For the first time in 13 years, this winter I will not have a season 
pass at the Middlebury Snow Bowl. Those who have endured my scribblings 
over that time will recall that all four of my kids learned to ski there 
in the ski school, three of them raced for a few years in the ski club, 
and one of them instructed there as a high school student. This winter 
marks the first time that none of my kids have any ties to the Bowl. 
(Actually, Neil has made noises about maybe trying to become an 
instructor like his big sister was, but nothing will be decided on that 
front until December.)

I've always gotten the hugely-discounted season passes that employees of 
the college enjoy, but things are different now. The kids are (mostly) 
grown, the employee discount is not as great as it used to be, and, 
well, the allure of the little hill has faded a bit.

Still, there are some things I'll miss about that little hill, mainly 
having to do with the fact that everyone knows me there, as well my 
kids, and the people I know at the Bowl are mostly the same ones I know 
from town. I can't remember the last time I actually had to show my pass 
to anyone. Several years ago I showed up on the first day of the season 
to try out my new skis. The liftie that morning not only remembered me 
and welcomed me back, but recognized that I was on different skis and 
asked me how I liked them. That doesn't happen most places. Some of the 
other lifties would routinely ask about the kids, comment on their 
skiing, how big they were getting, etc. etc. I'll kind of miss that.

But not too much. So this winter I've gone and gotten a pass at the next 
closest area to home, MRG. I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward 
to more than my usual 5-6 days a year there.

I think it's gonna be a great winter. See you out there.

Dave G.

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