Rise and shine, gear up, hit the slopes (or trails), spend the day with the youthful side of Old Man Winter, then raise a pint to starry sky and toast True Winter—in Tucker County. Nestled on the tip-top of West Virginia with elevations jutting over 4,250 feet, and with an annual average snowfall of up to 180 inches, Tucker County is winter the way nature intended—wild, intense and invigorating.Canaan Valley Resort offers downhill skiing and boarding with trail ratings ranging from beginner to blow-your-mind. Cross country skiing and snowshoeing on miles of marked, ungroomed trails provide interaction with nature. And if you’re more snow angel than conqueror, you’ll love Canaan’s tubing park and ice skating arena with its own outdoor fireplace. With an expansive, untamed backcountry, White Grass Ski Touring Center is one of the premier touring centers in the east. Nordic centers provide tours, lessons, maps, backcountry information and equipment rental. Blackwater Falls State Park, with its six-story waterfall that is stunning whether flowing or frozen, offers over ten miles of trails, many groomed for cross country, and a quarter-mile sledding hill. Looking to extend mountain bike season year-round? The all-terrain fat bikes offered at Blackwater Bikes in Davis allow the biking enthusiasts to ride even with snow on the ground.As great as they are, snow sports are just the beginning of Tucker’s True Winter experience. From fresh music performances and special events to legendary libation, you’ll be glad you played up an appetite and a thirst. There are plenty of local favorites to please the palate and warm the soul. The always-happening Purple Fiddle in Thomas offers great brews and live music and floorboards that never stop shaking. Whether you need the warmth of a gourmet coffee or the bracing bite of a Moscow Mule, the Tip Top Coffee Bar is always the right choice. Or sample some interesting brews at one of West Virginia’s largest full-scale microbrewery, Mountain State Brewing Company.In nearby Davis, an authentic taste of New York awaits at Sirianni’s Pizza Café, with mouthwatering pizza, pasta and sandwiches. As its name implies, Hellbender’s Burritos can conquer even the most serious appetite. Stop in to experience Tucker’s newest brewpub, Stumptown Ales, or grab a cold one at Blackwater Brewing Company to complete the true Tucker County pub crawl. Canaan Valley also offers several great dining choices. Enjoy casual dining in a pleasant atmosphere at White Grass Café, or savor a homemade meal at Amelia’s Restaurant. Big John’s Family Fixin’s offers up hardy fare and the area’s largest arcade. And full-service dining by the fireplace at Canaan Valley Resort is a good place to start, or continue, a tradition. Whether you’re staying the weekend or a week, lodging options are diverse and the hospitality is warm and inviting in Tucker County. Canaan Valley’s new 160-room lodge offers luxury and great views, while cozy Bed and Breakfasts offer intimacy and charm. Or choose a quaint rental cabin or accommodating house, many with slope convenient slope access. There’s winter, and there’s True Winter, only in Tucker County. Begin your authentic winter adventure at wvmountains.org or 888-975-SNOW.
England v West Indies, Lord’s 1984Spare a thought for poor Joe Root. A young captain, eager to showcase a positive attitude with his talented but flawed Test team, his declaration, late on the fourth evening, setting West Indies 322 to win, should by right have been rewarded with a shot at a series-winning victory.Brian Lara celebrates the victory after scoring an unbeaten 153. (Getty Images)It didn’t quite work out as planned, and who knows what the lesson will do for his proactivity in the future; but one man in the Sky commentary box is bound to have more sympathy than most. David Gower had just inherited the captaincy from Bob Willis in the summer of 1984, when he found himself in a position to turn the screw on the mighty West Indies.Ian Botham, with first-innings figures of 8 for 108 and a hard-hitting 81, had starred in a dogged team performance that deserved a shot at glory, but instead they came face to face with a limping Gordon Greenidge, one of the most fearsome beasts in the global game.With his mobility limited, his psychotic cuts and pulls wouldn’t have been out of place in a Hitchcock movie, as England were hacked down by nine wickets – a chase of 344 achieved in an extraordinary 66.1 overs.Pakistan v England, Karachi 2000-01Curtly Ambrose dismisses Mark Ramprakash for a duck. (Getty Images)The light was fading fast as Hope and Blackwood swung for glory at Headingley, but it was a midsummer night’s dream, compared to the stygian gloom at the National Stadium in Karachi in the dying minutes of England’s tour of Pakistan in 2000-01. Two stultifying draws at Lahore and Faisalabad had proved one thing – if nothing else – that Nasser Hussain’s England would be a tough nut to crack. But then, in the penultimate innings of the series, Moin Khan’s Pakistan inexplicably lost the plot, folding for 158 to present the opportunity of a lifetime to a team that had spent all tour clinging on.The target was 176 in 44 overs, and Moin’s go-slow tactics made damn sure that they wouldn’t get a delivery more. The first seven overs before tea were stretched across 40 minutes, and with the sun setting fast, there seemed little chance of a resolution, even with the sub fielder, Matthew Hoggard, roped into sightscreen duties in front of the pavilion.But with umpire Steve Bucknor unmoved by Moin’s petitions, to take the players off for bad light, Pakistan were hoist by their captain’s petard. Graeme Hick clubbed 40 and Graham Thorpe scampered 64 not out, the winning runs coming with an under-edged cut that noneDon Bradman congratulates Arthur Morris on reaching his century. (PA Photos)of the fielders could see.West Indies v Australia, Barbados 1998-99The obituaries for West Indies cricket have been coming thick and fast since the official end of their days of dominance in 1994-95, when Mark Taylor’s Australians came, saw and conquered on a feisty tour of the Caribbean. So, when, four years later, the Aussies rocked up once again in Trinidad and routed the former champions for 51, the knives were out like never before for the skipper Brian Lara, who had just overseen a humiliating 5-0 loss in South Africa.Lara’s response was savage and brilliant, a stunning 213 in Jamaica to set up a 10-wicket win, but he was only getting started. What followed, in Barbados, was arguably the most glorious innings of his life – a stroke-perfect 153 not out, in a total of 311 for 9, as he hunted down a daunting total with dead-eyed drives and calm manipulation of the tail.Courtney Walsh, as inept as a batsman as he was great as a bowler, survived five deliveries at the death as McGrath, Gillespie, MacGill and Warne (soon to be dropped for the decider) were all thwarted.The winning boundary, a trademark guillotined drive through the covers, prompted arguably the defining celebration of Lara’s career – arms raised, bat in one hand, stump in the other, enveloped by his team-mates as Kensington Oval flooded with jubilation.England v Australia, Headingley 1948It’s rare for a fourth-innings chase of 322 not to be a new ground record for a run-chase, but equally, it is a measure of West Indies’ triumph that, instead of toppling one of the iconic Headingley achievements, Hope and Brathwaite will now forever be mentioned in the same breath as two titans, Don Bradman and Arthur Morris.Like Root on Monday evening, Norman Yardley had few reasons to doubt the wisdom of his declaration, early on the fifth day, as Australia were set a daunting 404.Bradman, a month shy of his 40th birthday, remained formidable, of course, but more vulnerable than in his pomp – he’d not added to his 28 Test hundreds since the first innings of the series. But now, in a rollicking stand of 301 in just 217 minutes, he made up for lost time in a thrilling grand finale to his matchless career. Morris fell for 182 with victory all but sewn up, but Bradman remained unbowed, on 173, as Neil Harvey cracked the winning boundary off the first ball of his innings.Little did the onlookers know in that moment of victory, but with 6 996 runs to his name, Bradman would never add to that tally.England v West Indies, Lord’s, 2000Run-chases come in all shapes and sizes, but the general rule of thumb is that the fewer runs to tick off, the easier the task at hand. That, however, ignores all manner of extenuating circumstances – pitch conditions, stature of opposition, weight of history … or, just occasionally, all three, as England discovered in an excruciatingly thrilling finale at Lord’s.When Dominic Cork, as manic as Jermaine Blackwood, but cool and calculated to boot, crashed England to their target of 191 with just two wickets standing, he sealed a win that arguably rivals Edgbaston 2005 as his country’s most important win in the past two decades.The context was thus: England hadn’t beaten West Indies, home or away, since 1968. They had just lost to New Zealand the previous summer to slump to the bottom of the Test rankings, and in Nasser Hussain and Duncan Fletcher, they were in the early months of a partnership that would transform the team forever. But they needed results, and when they were stuffed by an innings in the first Test at Edgbaston, the same old script was being written.In Courtney Walsh and Curtly Ambrose, they were up against the proudest defenders of West Indies’ faith, and when the pair shared four first-innings wickets, England had surrendered a first-innings lead of 133, and with it, surely the series.But then, the miracle – West Indies 54 all out in their second innings, and a shot at redemption. Michael Atherton and the rookie Michael Vaughan matched each other, stroke for stroke, flinch for flinch, in a pair of vital 40s, as West Indies were ultimately let down by their lack of back-up bowlers.Walsh claimed 6 for 74, Ambrose grudgingly conceded 22 runs in as many overs, but Franklyn Rose and Reon King were not fit to succeed the kings and England went on to win the Wisden Trophy for the first time in 32 years.