Monday, November 10, 2014

Gramma Plans a Bucket List Day Trip to a Mid-Atlantic Ski Resort

"The key to happiness is freedom, and the key to freedom is courage"
Here in the mid-Atlantic, as the local meteorologists begin to vaguely mention the words "cold" and "snow" in the extended forecast, I begin to dread the shoveling, slush, cold, and mess that snow brings. And yet a large part of me welcomes the snow. There is a beauty that snow brings as it covers the earth in a pure, white blanket. And snow brings opportunities for adventures and fun.  A chance for me to continue to participate in checking a bucket list item off as completed.

Gramma learns to snowboard

On December 12th of last year, at age 49, I learned to snowboard.  It was a wondrous experience.  The Mister gave me my first lesson in a nearly empty schoolyard late at night. It was amazing and I regretted that I hadn't tried snowboarding earlier in my life. Yet, I probably wasn't ready at an earlier age in life.  There is a freedom that comes with maturity that brings a different kind of brave.  I was finally courageous enough to try to snowboard.

I continued to practice a few times last year, practicing in schoolyards and on fire lanes in local wooded areas.  While last year was brutally cold and icy, there wasn't much snow that was good for snowboarding. I would have loved more opportunities to practice.

That is why I became excited when the news forecast included talk about the approaching Polar Vortex. I can't wait to go snowboarding again. And I think I will plan a trip to one of the local ski resorts. 

I had never expected there to be ski resorts on the east coast. Before traveling here on a regular basis, I expected the area to be too tropical for snow sports.  Oh, such a silly girl I was. There are ski resorts here.  Nearly every Monday, during the winter season, there is someone at work who talks about having been skiing, tubing, or snowboarding nearby. This year, I hope that I am also talking about snowboarding down a real hill. I am definitely ready to try snowboarding on a slope.

Let's keep in mind that the Mid-Atlantic region is nowhere near the elevation of Telluride, Colorado. But even so, there are plenty of places in the Mid-Atlantic to find a lift to take you to the top and a hill to come down.

A helpful snowboard tutorial.  

It is not as difficult to learn to snowboard as I expected. And not half as scary.  For me, getting up from fastening my bindings was the most difficult part. But this young lady shows a way of getting up that I will try this year.  If you are very nervous and not starting at a ski resort with lessons, I'd advise starting on a smaller hill than in this video. With the right snow, your board will slide on the smallest of hills.  

Popular ski resorts convenient to the Baltimore and DC areas.

I am listing the four resorts that my co-workers and client families most visit:
Here is a complete list of the 34 mid-Atlantic ski resorts as listed in DCSki.  This list also includes resorts in Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina.  

If you have ever wanted to snowboard but have just been too nervous, even if you are my age or older, I recommend that you give it a try.  It is not nearly as scary as it looks.  You can be bashful like I was and start in a yard with the smallest of incline if the snow is right.  Or you can go all out and start at a resort. Either way - be courageous and live your dreams. 

Written by Dawn Rae
Disclosure: In affiliation with, Dawn Rae is a blogger and content writer who may earn compensation from the sale of AllPosters products.

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  1. You are braver than I, the only thing I'll do that gets both my feet off the ground is to get into a plane.......

    1. Aw, thank you. I'm not sure I"m so brave. And my feet don't get off the ground except when I fall down. I usually am with both feet and my bottom firmly attached to the ground. I'll be happy when I am able to spend longer periods of time on my feet.

  2. I've never tried snowboarding (or skiing or any of the winter sports). Sledding as a child was the closest I ever came to doing winter sports. LOL. My uncle attended college in Lake Placid, NY for the SOLE purpose of being able to ski regularly! (He said he went there to study hotel administration, but our family knew what he REALLY wanted to do) :-). Hope you have a fun winter of snowboarding this year.

    1. The thought of downhill skiing scares me to death. Isn't that silly? That's great stuff that your uncle chose a college based on skiing availability.

  3. I applaud you for literally jumping out there and trying something new. Our area doesn't get the kind of snow required for snowboarding, so I am just going to have to join you at one of those resorts and let everyone laugh as I learn. I am absolutely the most uncoordinated person you will ever meet, so prepare to pick me up out of the snow often :)

    1. I'd be glad to pick you up. Once I get good at holding myself up for a decent period of time. haha.

  4. I do remember your article about your first lesson in snowboarding. I hope you do get the opportunity to snowboard on a big hill at a ski resort, Dawn Rae, as I know it will be a splendid adventure for you. Please get the Mister to take pictures!

    1. I did have so much fun with my first lessons snowboarding last year. I'm not sure how I'll feel about a bigger hill. About the photos... we'll have to see about that. With all the layers of clothes, I look more like the Pillsbury dough boy than a human. I'm not sure I want to share that look with the rest of the world! haha.

  5. That's really fun you learned how. I've never learned but with our snow we get in WI it might fun to learn.

    1. Wisconsin definitely gets enough snow! You should give it a try if you've ever thought about trying. It was so much more fun than I even imagined.

  6. love it! you go girl! now you've inspired me to give it a try! There's no reason not to learn that's for sure, and you're braver than most for doing this too!

    1. Oh my gosh... you should definitely give it a try. I thought it would be so much more scary than it was. But you are so close to the ground that you really don't fall. You just sort of sit down. Well.... on the extra-baby-baby-hills anyway. I'd imagine on big hills you could fall fairly energetically. But to start with, it's great. Not so scary at all.


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