellan + Katie.D making the trek north in Big Red Friday night. Saturday morning = cold and pouring rain. I got up at 9am to scope out the scene and sign myself up (100 people max, $15 entry fee).

Here's what we're looking at. Sure, that's probably 100 feet long. To be honest, I didn't expect it to be filled with filthy pond water.

A little video (2.7mb) so you can get a good idea of how long 150 feet is.

Around 12pm, I headed back to the mountain w/ Grellan and Katie. I took a few warmup runs (shitty snow) but was feeling pretty good. The week leading up to Sink or Swim my line on this thing was that I "guaranteed victory". Free season pass!

1pm and people are starting to line up around the pond. For some reason, most everyone is in costume while I'm rolling in my lucky gray hoodie and my b-list goggles.

I was a little intimidated by the Captain America in a jockstrap get up...

... so Katie sacrificed her lipstick to hook me up with some warpaint.

1:15. A sizable crew. I left Katie and Grellan with the digis and I hiked up the mountain. (They let you get a good 500 yard running start, but you gotta hike it).

Veterns in the crowd sporting umbrellas.

There were about 50 people in on this thing - about 2/3 of them all decked out in costumes. They call your name one at a time, you tuck down the hill and give it your best shot across the pond.

Leaning back is the trick - too much and you fall back, too forward and you sink. They say it's easier on a snowboard than on skis. Some dude was at the top trying to lube up people's decks w/ dishwashing liquid.

This girl (video, 2mb) decked out in my mom's old snowsuit made it about half way...

... a bit longer than this dude (video, 2.8mb)...

... though neither of them are a match for dpstyles' 180 talents. I hit the water pretty fast (sketched a little speed on my way through the gates), but then somehow turned switch half-way into the pond which did me in. (video, 3.5mb)

ps: special shoutout to Grellan for video talents

Instant replay from another angle. Note how I decked the lifeguard on duty. (video, 10.1mb)

ps: special shoutout to Katie on this one.

So, hold on. This is literally the coldest I have ever been in my entire life. I was in shock for like 3 seconds, thinking "why isn't anyone helping me out?", before I came to, took off my lucky Syracuse mittens and unstrapped myself. The trick is as little clothing as possible so you literally don't freeze your ass off.

See, this guy's got it all figured out. (note red asscheeks)

I figured after the thing, you'd get out and watch everyone and hang out for a bit. Whatever - I made a beeline inside for my change of clothes. I was actually planning on watching the whole thing dry (see the "guaranteed victory" part above). No such luck. Trash bag = for wet clothes!


Video proof. (3.9m)

Signed a few autographs, took a few photos with fans and then got out of there. Was in the hot tub roughly 6 minutes after this photo was taken.

So, what to do now with the rest of the afternoon off? Head to Growler City!

Huh? Oh growlers ("grawl-ers" as the kids say) are jugs 'o beer that you can refill at the local brewery for the low, low price of $6 (local brewery = 40 mins away). A few weeks ago, Jonathan was bragging about how he and Big Dig (my dad) went to Growler City to pick up 6 bottles.

That was the weekend of the infamous jump-kick-to-the-arm which I delivered to Jonathan, putting him in a sling (not broken) and off skis for a week or so. That night, while he sat around playing Playstation, Grellan, myself and two ladies (Dannielle + Jamie) consumed five of them. JJ was less than pleased.

So, what's a good brother to do? Refill them all!

Here's Grellan with the 6 empties.

We pondered our refill choices over a $5 sampler...

.. and dined on a delicious brewery meal...

... including the 3x sausage combo. Pow pow!

We left with 6 empty growlers...

... and returned with 16 (!!) brand new ones.

Which look really nice...

... in what used to be an empty fridge.

Of course they didn't all fit...

... so we cleaned out the other fridge to make room.

16 growlers = more than enough for next week's Closing Weekend party, so me + Grellan + Katie set off to polish off at least three of them. Through some clever math, we figured out that one growler = one six pack worth of beer. It's common knowledge that there's a sweet spot between growler #4 and growler #5 that represents the fine line between Good Times(tm) and Passed Out(tm).

You may have witnessed this theory in action if you heard of or participated in: "let's ride mom's antique sled down the stairs", "let's cannonball into the hot tub", or "let's build a kicker and jump over your jeep."

Anyway, here's somewhere between #4 and #5.

Before we leave, a quick look at the whiteboard in the kitchen:

We've got a new record of 16 growlers in one trip...

... two existing speed records (as recorded by my soon-to-be-returned GPS unit)...

... and the "Days on Snow" count which has me still stuck on 23 days. I'm shooting for 25 though next weekend = last weekend.

Oh, and in case you haven't heard, Big Red is on her last legs. Something's gone crazy with the transmission, it takes a tank and a quarter to get to VT now, she drinks oil and can't break 30 mph going up hill without a running start. I can't roll with that...

... so we met up w/ Dig at some random Cracker Barrel (delicious, btw) and swapped shaky 'o Big Red for my Mom's Pathfinder. Suckers. (me + new car = coming soon)

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