You may think that when classes end in December that the wonderful social life you’ve established at school is just going to vanish and disburse across the many states that McDaniel students come from, but that doesn’t need to be the case. Earlier in the semester my friend Sean and I had the idea of putting together a ski trip to Maine where the skiing is rumored to be fantastic and we could escape from our actual homes during McDaniel’s extra long winter break. With a stroke of luck, we discovered that our friend Barnabas’s uncle had a place at Sugarloaf in Kingfield, Maine. Stroke of luck number two came when we discovered that Sugarloaf was having a college week, with discounted lift tickets and concerts during the week of January 6th.
With all of that, we packed our bags and hit the road on the 6th and made the perilous 14 hour journey from Maryland to Maine. Since Sean and I were the only two going on the trip who lived in Maryland, we picked up everyone else one by one as we drove up through New England. We picked up Jon in Philly, and then Barnabas and Clint we caught in Boston. From there the five us drove another four hours into the depths of the far-north Appalachian Mountains. It was dark when we arrived, well past 8pm. When you are as far from the big cities as we were, you can most of the stars in the night sky, and among the abundance of stars, as you looked in the direction of the mountain, you could see these bright white lights that appeared to hover hundreds of feet up in the sky. As we found out the next morning, we were staring at the gigantic north face of the mountain, and the lights were the snowcats grooming the many miles of trail leaving behind perfect, crisp, corduroy patterned snow.
The sight of the morning sun hitting it was majestic, and we could not wait to hit the slopes. The condo complex that Barney’s uncle owned had a chairlift right at the end of the parking lot which we could walk to and ride right up to the base of the mountain. Though it was cold, the skiing was great. We all had fun on the miles of marked trail, and even some adventure as we travelled off the beaten path into the miles and miles of glades that Sugarloaf has left untouched in their development of the mountain.
I cannot imagine any way I would rather have spent a week while on break; in fun company on a fun ski trip. These types of things are common in college. Last year Sean, Jon, and I went on a trip to Cocoa Beach, FL during Spring break, and we’re making plans to do that again. It’s nice when you can use the independence that comes with age to go on fun trips with your friends, and it’s really nice that the social life you foster at McDaniel can thrive in and out of the actual community itself.