After moving to the East Coast from SF (aka the WORST MOVE EVER ) we discovered that not one but BOTH of my snowboards + gear were missing. One of my boards – a limited edition board — was still wrapped and brand new. Over all the things “lost” and broken in the move, losing my snowboards was by far the biggest punch to the gut. Since then I have not had the heart to board or replace my gear.
Until…the Olympics! I became kind of obsessed with snowboard slopestyle while watching the Olympics and was inspired to get back on the snow. It took me three years but I finally replaced my snowboard gear. Sly bought me my board for Valentine’s day, and I scored my boots and bindings at some crazy Winter sales. We drove to Wisp during one of our bigger winter storms (nicknamed “SnowChi’) and stayed the night in a tiny little town just outside the resort. Everything was closed by the time we arrived so we made sandwiches and sat on our bed and watched the Olympics.
It snowed and snowed and snowed and covered the tiny little town in blankets and blankets of white and created some of the most awesome powder ever. We spent our day on the slopes trying to remember how to board (it had been over five years) and realizing that boarding was a bit like learning to ride a bike — once you learn you never forget. On our first run there were a few falls as I adjusted to my new board, but afterwards my body relied on muscle memory. Everything came flooding back: the technique, the freedom, the love, and the joy.
I remembered being 20-something and boarding pretty much every single weekend in Tahoe, dreaming of maybe one day becoming a snowboarding instructor. Back in those days me and my roomie would pack our gear the night before, get up at 4am, drive to Livermore, get coffee at McDonalds, then continue on to Tahoe where we would board all day long before making the long drive back. Wisp was obviously no Tahoe, but it didn’t really matter much because we were snowboarding. Together. And having so much fun.
Wisp Resort // Approximately 3+ hours from DC. Family-oriented (read: crowded) resort with lots of other snow activities besides skiing/boarding. Runs are pretty short but still a lot of fun. Black diamonds were mogul-y than steep so we pretty much stuck to blues. You can buy discount lift tickets at Costco, however since we went on a holiday weekend we could not use those tickets. Ticket prices for holiday weekends are quite steep. If we had planned a little better I would have chosen to go a different weekend. That being said, it’s a great little resort not too far from the city with a decent amount of options for food and lodging.
Yough Valley Motel // Inexpensive / Located in Friendsville, approximately 15 min drive to the resort. The rooms are very basic and kind of hodgepodge but they were clean and included a fridge, microwave and plenty of space. We chose this place because the rooms were inexpensive and not too far from Wisp. Obviously this does not compare to staying at the ski resort, but then again we saved about $200 a night.
Jubilee Diner (also Peter Pan Pizza) // Inexpensive / I think this place is affiliated with the motel though not sure. At any rate, this was pretty much the only place open in the dead of winter and we were tired of eating sandwiches on our motel bed. We ate the “bbq buffet + salad bar” which was like $10 for all you can eat. The food was like cafeteria food, and I don’t mean that in a bad way. It was ok, not great, but it totally satisfied our craving for a nice hot meal and a crisp salad. Lots of locals eat here so there was a pretty good, warm vibe.
Wisp Food court // Inexpensive / The dining hall at Wisp gets crazy packed during lunch hours — you can pretty much forget finding a table. We didn’t really eat here but we did get a few snacks and diet coke so were able to check out their offerings of typical fried food, hamburgers, etc. They also had a ramen station which we thought was pretty interesting. Maybe we will try that next time.