As published in The Florida Villager
Sugar Mountain, that is. Located in North Carolina, Sugar is a great way to get your skiing fix when time is a factor. With 125 acres of skiable terrain and 21 slopes, there is something for every level skier including 15 slopes that are lit for night skiing. I have to say, there is something magical about night skiing and if you have never done it, you must try it here.
Traveling the short distance from Beech Mountain to try out my second ski destination in North Carolina, I was so taken by the beauty of the mountains. No, it’s not Europe and no, it’s not out West or even New England skiing but there is something so special about the resorts in North Carolina, especially if you are just getting your ski legs. Coming here for a quick weekend of skiing, to feel the crunch of snow under my boots and the crispness of the air on my face was such a far cry from Miami; it was just what the doctor ordered.
I only had one day to experience all the activities and I didn’t want to miss one minute so I quickly made my way to the 10,000 square foot ice skating rink, laced up my skates and I was off. It suddenly occurred to me I had lost track of time and had to hustle to meet up with my snowshoeing guide. For the next hour we made our way in silence up trails, down banks and along a creek bed under the dangling crystals of ice that had formed on the snow draped trees. I honestly felt like I was in a Robert Frost poem.
Back at the lodge and exhausted but undaunted, I grabbed some hot chocolate and headed for the slopes. Gunther’s Way had just opened and there was no way I was leaving Sugar without swooshing down its 700-foot vertical. The lift lines are pretty nonexistent so I was able to knock off a few more runs before the little kid in me took over. My final destination was tubing. I have to admit, I saved the best for last and they literally had to kick me off. I was still begging for one more time as they were closing for the day. Not a happy camper, I trudged back to the car and settled in for the short ride to Lost Province.
Lost Province is a microbrewery and gastropub that offers a wide selection of craft beer and wood fired pizza. By the time my order arrived I was twice as hungry as when I walked in. The aroma of the pizzas in the ovens along with watching them being made, signaled my stomach into a low continuous growl. I’m embarrassed to say how much I ate (and drank) but suffice to say, I was very content as I said my goodbyes and headed to the hotel; another day of skiing awaited me the next morning. The last thing I remember hearing was the drip of a melting icicle outside my bedroom window as my room slowly faded away.