Thursday, March 30, 2017

Kicking Horse

I liked the mountains so much in February, I decided to go again in March.  I wasn't nailed to any particular destination, though I was leaning toward Kimberley, just because I liked it there so much the last time we went, but then it started snowing around Golden and just didn't stop, so 60+ cm of powder later, the destination became Kicking Horse instead.  Like the destination, the accomplices were also fluid; I hoped to round up 4-6 people to join me, but a bunch of "maybe"s turned into a long string of "sorry, can't make it"s, and I resigned myself to doing this trip solo.  To my surprise, my friend Andrea decided she liked snowboarding better than she disliked the idea of spending 5 days in the mountains with me, so off we went.

The trip down was easy, I drove the whole way and Andrea slept.  I guess it's not fair to say she slept the WHOLE time, she bagged like 60 horses in "horse-horse" right outside of Saskatoon, and then promptly fell asleep until the Alberta border.  Things went smoothly until Oyen, where the police had completely closed the highway due to a bad accident, so my best-laid plans went south in a hurry.  Literally, we had to detour south, which would have been fine except I missed my turn to get pointed back west...between the detour and my own idiocy, I saw way more of the countryside around Oyen than I ever wanted to, AND we tacked about an hour onto our travel time.  So that was a bit of a fuck-up, but the rest of the drive was fine, so not the end of the world.

Despite the fact that we did basically no planning, we ended up bringing enough food with us to feed ourselves for nearly the whole trip; the suite had a full kitchen, which let us cook our own meals and make coffee that didn't taste like old dishwater.  Monday, our first day of snowboarding, was the best day I've ever had on a mountain, hands down.  It was about -3 and it snowed all day, and my freshly waxed & sharpened frankenboard rode like a dream.  Have I mentioned I love my new snowboard?  Because I love my new snowboard.  

I was planning on taking the 2nd day off, because I was pretty sure I wouldn't be able to ride 3 days in a row, but the conditions on Tuesday were almost as good as they'd been on Monday, and I wasn't about to sit in the hotel and watch the snow fall, so back out I went.  It was another great day, but I was gassed by 3:00, so I called quits early and went back to the hotel to sit in the hot tub.  Some time between 9:30 and 11:30, Andrea lost her lift pass and had to buy another one, so that was a bit of a fuck-up, but the rest of the day was fine, so not the end of the world.  

I was pretty beat up after 2 days on the hill, so I took Day 3 off.  Andrea, who is far less of a wuss than I am, went snowboarding again, but I just lounged around the hotel room, dinked around on my guitar, plowed through a couple hundred pages of my novel, and went into town to pick up pizza-making supplies.  On my way back, I saw a girl carrying skis, walking up the road to the resort (probably a 15K hike), and trying to thumb a ride, and since Andrea had just been telling me how dangerous it was to pick up hitch-hikers, I decided to give her a lift.  Her name was Sara, and she was from Switzerland, and she was spending the winter working part-time in Golden and skiing every day, and her parents are disappointed that she's still living like a ski-bum at 28, which made me laugh a lot.  She didn't believe me when I told her how old I was.

This morning was get up, pack up, and hit the road, we made good time on the ride back, despite a few hold-ups for road construction in the mountains and a small detour through Golden (bit of a fuck-up, not the end of the world), and once we rolled out of the mountains the sun was out, and the roads were clear, and it was a great day to be bombing across the prairies listening to Tom Petty.  In addition to beating me at horse-horse, Andrea also invented a game called "calf-calf", which she won because only she played or knew the rules, AND she invented a game called "duck-duck-goose" which, again, she won but only because she gave me -100 ducks for trying to give her some creative criticism regarding the rules to these new games.

I'm never ready to come home from trips like these, and this one was no exception, but if you've had your fun, it's better to call it quits before you're sick of it, and I've still got some time off stretching out in front of me, a blank canvas just waiting to be filled in with all manner of little fuck-ups, so hey, winter was great, but let's bring on spring.  If you're free one of these days, let's do something outside.