Right, so first things first. Yes, it was somewhat of a reunion, as this was the first trip with CFO since the day which we don’t speak of last spring, and no, thankfully there were no injuries. The “Broken Leg” as mentioned in the title is a drink special that played a big role in Saturday’s apres scene. More on that in a bit.
Friday night I drove up to meet CFO and in Hanover en route to Sugarbush and the Mad River Inn. Despite my late arrival to Hanover, we waited on dinner and rolled up to the Mad River Valley. After some very impressive driving we left the dirt back roads for pavement, a few beers, and dinner at The Hyde Away Inn. Hyde Away was a total treat! Its local vibe coupled with uneven floors and outstanding french onion soup, made it a perfect transition from the weekly grind into the classic Vermont experience known as Sugarbush. Aside from the attractive bar staff, there were a few things that stood out to me about The Hyde Away. Naturally the first things was the local vibe and old-school VT tavern feel. Although there isn’t a level floorboard in the place, the charm easily outweighs the feeling of being sea sick, and if there was any question as to how the Hyde Away is heated, just check out the half-chord stacked next to the pool table. The last thing I’ll say about The Hyde Away is that I loved how for the first time in recent memory, the kid with the patagonia turtleneck (huge mistake) got more “what the eff?” looks than the one with boots and a flannel…Hyde Away is my kind of place!
The Mad River Inn was the perfect spot for us to spend the night, overlooking a corn field, seconds off rte 100, it was cheap, cozy, and the owner was friendly. Although we passed on breakfast, the Inn compliments its 4 reasonably priced rooms ($144 a night for us) with an outstanding hot breakfast, which is included in the low price. Needless to say we actually made it out of there before 8am (when breakfast begins,) which is why we passed on breakfast.
Sugarbush played nine innings the next day despite some shaky cover and bitter cold. -7 at the top with not a breath of wind, may actually been the coldest few hours I’ve ever skied, without windchill. As the sun came out and we migrated to Castle Rock the cold became less of a factor as thankfully the lift line was in the sun. We bombed around Paradise Woods (pictures included) for a few hours, warmed up with some outstanding chilly and American water at lunch, went back out for a few more turns, and called it a day around 230. Please keep in mind that due to the extreme cold Apres literally started at 1030 am. So we came in at 230 to a bar tab that looked like something out of “the Bizz’s” playbook, which is where the “Broken Leg’s” came in. Sort of a hot toddy but with apple cider, and loaded with whip cream, the broken legs or limbs or arms or basically fill in the blank, after three hours flowed like water. With Widespread rocking in the background the Castle Rock Pub had just he element I needed. Aside from the one idiot in the bar flaunting his Yankee’s “got rings” t-shirt, everybody was friendly and psyched on a well deserved Apres bevo with a few hundred of their closest friends.
Sugarbush, The Hyde Away, and The Mad River Inn, made for an excellent weekend trip. The Mad River Valley is only 3.5 hours from Boston and you can definitely do the trip on the cheap as rooms range from $89-200 a night. Lift tickets are a bit steep around $80, but look for opportunities to buy tickets at student discounts or from random sketchy dudes in the parking (just make sure they scan). Even if you have to pay full price, just hand over the money and enjoy the ride, its well worth it.