V is for Vermont

Pickleball is a sport easier to play than to explain.

smuggsAll of my wife’s immediate family – her parents, her two brothers, their wives, the three daughters amongst them, and our nuclear threesome – spent several days together just before Labor Day at Smugglers’ Notch Resort near remote Jeffersonsville, VT about 40 miles northeast of Burlington. It’s a ski resort in the winter but has grown into a family-friendly summer resort.

Smugglers’ Notch namesake “comes from the smugglers of the early nineteenth century, who used the thick forest on the mountain range, and the caves and caverns along the Long Trail to transport illegal or embargoed goods across the Canadian border. The notch was most likely involved in bootlegging during the Prohibition-era of the 1920s, using the same caves as a cache for smuggled Canadian beer, wine, and spirits.”

We got there on a Sunday, the day before they switched to a modified fall schedule of events. The downside is that there was much confusion about the new rotation. For instance – and there were five or six examples like this – the Wife and I call up to book disc golf lessons at the appointed time, but no one there knows what we’re talking about.

The good news is the staff, to a person, was unfailingly polite and accommodating. An employee made a call and got us transportation to a location on the massive site, and a guy gave us – and only us, as it turned out – lessons.

Disc golf, BTW, is a flying disc game – think of series of differently-weighted Frisbees – the object which, similar to golf, “is to traverse a course from beginning to end in the fewest number of throws of the disc.” As it turns out, there are a few disc golf courses in our area, notably Central Park in Schenectady.

More crowded was the pickleball class, a sport easier to play than to explain. A standard pickleball court is the same size as a doubles badminton court, but we played in a modified tennis court. The net height is a yard, a little less than a meter. The paddle is smaller than a tennis racquet but larger than a ping-pong paddle, and more like the latter. The ball itself is like a wiffleball but smaller in diameter, and slightly heavier. It plays like a mixture of tennis and badminton.

The five days there also featured hikes, some reading, and, on two nights, visits to the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. It is a lovely setting. As someone almost said, a splendid time was had by all.

abc 17 (1)
ABC Wednesday – Round 17