For quite some time it has been exceedingly difficult for me to put quill to paper so to speak. This crazy blogging experiment of mine has been fallow for far too long and a lot of water has gone over the dam since I posted last. It is time to begin anew my friends, General Stark's Blog is back.
Last ski season took its toll as old friends didn't visit the mountain much, if at all, due to the epic dearth of snow. While I'm a man who can certainly appreciate his solitude it was a bit lonely and I found myself rather melancholy and lacking in creative energy.
But today I am inspired anew. The process to this place began over the summer with a serendipitous visit by a young man named Troy who hails from my beloved New Hampshire. Only 15 years old, this strapping young lad was hiking all 273 miles of the Long Trail, and doing it alone! I observed him as he posted up for the night in the Stark's Nest after a log day of hiking. Turned out that his parents did some ski bumming here at Mad River Glen back before they had Troy and his grandmother lives just over the hill in Lincoln. He cut his teeth skiing at Gunstock (I always knew it as Belknap Mountain, named after one of my contemporaries) and even rode the Single and skied General Stark Mountain at the tender age of 8. I later learned that after completing the LongTrail he decided to hike anotehr 170 miles from Killington Peak to Mount Adams, New Hampshire and finished his goal of summiting all 48 of my home state's 4,000' peaks.
This lad's resourcefulness, maturity and gumption reminded me of some of the young heroes from my militia days, men like Robert Roger's of Roger's Rangers fame who fought in the militia at 15, the same age as Troy. This chance meeting certainly re-newed my faith in our nation's future.
After this chance encounter I began to emerge from my funk and my outlook appeared brighter by the day. Hikers continued to flock to the mountain to take in the views and it was good to have some company once again. Mad River Glen's mountain crew was as busy as beavers keeping the trails and forests in tip top shape. The fall foliage was more spectacular than I ever remembered it and that encouraged even more visitors to our beloved mountain. General Stark's Pub (I never liked having my name associated with the indulgence of spirits) seems to be gaining in popularity year-round. Things truly began looking up.
Finally the nights turned colder and snow finally returned to the upper reaches of the mountain. I was not alone when I earned my first turns of the ski season and it felt good to have the Mad River Glen tribe meeting back up at the mountain. Finally I began feeling like myself again.
Believe me when I tell you that a good old-fashioned New England winter is coming, I can feel it in my bones. I pledge to you that I will continue to report on the happenings here on General Stark Mountain. Winter will arrive in earnest and I will welcome the tribe back with renewed appreciation as you and your fellow pilgrims return to Mad River Glen.
While you will not likely see me skiing on the mountain (unless I am once again captured on that bloody Mad Cam) please know that I am here and enjoying the trails and glades of this magical place every bit as much as you do.
Live Free or Die
General John Stark