I’m up here in Waterville Valley today. Having lived in New Hampshire and being a skier I can honestly say that this is one ski area and place that I haven’t spent a great deal of time at. Of course I’ve heard a lot about it and everything ranging from: “it’s like Colorado to former Governor Sununu has a condo there.”
So I’m here.
My own perception of Waterville Valley is basically a market association with ideas that are intellectual, included in this are realities that are defined by things in life that are elegant and expensive. For example I associate a new shiny Saab or Volvo sedan with a Harvard or Dartmouth sticker on the rear window with Waterville Valley. It’s not like I don’t see these types of vehicles at places like Bretton Woods or even Cannon, it’s just my perception of Waterville Valley. And I’m standing on the outside looking in. Right now I’m standing at the Waterville town square surveying an assortment of shops, restaurants, lodging, condos and flyers on the bulletin board that are all tourist related. Directly to my north is a nearby mountain, it seems relatively close it’s also lightly grazed with the white of snow. It’s an interesting contrast with the leaves changing colors on the lower elevations located further down the valley. I walk past a small bookstore on the main level their having a 50% off sale and this is enough to attract my interest. Of course there is no one in the bookstore except the grey haired female sitting behind the counter, she’s friendly I’m guessing she was really attractive when she was younger not that she isn’t attractive now. I’m guessing that she drives a shiny new Saab or a Volvo as she asks me if I’m looking for anything and I reply by explaining that I’m from New Hampshire “just trying to get a sense of Waterville Valley.” And she accepts this. Most good.
The bookstore confirms my perception of Waterville Valley. For example one of the end caps had a display of President Obama books, it wasn’t the “Audacity of Hope.” it was something else. They had books about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. I’m still scanning the shelves for books about former President Bush, I don’t see any the closest I find is a book with a military general on the cover its former Secretary Colin Powell. I’m tempted to ask why there are books about President Obama but none about President Bush. I quickly dismiss this idea. I’m confident that she would order this book, if asked, and a debate about book selections available in Waterville Valley would politely be dismissed out of hand.
By now I’m hungry. I depart the well heeled biased bookstore on the town square in search of a delicious taco. I’m thinking “tacos, spices, salsa, onions and $4.00 out the door.” Not in Waterville Valley. At least I didn’t find any tacos or an EL Coche de Cucaracha though they did seem to have plenty of bread....
So now I’m headed back to my car. There is a sign at the entrance to the town square that reads “Welcome Harvard Medical School.” Alas! The power of perception. I think my analysis is dead on. As a part of this analysis I’m not buying this statement that Waterville Valley is anything like Colorado. I’ve been in Colorado and skied at Vail, Aspen and Steamboat Springs. Waterville Valley isn’t Colorado.
It just isn’t.
I didn’t see the condo owned by former Governor Sununu maybe I should have asked.
Source: El Coche de Cucaracha. 593 Films