It was a bluebird spring day in Vermont — the kind that New England skiers live for. The air had a chill to it, but the sun’s reflection off the remaining snow added a warmth enough to keep any skier or rider out all day.
It was 2002, and Mike Chait had made the 45-minute drive to check out Smugglers’ Notch Resort for the first time. He and a few friends had minimal expectations — it was one of the last resorts still open in the state, and they wanted to get in a few more turns before putting on that summer layer of wax. But as they sat around in the upper parking lot, taking a breather between runs, an unfamiliar-to-them scene unfolded.
“This Winnebago pulled up,” recalls Chait, the resort’s current public relations director. “And all of a sudden these guys started unloading like it’s a clown car. One guy had a washboard, another had a banjo and another had an upright bass. They all piled out and just started playing music.”
Chait and his friends watched in amazement as this mystery band performed in a parking lot to a few dozen people for 15 minutes before packing it up, never to be seen again. “It was such a unique experience for us. But everyone around me was treating it like just another day.”