Thursday, December 17, 2009

Quiet Months at the Spruce Knob Mountain Center


What happened to November and December?


As late Fall turns to Winter, the desire for schools and private groups to be on Spruce dwindles. The concept of a warm house is different here than most other places. Buildings and rooms are heated when you need them and cool down when you don't. Fires are built and maintained during the day, the stoves are packed full in the evening, and we awaken early to a cool house or yurt in the morning. This whole process, from cutting, splitting and stacking wood, to heating your house each day makes one realize how much energy we're consuming versus what we actually need. My home is plenty warm all of the time, with minimal heating, as long as I don't expect to be wearing a t-shirt around the house.


In November, most of our staff left the mountain. We did not host our annual pig roast this year, but butchered our hard working sow after her duties were complete and we had no more food waste to feed her. A days work from staff members led to a freezer full of pork and a delicious farewell dinner. We have not seen the November snow that blessed us last year. This November has been perfect for our last few stream sampling programs and great fall trout fishing.


December has left just a few us around. There is some office work to be done, but nothing that cannot wait until after Christmas. The days have been cold and clear and we've received only a few small snowstorms. This has allowed us to wrap up those last few outdoor projects that we wouldn't have been able to get around to if the snow was flying. We have plenty of projects planned for winter work.


We're all very pleased with our 2009 season and are looking forward to 2010. Now, we wax the skis and wait for the snow.