Great Circle Routes

Or simply: “Circle Routes”
How far? How Many? How difficult? the first? The lastest?

What is a “Great Circle Route”? A great escapade of ski experiences, elaborately planned out to maximize time, space and ski visits while minimizing expenses, hassles and grief. Select a gateway city, one to fly or motor to; an urban hub to launch from and a base for  return.

You have to be a wanderer, Most sane people pick a resort and ski it all week.  But who implied sanity breeds contentment. Nomads, Bedouins, gypsies, Dion, and I were born to wander. I’m just a rollin’ stone. The grass is always greener. What’s ’round the next corner?

Maybe it began with the infamous “Familiarity” or “fam tours” instilled it in me. Destination Chambers, supplier co-ops, and business bureaus invite travel professionals for a visit in their off weeks or “dead” times to introduce, educate, introduce, escort and just plain indulge or bib us to produce future clients. At the risk of boasting, I was often a good investment because I fall in love easily and usually produce group tours to my favorite places. Yea, I’m easy, but it sure is fun.

Now my wife hates it.  Everywhere we go, I’m introducing myself, calculating travel time and distances, inspecting properties, and plotting things out.  And she has to watch and as she says, “wait!”  “Isn’t it exciting?” …  “No! ” Isn’t it worth it?” …  “No!.”  Can’t we just enjoy ourselves?” she asks. “I am!” sez me.

Air has been the mover-means of record.  But now as I have gradually pared my business chase, I now  prefer travel-by-tire if time allows. I love to visit the National Parks en route, especially the historic sites. With close to 400 locations and still growing in number, I appreciate NPS senior passport. All entrances are free for the holder plus up to four guests or one car full. (Although they’re snaking in new fees for admission into the new (sub-contacted to skirt the system) visitors’ centers, (still well worth the investment). What a blessing as a lure for the grandkids.  Traveling by car results in flexibility, inspires spontaneity, cuts the hassle of renting-n-return, plus it’s often less expensive.  Oh but would you guess, my wife prefers to fly?

One more redeeming aspect has developed over time: “books on tape” or let’s update: “books on disc”. We started with library supplied novels.  Fun!; prevents boredom, reduces day-dreaming and road hypnosis, even precludes road rage (on our part that is).  As I progressed from fiction to nonfiction, the challenges have increased: find a publication my wife can enjoy Butt as I evolved into a creature or contempt. I have latched on to ‘Great Courses‘ an admirable institute that produces college lecture series that simulate trivia experts , all wannabe pundits, imaginary Jeopardy contestants and erstwhile authors.  Their prom literature that goes regularly and often tag me as one of the best customers. I have invested a small fortune, but I love ‘m.  And should I reveal yet another benefit? They put my wife to sleep.

So my “Circle routes” are basically “on-my-own”. But recently some close friends have joined me. John is still gainfully and legitimately employed at a full time position with a real company. But being a computer genius, he is unleashed to work wherever he can connect via computer. And he has flexible hours so long as he meets the deadlines. That he does, usually with ease. It works well:  we both love and covet the hot tub. We put relish health food, trail mix, snacks and craft brews, I go to sleep early (senior Citizen scheduling) and John works late into the quiet evening on connected computer. (Quiet until the snoring begins.)

In addition to all his talents, John is a fellow instructor at BSC, the Buffalo Ski Club.  John joined me in the 14-15 season end for an abbreviated “Great Circle”, a “(5 in 5*)” that eventually expanded, but that’s another story). And he implies he might try it again. He has even piqued the interest of a couple some other young protégé acquaintances. And that will be a great story … more to come, I hope.

Come … Ski With Me!

*Post Script: The ratio thing:
What’s this ratio “thing” for example “5/5”?  Well the first factor, what we might take as the “numerator” stands for the number of ski areas called for in the great circle route. The second number, or the denominator indicates the total duration, the number of travel days in the original plan. So 5/5 is shorthand for: five ski areas, or visits in five days of travel.  Of course plans exist to change, especially when one is free (unemployed, self-employed, or retired). Spontaneity is often a blessing, but occasionally it backfires (but that’s another story.)

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Skier, rider (of sorts), wanderer, teacher, coach, blogger (wannabe), perpetual child, ...