J.C. spends several weekends of his summers up on Snowshoe Mountain, WV, downhill biking with a bunch of buddies. During the winter, he spends his weekends counting down the days until ski season is over and he can get back up to Snowshoe. For years, he has been saying, "We should go up there for a family vacation! I always see families up there having fun! The kids would love it!" No matter how many times he has said this, I had a hard time wrapping my head around the six hour drive. Call me a wimp. Call me spoiled. You won't hurt my feelings. I can own it. I just really hate being in the car. I have restless leg syndrome, and car rides are my own little personal version of torture.
Besides the drive, I just couldn't get past picturing Snowshoe solely as a place where grungy, muddy bikers...
ride their ridiculously expensive downhill bikes...
at breakneck speeds down the mountain. (I use the term "breakneck" very deliberately. Two of his biking buddies are out of commission this season - one for a broken collarbone, the other from a broken humerus last summer. On his trip up there last month, one of his friends came back with broken ribs.)
J.C. would tell me, "No! It isn't just for bikers! There are all kinds of things to do up there! There is a pool..."
"and a lake..."
"and the kids can bounce on the bungie thing!"
He would say, "The weather is gorgeous, and we can ride the chairlift! The girls will love it!"
Somehow, none of his arguments could convince me to take the trip. I don't fault him. He really did his best to accurately describe the place. I think I just had so many images ingrained in my head of the world of Snowshoe that is downhill biking. A lot of his biking buddies are my coworkers, so I have heard about Snowshoe from all of them for years as well. After years of seeing photos and videos of the rocks, mud, ramps, jumps, and biking gear, "family vacation destination" was never what I pictured. Plus, there was still that six hour drive.
He finally convinced me to go though, and I'll go ahead and admit it now... I was wrong. There. I said it. J.C. now has it in writing. Snowshoe is absolutely a wonderful place for a family vacation. Don't let the scary jumps that my husband flies off on his bike make you think otherwise. (Yes, he really rides off that thing.)
We all had a blast. When we first arrived, as if eager to welcome us, deer were hanging out in the backyard of the condo.
As J.C. had promised, there were plenty of non-downhill-biking activities to keep us occupied. The older two went zip lining through the village, and...
a huge smile was plastered on Addie's face any time she was bouncing on the bungie thing.
The lake was loads of fun for swimming,
and paddle boating.
Everybody tried out the slack line.
Mostly, we just enjoyed the cool mountain air,...
hung out in the village,...
rode the lifts,...
and took in the views.
In the evenings, we could relax in the hot tub with a view of the mountains,
and enjoy the sunsets.
So... while Snowshoe is very much a Mecca for scrappy downhill bikers, it is also an absolutely lovely destination for families!
I even managed to survive the six hour drive there and back and would do it again.