by Paul Maraschiello


I decided to fly up to cover the Bust-N-Burn bump contest at Sunday River in Maine. It's about a three hour drive from the Manchester Airport to Sunday River, through some very beautiful country. I arrived late that night at the Crocker Pond House, a beautiful country inn run by the architect that designed the inn and his wife. I was really glad to crawl between the sheets and get a good nights sleep.

The next morning, I was treated to a delightful breakfast and some very pleasant conversation. It stared to drizzle as I looked out the window. I hoped the rain would be snow as I drove up the access road. It was snowing lightly by the time I got on the chair lift, so I took a quick run to warm up. On my next run, I rode up the chair with a nice woman whose son was racing that day. I followed her to the moguls competition area and checked out venue. The seeded bumps looked soft as I watched a few of the kids take practice runs down the course. Some of these future Olympians were really cute and many of them were much better skiers than most of us will ever be.

After checking out the bumpers, I headed back down for some more skiing. Sunday River is a really great ski area with a lot of challenging slopes and I was looking forward to skiing all of them. Unfortunately, Mother Nature wasn't in the mood to cooperate and the snowfall turned into a light rain. After a couple more runs, I headed back to the bump course, just in time to see Matt Berkowitz make the winning run in the Open category. I had met Matt at other competitions, and was glad to see someone I know win. He looked pretty good chewing up the bumps and taking air on the course. Andy Kaplan was 2nd, Ben Austin placed 3rd, and Tom Lovell was 4th. The contestants ignored the rain and battled all afternoon in the bumps.

After watching these fine skiers, I headed in for lunch. I was soaked and ready for a little R&R. The ski bums at Sunday River were all set to feed a hoard of spectators but the rain kept the big crowds away. I went inside and sampled the Margarettas and listened to the band. The bar was filled with people who weren't going to let a little rain spoil their fun, after all, it wasn't raining in the bar.

I warmed my innards with a drink and decided to try the spareribs that they were barbequing outside. It was an excellent choice, the ribs were really good. As the afternoon proceeded, more and more revelers showed up to PARTY! By mid-afternoon the bar was packed. They had a number of contests, people danced and everyone had a good time. The folks at Sunday River know how to party.

With all the rain, I decided to bag it and headed back to the Crocker Pond House, where I was staying. I got cleaned up and rested for a little in my room. They served me tea and cookies and I warmed up in front of the pot-belied stove in the loft. Later, after relaxing in front of the fireplace, I headed off to dinner and after dinner, I curled up with a good book. If you're looking for a really nice place to stay with a congenial host and hostess, I can highly recommend the Crocker Pond House. It's off the main road, just a few miles from the Sunday River access road. The rates are VERY reasonable for such a nice place, only $95 per room per night. To reserve a room call: 207-836-2027.

The next day, they held the USSA Dual moguls. Those brave enough to watch the competition in the rain, saw some good skiing and a lot of big air. David Digravio was 1st, Dylan Parry 2nd, Jeremy Cota 3rd, and Chris Charles came in 4th.

Because of the rain. I headed back early. It's such a nice drive, that I decided to play sightseer and check out the sights between Bethel, Maine and Manchester, New Hampshire. I had a nice time exploring and was even able to catch an earlier flight home.

Sunday River is a great ski area and I love skiing there. I'll be back to check out all their great trails again.