The following is an unedited, stream-of-consciousness personal journal used to experiment with different subjects outside of assignments and to practice free-writing. It shouldn't (at all) be viewed as a portfolio of polished work.

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Singles Lane on Valentine's Day

Gina checking GoPro
It makes me smile
Photo: Laurie Tewksbury

Before I head out the door and into some snow, I needed to write something in the spirit of love in tribute to the passing Valentine's day. 

Usually I spend Valentine's day with a significant other on the slopes, but this year I spent it as a solo adventurer. Emotions were pretty mixed the night before. I was reminiscing about peanut butter sandwiches and wild horses. Plus, the sappy music on the radio celebrating love didn't help. I snapped it off and went to bed, feeling pretty alone in this big wide world. 

Then morning broke.
The beautiful condo I was given to stay in the night before shone with warm sunlight. I put on some music, avoiding the sap, and jumped in a warm shower, enjoying the fact that I had a place to scrub my face and get the ski-induced tangles out of my hair. I was happy to have a washer and dryer to wash my base layers (which I was also so grateful for — as they reliably keep me warm on all ski days — that I took a photo in them to give props to Columbia). 

Then I hit the hill. Attitash was the mountain of the day (more to come after the ski tour).  It was warm and sunny, something I had been missing since being in the dreary weather hitting the northeast section of the continent for 2 months. The snow was bright, there were little rippers laughing and having a good time everywhere (ski kids are the greatest), and my first chair ride up was graced with this: 

Ski heart sticker at Attitash

Gotta say, I was feeling pretty grateful at that point. It was my third day of skiing in a row; massive runs at Sugarloaf Mountain in Maine followed by 15" of blower powder in Jay Peak and a crew that took me into the sidecountry, and now some love at Attitash. 

Ski Patroller at Attitash
I had views of mountaineering training ground, Mt. Washington, on every run that day. I sat in the shack with ski patrol and shot the breeze which lead to me getting invited to do sweeps (last run) with them and a free dinner at the local hotspot, Wildcat Tavern. That night I would roll into the Grand Summit Hotel, slopeside, and curl up in a California King in the upstairs section of my suite.
Attitash Mountain Patrol apres-ski
As I skied in the cloud of snow lifted up by patroller Andrew's tele-skis, sun fading and mountain absolutely still, I reflected. Yeah, I still missed my other half. I'd be lying if I said I didn't. But somehow everything worked together on Valentine's day, through no doing on my part, to make me feel incredible love for my life and for other people. And that's a pretty spectacular feeling. 


  1. Glad you had a good V-day, Ms. Begin!

  2. Great Post Gina. It sounds you are spending your time in the best way, by enjoying what the world has to offer in the Great Northeast. Remember that Valentine's Day is about loving yourself first, which you are definitely doing.


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