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North Country

Flying Chairs And Steam Powered Trains

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Sean Hurley
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Sean and Sam Hurley ski Loon

The combination of fresh snow and February school vacation should mean brisk business for our New Hampshire ski areas.  As the vacation week opens up, NHPR's Sean Hurley and his son Sam went to Loon Mountain and sends us this audio postcard.

Loon Mountain is capsized by high winds and cloudy torrents and the rough air means the gondola has been shut down for the day.  But the early arriving vacationers don't seem to mind.

That was a nice run! That was a lot of fun! How is it up there? Is it windy? Yah! At the very top it's very windy, right there it's fine.

My son Sam, who's 8, stands beside me as our chair lift swings in to grab us. Sitting down in the moving bench is his least favorite part of skiing.  But then floating up the mountain in the iron chair is one of his favorites.

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Credit Sean Hurley
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Riding the chairlift is one of Sam's favorites.

When I was on the chair lift, I actually saw a necklace on one of the tree branches. Didn't the last time we came you saw a shirt or a coat? Oh, except it was a different thing like a pipe or something?

Sam watches the ballet of one skier, the bullet of another and the attractive clumsy crawl of a beginner, snow plowing across the trail.

As we prepare to get off the chair lift and ski away, Sam calls out the signpost warning:

Ski tips up!

We transition from sitting to skiing and take the Grand Junction trail heading for Lower Bear Claw.

I'm gonna pretend we're in the arctic since it's so windy and snowy.

Loon is a wide mountain with three separate peaks and three separate bases at the bottom.  To get between the Octagon Lodge and the central Governor's Pavilion, you can walk - or take the steam powered train.

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Credit Sean Hurley
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Heading for hot chocolate on a steam powered train.

What now? Hot chocolate please!

We've ridden up on a flying chair, down on carbon fiber skis, across on a steam powered train and now we're heading into the lodge for the well-deserved quiet magic of hot chocolate.