by Sara [photos by Jonathan Chipman]
[At the end of February vacation, Sara, Johanna, and Perrin skied into the AMC’s Zealand Falls Hut for an overnight with other Ford Sayre and some CSU families – continuing a tradition begun by some of their grandparents!]
As we arrived at the Zealand Falls Trail Head we were excited to begin the long trek to the hut. We had packed light, but it was still a challenge to ski with the extra weight. We were the first to ski the spruce goose trail that day so we had to break trail, making it a slow slog up the mountain. Our line of 20 or so skiers slowly but surely made our way to the end of the trail, dragging out poles which were completely useless in the thick powder, where we met up with the unbalanced parent who were too timid to take the narrow trail. After stuffing sandwiches down our throats in an attempt to finish first out of the kids so we would have first dibs on beds, we found ourselves once again on the one laned trail to the cabin.
Finally, exhausted after the three hour (but only 14K) ski and after wailing the last 200 meters up a very very steep, cliff like uphill, we made it to the hut, and Perrin continued her vacation habit of drinking, rather eating, her daily three hot chocolate mix packets (don’t worry, it was followed by whole wheat bread and broccoli). After many games of Spoons, Up Jenkins, and Banana Grams, and our classic skits which were hilarious, of course, we headed off to bed at the wee hours of 9:00. After a night accompanied by a chorus of snoring and sleep-talking, we awoke to make pancakes for the whole crew. We found that Perrin was a bit to cold, Johanna a bit to warm, and Sara was just right (she was in the middle).
After a quick picture, we tumbled down the cliff to collect our skis, “frolicking in the luscious, fluffy powder,” as Perrin so poetically put it. We’d received a few inches of fresh snow, so we were breaking trail again as we skillfully maneuvered the down hills. Or maybe not so skillfully for Johanna, as she found herself face down in the snow more than a few times. After finally arriving at the bottom (with one more breathtaking fall from Johanna), Perrin collapsed, and was nothing more than a corpse in the snow as Johanna and Sara threw M&M’s into her mouth. She was revived, however by our diner brunch as she devoured potatoes, two eggs, a bagel and cream cheese, some French toast, bacon, and finished off Daniel’s burger, which she drowned and then drowned again in ketchup.