Prior to this trip, I’ve been on skis once in 13 years, and my boyfriend, Seth, hasn’t been on a snowboard in about 10. As a kid I used to head to Sunday River every weekend on a school trip. We’re excited to get back out there.
7:00 p.m. @ The Suds Pub
This local favorite is packed, but we manage to squeeze into two seats at the bar. We meet a nice couple sitting next to us who has been skiing here for more than 20 years. We chat about trail conditions, and they give us some good tips on the best ones to hit.
8:00 p.m. @ Cho Sun
I hear this is one of the best restaurants in town. They serve authentic Korean and Japanese cuisine. We grab some seats at the bar and enjoy gyoza along with some hot sake.
9:00 p.m. @ Jordan Hotel
It suddenly feels freezing, and we’re happy to be greeted by a fire crackling in the lodge. It’s quiet and cozy, and there’s even a communal s’mores buffet on the mantel. On the way to our room we pass a kid (who shall remain anonymous) stashing Hershey bars into his pockets.
8:00 a.m. @ Jordan Hotel
The hotel offers a full breakfast, and we fuel up on eggs and bacon.
9:00 a.m. @ Lollapalooza trail
I’m sticking to the green circles and blue squares while I gain my bearings. I’m amazed at how quickly it all comes back, and I’d forgotten how much fun it is to ski! It feels great to be out in the cold, fresh air, and I’m already thinking about buying a pass for next year.
1:15 p.m. @ Peak Lodge
We stop for a Bloody Mary and sit outside at the picnic tables. The sun is shining, and there are lots of people out today, enjoying some of the last runs of the season.
2:00 p.m. @ Northern Lights trail
We’re excited to get back out. Seth is still getting reacquainted with the snowboard, too, so we glide slowly down the mountain together.
3:30 p.m. @ Foggy Goggle
It’s still beautiful out, and people are gathering around the outdoor stage for an apres-ski concert.
4:30 p.m. @ Jordan Hotel
We take advantage of the hot tub outside the hotel, which has a beautiful view of the mountain. While we soak and soothe our muscles, we talk with some nice people who are here on a ski tour.
5:00 p.m. @ the Sunday River Bridge
We take a drive into town and stop at the famous covered bridge, also known as the Artists’ Bridge, for a photograph. We have dinner plans, but we check in at the Smokin’ Good BBQ truck to make sure it will be open tomorrow.
6:30 p.m. @ Matterhorn Ski Bar
Retro ski memorabilia covers every inch of wall here, and the kitchen serves up some of the best pizza I’ve ever had.
9:10 a.m. @ Crossroads Diner
We decide to go off the mountain for breakfast to try something new. It’s packed but well worth the wait for a ridiculously good BLT and friendly service. When we get back to the car, it starts up with an excessively loud rumbling noise. Seth calls his dad and diagnoses a blown spark plug. After dozens of phone calls, we find one garage that’s open not too far away. It’s a loud 10 minutes of driving, and Google Maps leads us down a narrow, bumpy dirt road that’s entirely flooded. We have to drive a quarter mile in reverse to get back to the main road.
12:00 p.m. @ Otter Brook Auto Repair
Miraculously, we arrive at the repair shop. Kim, the mechanic, laughs and says he could hear us coming from five miles away. He doesn’t have the part we need, so Seth and I decide to tag along with him into town. We drive east along the Androscoggin River, passing the mills in Rumford. When we get back to the garage, Kim changes the part in five minutes and tells us to take it for a test spin—everything sounds good.
4:30 p.m. @ Jordan Bowl
Four hours later, we’re both feeling a little deflated. After the man at guest services hears our story, he goes out back and comes back with two voucher passes for next year.
5:00 p.m. @ Yeti sign
Before we hit the road back to Portland, I ask Seth if we can go back to the famous Yeti- crossing road sign so I can take a picture. Halfway to the sign, the car starts sounding like a lawn mower and the engine starts to smoke. We pull over on the side of the road and accept that we’re here for another night. The Jordan Hotel is at least three miles away, but a nice man in a Sunday River pickup truck slows down and asks if we need a lift.
6:30 p.m. @ Jordan Hotel
The staff is so incredibly pleasant and helpful. They accommodate us for the unexpected extra night and help us coordinate every detail, down to towing our car to the right mechanic.
7:00 p.m. @ Sliders
We both have to make calls to let work know that 48HRS has turned into 72HRS. We sip on our beers in silence and after a while the bartender comes over to make sure we’re OK. I don’t really want to tell or hear the story again, but Seth’s already started and there’s no going back. As he’s talking we all start to laugh. There are so many bad places we could have gotten stuck—Sunday River is not one of them. I can’t wait to come back next year.