Changing Winds

Our friend, Ben, came over the other morning for no reason whatsoever, and had the most exciting news to share.  While picking up his breakfast at the Phat Italian, summer was referred to numerous times in the past tense.  Now that may frighten some flatlanders or city dwellers with fears of preparations for the cold months ahead, but here news of Fall's arrival brings smiles of great anticipation for the months ahead.  Local folks start sneaking peaks at their skis and boards, shaking out the winter jackets and digging deep into the closet to find where those ski socks went.  It's a time of anticipation and questions, like When will the mountian open?  When is the first snowfall?
Killington Hay Festival:
A Benefit for the National Audobon Society
But what is it exactly that tells us that Fall is upon us and the months of screaming children are behind us?  For some it's that new-age American habit of throwing the pigskin.  For my dad, it's analyzing the final games before post-season baseball begins.  My sister, who lives in NY, had started talking about the new fall fashions and is pulling out her leather knee-high boots, I'm sure.  And for my mother, it's time to finish up your fall needlepoint and break into the christmas thread. 

Up on the mountain, we have other ways of telling time.  While walking Vespi the other day, I heard someone explain that the Killington Classic marked the beginning of fall and the end of the summer motorcycle season.  The Killington Hay Festival covers a good month from Labor Day to Columbus Day as we watch the leaves turn their beautful harvest colors.  One of my favorites are the heirloom tomatoes which seem to be in every farmer's market this time of year. 

But for skiers & riders, fall is all about the anticipation of the powdery winter months.  There are vigorous discussions about probably snowfall, changes to the mountain and debates about the resort's opening policices.  The harvest comes in and the serious dry-land training begins.  We know it's fall because dead leaves cover the ground - except for those worn paths on the mountain biking trails  :)  Rock climbers in dark colored hoodies litter Deer Leap, basking in the warm rays of the sun while they try to keep their fingers warm.  And hikers start carrying heavier packs, including hats, gloves & a warm fleece for the cool trip downhill.  Aaron will be checking the weather everyday to determine if tonight we should be sleeping at the Peak in order to catch the first snowfall.  And then, "let the wild rumpus start."