Now why is simple geography so deceptive?
Let us consider Vermont's Catamount Trail, running north to south along the state's long axis. It is, in fact, billed as North America's longest cross country ski trail. I find this fascinating. Why isn't the longest trail out west--where distances are so much greater, where miles themselves seem to be longer? Nevertheless, there it is, in small neat compact snowy Vermont. One might be tempted to say that size doesn't matter.
The Catamount Trail is a single cross country ski trail running 300 miles from Massachusetts to Quebec. It links many of Vermont's finest touring centers, winding across public and private lands. Though quite a bit of it is true backcountry where one is well-advised to know what one is doing, it's not beyond the abilities of intermediate skiers, or even novices if taken in segments. Most of the trail is so close to civilization that the only white stuff a through-skier, or rather an end-to-ender, need spend his night on is a clean sheet. And happily, the trail is a thriving example of how public and private efforts can create and maintain a truly unique resource.
IN VINO VERITAS
Though the humorless set may scoff, let us not overlook great historical ideas a night or two of good solid drinking have wrought. Pulling a pint while waxing philosophic is a fine old American tradition. Was not the …