Boston Blizzard of 2013 Wachusett Mountain, Princeton MA
So as a cabbie kid of John Ford the former President of Town Taxi in Boston, I have heard so many stories about my dad as a driver during the “Blizzard of 78”. My dad was a cab driver at the age of 17 and then soon started to work and became Manager and then the owner. So as a teenager I would spend summers and vacations working and so bored by these stories. During that blizzard taxi cabs, police, and medical professionals could be on the roads and that was it. My dad has told the stories of him saving lives of the locals and making lots of cash, enough cash that lead him to travel to India for a month. He became a different man from his travels through India where he lived on house boats and was arrested for taking pictures and then released. So, as a child I would listen to these boring, driving stories and think to myself, “what would I do if there was a Blizzard?” and what would my stories be?? I now have the answers to that and have found that because of my love of snowboarding, that I have the best Blizzard Memories of 2-2013.
After my dad retired from his Town Taxi he stayed out of the business for about four years until 2001. I came to Boston to live and put my name in out in Boston and see what I could do. Now second generation cab kid, I now run Boston’s biggest two taxi cab companies with over 500 cabs and we are called TOP CAB & CITY CAB. I have built this company from one cab to one dispatcher and only one customer. We now have 30 dispatchers and transport 35,000 people on a weekly basis with over 500 cabs. We have the best looking fleet with the Zakim Bridges logo’s and Red writing of City Cab. Being the Boss Lady of this company has allowed me to work really hard and play harder. I enjoy my life and job so much, but I LIVE TO LOVE TO RIDE….So I work to pay for this sport which is my addiction called snowboarding.
So Monday Febuary 4, 2013 the snow weather reports started talking about lots of snow. I have been on a riding streak that started November 10, 2012 and it has been had 14 straight weekends riding on to the 15th. By Wednesday 6th, there are talks about the storm turning in to a “BLIZZARD of 2013” . I am finally going to have my blizzard dream come true, my way. So I follow all reports and check to see where the most snow totals will be, since I have passes to 4 mountains, I will be all set to ride. The snow will be the most at my local mountain called, Wachusett Mountain in Princeton, Massachusetts and only 45 minutes away. We will hit up, “WAWA” for the Blizzard. By Thursday, the weather reports are predicting up to 30″ of snow. There is no way that I can be snowed in by this. On Friday, the snow starts and begins to fall fast and soft, perfect powder developing. So I head to the mountain early at noon to get day runs while people are still at work. I called this, “Code White”, which meant I would be gone for the storm and my Top Cab soldiers will hold it down. My soldiers at work know the love I have for riding and luckily, my manager lives four buildings down the road. As lunch time hit, the Governor of Massachusetts, Mr. Deval Patrick shut down the MBTA, the roads and issued a “State Wide Driving Ban”- punishable by $1000 fine and up to 1 year in jail if caught driving after 3:00 pm Friday until Saturday 4:00 pm. I barely make it to the mountain going 20 miles the whole way, and when I do get to ride the last two hours and it began the “Blizzard of 2013” and this would be full of powder and new riding. On Friday the runs would get better and better. We hit the local Inn to have dinner and few drinks with the locals before we have dream riding Saturday and Sunday. It was “Illegal” to drive and I will break all of the laws to get to mountain Saturday. While we party and celebrate to my version of 2013, the regulars and I get secret riding spots from local WaWa Ski/Snow Patrol to go where no riders will be. This information could be found at that moment in time and only there. This begins my adventure. Usually the drive back from Inn to our hotel would take three minutes, but now it takes us thirty five minutes and one foot later. I can’t wait to sleep, to wake up to dream conditions.
So I wake to almost three feet of snow and it is light and fluffy, oh so fluffy. When I open the door of the hotel I see so much snow and it made me cry, I was so happy. I watch the news reports and Mass. is shut down by this Blizzard. Not me, I had enough food and water for four days if needed. We wait to see what time WaWA will open due to the fact no one legally was allowed to drive to the mountain. And they say 9 am but drive at your own risk of getting caught. I would risk it and so will about 25 staff and about 25 riders. The mountain was empty for the true die hard riders of 2013. I thank each staff member who serves me my breakfast and lunch and hand warmers in the store. Thanks for risking fines and prison, just so I can have my dream powder day. So, I suit up and go to the top of the mountain where black diamond runs are going to be so sick!!!!!!!!!!!!! As a rookie rider in Mass. I have not been on powder only ice, and ice is not nice. There was so much powder, I had to learn a new way to ride. And it is called riding on your back foot, as I get my riding instructions, “WEIGHT ON YOUR BACK FOOT” over and over, until I got it. I also learned that in pure powder the “steeper the better”. But if you fall, oh boy oh boy, and that I did a few time getting used to three feet of powder just dumped on from heaven. I fell and popped my elbow and probably knocked my back alignment out but who cares, jumped up and carried my elbow and wanted to feel more powder. This love of powder and chasing snow. Pain is love and love is pain as my little brother says. And so it is. When I fell, I refused to remove straps, so it would take me 20 minutes each fall to get up, but no cheating involved and a few riders would stop to see if I was alright and I would say, “thanks and I have to learn to be in powder”.
Once I got the hang of it, then it was on. So on. I really truly found out that I was the most happy this Saturday, I cried as a rode this mountain of pure beauty and fluffy sweet stuff. As a beginner or rookie as I say, to live this moment with only a few special riders and staff it was awesome. Truly awesome.. I think that I will never have a moment of pure peace in my mind and the only thoughts were the sound, ohhhhhh the sound of my board on powder was something I will never forget. And the way the powder hits your clothes as you ride, a little powder shower. So I enjoy a big salmon dinner Saturday night and I get ready to get my Sunday riding on along with half a million people who finally dug there cars out. Sunday we get first runs and the crowd gets there around noon. So we hit hard and got out early and this was the greatest weekend ever. I have great snowboarding stories that I will tell forever. This Blizzard was EPIC. I had to live it, and I am so thankful that I was able to be in it safe and sound. Snow is still falling this week, so I will head up North to Loon which had 20″ of snow during the Blizzard but they made up for it this week with another 6″ and 4″ more coming by this weekend. This was AWESOME and I am glad to be known as the “Princess of Wachusett’s” by the staff of WAWA. I am a WAWA for life member since 2008. Love this place and so glad to be snowed in at my favorite spots. Great staff and they make it fabulous. The grooming with all of that powder was the best they have ever created. Skate park was full of action and riders jumping from ramp to rail. As always wear your helmets and safe riding.