Workin’ on my night moves: Writing about the graveyard shift at Sugarloaf Mountain

mainesugarloaf2I want to share one of my recent pieces (and one of my favorite assignments) from Maine magazine. Last winter, I spent a night driving around in snowcats with the Sugarloaf mountain groomers and snowmakers. As anyone who has worked the late shift knows, there’s something uncanny about the routines we form when everyone else is asleep. The world becomes quiet and intimate, your field of vision shrinks, making everything seem at once bigger and smaller.

mainesugarloaf3This night was like that—full of big machines and big mountains and small, sweet moments of conversation and connection. Vast sublime views and odd little human details: snippets of This American Life played over an iPod, off-record conversations about marriage and love, day-old pizza boxes pushed out of the camera frame.

Mainesugarloaf1Even though they wouldn’t let me drive a snowcat (which, given my driving record, was probably a good call), I still had a blast. Here’s the full piece. All pictures by immensely talented photojournalist Fred Field. Words are by me, with quotes from the smart, funny, cool guys who work at Sugarloaf Mountain.

 

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