My collegiate basketball team played primarily in New England. For a girl originally from central Pennsylvania, this was a unique opportunity to travel and play in states I probably would otherwise never see.
One annual trip was deep in the mountain woodlands of New Hampshire. What made this trip so unique was that the men and women’s teams did not stay at a Marriott, or Hilton, or any other typical hotel. Our lodging was quite off the beaten path. The two teams traveled together, spending hours on the black-top main highway. We knew our destination was close when the trees hugged our team bus and the snow kissed the road. You could tell a plow rarely visited this part of the woods. When the road got bumpy, and the trees leaned in, we sneaked a peak at a glistening lake, partially frozen, still reflecting the setting sun. We arrived at an 19th-century bed and breakfast. The Woodbound Inn was a fitting name, as it was embraced by snow-drenched firs and snow-capped oaks. It was an experience so unique from any other basketball trip. Our nights were spent in paneled rooms with four-poster beds, hand-made quilts, and clawfoot tubs.
Oh, and the food. The dining room was masterfully crafted with intricately detailed tables and chairs. Candles flickered on each wooden table, providing a heavenly glow. The food was right from grandma’s kitchen, with fresh-baked bread and the kind of entree that ‘sticks to your ribs’.
I remember staying up late, past our team curfew, sharing stories and creating stories, mostly ghost-related…
The funny thing is, I hardly remember the outcomes of our games played there. What I remember the most are the times in the Inn and how we grew closer as a team deep in the woods of New Hampshire.