Perhaps the greatest tribute skiers pay to our sport’s irresistible draw is the lengths they’ll go to simply get to the mountain. Consider “The Drive.”
No, I’m not talking about Tom Brady engineering another last-minute touchdown for the New England Patriots. I’m talking about the drive to the north country, on a Friday afternoon, right after we get our weekend hall pass from work. Which means traffic. Lots of traffic, especially if you live in the Boston-Hartford-New York metropolitan belt.
It also usually means snow and ice, two elements that don’t mix well with any discussion regarding asphalt, rubber and the joys of internal combustion. But, unless we want to strap on the skinny skis at our local golf hill, or entertain ourselves with reruns of Mikaela Shiffrin on the flat screen, “The Drive” is a necessary evil.
Some of my earliest ski memories are of Mom and/or Dad white-knuckled at the wheel of our big Ford Squire wagon during the winter hauls from New Jersey to Vermont, New Hampshire or Quebec. Even worse was the expression on Mom’s face when, exhausted after five hours of piloting our barge, she let a friend take over the driving chores.