Saturday, January 10, 2009

My Day

Sometimes I want to write but feel like I have nothing profound to say. So I'll just talk about my day.

I was up into the wee hours this morning. I don't remember what I was doing, but it seemed important at the time. However, when my son woke me at 6 a.m. to take him skiing, I knew I would have to summon all my energies to NOT fall asleep driving.

It's usually about two hours door to door from our home to the top of Sunshine Village. Today was different. It's a Saturday, 61 cm of snow fell on the ski resorts in the past five days, the temperature finally rose above zero, so all those folks who only go skiing when it's mild decided today was the day. However, the highway was partly snow covered, the wind was high, driving drifts across the road and polishing the asphalt into a shining, slippery skating rink.

It was bumper-to-bumper traffic. The beautiful full moon reflected off ominous patches on the highway. At one point everyone was crawling. Where we would normally go 110 km per hour, we were going 40. I look at the exterior temperature gauge on my dashboard: it showed one degree. After another few moments, I see a car in the median and a truck in the ditch. Both had obviously lost control. Then I realized we were driving on black ice. I looked at the gauge again, zero degrees.

We pass two more cars, snowbound in awkward positions in the ditch. One truck a bit further on, leaning precariously but not overturned on the north side of the westbound lane. Then the sheen disappeared from the pavement and the crowd of vehicles dispersed at various speeds. I check the guage: back to one degree.

The parking lot and gondola line up had a similar crush of people. It took over an hour to get from our car, through the ticketing line, through the gondola line up and finally disembark at the Village to begin skiing. Andrew was long gone. He and his buddy disappeared into the crowd to try to get a few runs in on untracked powder.

I don't mind skiing alone. I belong outdoors. If I could choose one place to be (with adequate provisions) it would be the mountains. If it were close to a lake, that would be icing on the cake.

I went straight to Goat's Eye and did several runs on Sunshine Coast, my favorite blue run. I even got a little bit of untracked powder for myself. My first experience. I think I could get used to that. Soft and quiet, the powdery snow explodes silently around your feet. Before I attempt deeper powder, I need boots that fit and a few ski improvement lessons.

Hubby and I learned to ski as adults only days after my 30th birthday. We took four days of lessons between Christmas and New Years'. We had middle eastern men in our group looking at us quizzically.

"You are from Canada," they ask, amused, "And you don't know how to ski?"

However, jests aside, I had a harder time than Brent. He was going well the second day, I was still falling on the third. Finally I got the concept of snowplowing (or "making a pizza" like they tell the kids). Once I knew I could control my speed, my confidence soared. Within the next couple months we both took off and were skiing black diamond runs by season end. It was exhilarating.

I learned several more important back-to-basics techniques this Christmas break at Revelstoke. I hung out with my friend Rosemarie and picked up some tips coming down the mountain as she coached her five year old. She challenged me to tackle more difficult runs than what I would have done on my own.

"If you don't," she said, "You'll never get better."

So I challenged myself today and now I want to take lessons so I can get better. My face is windburned, my knees are aching but my spirit is renewed.

Nothing like being in nature. Don't we have an amazing Creator?


  1. Hi Joyce,
    I visited through Violet's "Ponderings" and I love your Quiet Place.

  2. I'm so glad. That makes me believe you likely relate to some of what I post. Another writer has said she writes so that others know they are not alone. I like that perspective. Come back often!