Words & Photos: Avert Guldemond
Lets face it. The Holidays can be hectic, and many times the essence is lost in the confusion of the days leading up to the 25th. Often we find ourselves stretched like the wrapping paper your didn't buy quite enough of, or empty feeling similar to the tree stand the family has neglected watering, our branches now limp and ready to added to the burn pile. You may say to yourself, why am I feeling this way? What is to be done?
Well, for us New Englanders, there is only one way to brighten the Yuletide Spirit
and that day happens annually Dec 26th at Loon Mountain, New Hampshire. Now, the most anticipated day on every east coasters calendar, ReLOONion is a gathering of those far and wide, from PSU's finest alum, to the grimiest of NH's dirts, industry legends and every shred in between. Making their way up to Loon for a day of riding, beers, safety briefings and laughs with people of the past, the true meaning of friends and family is defined.
Henry David Thoreau said it the best when he quotes, from his book The Bluebird Carries The Sky On His Back
"We have lived not in proportion to the number of years we have spent on the earth, but in proportion as we have enjoyed."
If there is anyone who enjoys life to the fullest and takes everyday as it is and makes the best of it, it is the East Coast Snowboard Scene. Never backing down over adverse conditions, we are one's who step up to ice and praise infrequent powder.
Arriving to Loon after a delightful breakfast with my family, I knew it would be only minutes till a full-length smile was to overtake my face. Upon entering the gondola shack, it wasn't long before I heard the unmistakably dirty mouth of NHD's front man Aaron Diamond spewing my name. Hopping in line, I was forced into the gondola shaped cage, surrounded by other infamous dirts foaming at the mouth in preparation to carving the mountain a new one. Now at the summit, the crowds began to gather; horsemen waiting to battle the Mass vacationers in pursuit of the ultimate facemelt. Off we rode into the sunrise, what seemed a hundred riders deep, all united by a common bond, the love of shred. What could be better?
In terms of attendance for this year's ReLOONion, I'd say the ranks were thick. Friends like Tyler Davis, Nelson Wormstead, Eugene Stancato, the many LMP staff, Mike Baker, Mary Walsh, and many more were seen tearing the hill down, and tearing down equal amounts of beer provided by the Bunyan Room, a locals favorite. A merry time was had by all and if you haven't been a part of the ReLOONion in the past, be sure to mark your ICal for next December 26th. It's something you have to be there to feel, and one taste will have you withdrawing for the next 364. Merry Shredding to all and to all a good year.