January 7, 2023 Paradise
Barrman and Kaydee woke up and began their day at their mountain home. They hoped to look outside and see a fresh layer of snow. Barrman poured himself a coffee and Baileys and Kaydee went to the window.
She looked out outside and smiled, “a small dusting of snow. It’s better than nothing.”
“Fresh turns on snow let’s go, go, go.” Barrman buzzed around the condo. He felt the excitement build. Fresh snow was better than no snow. It didn’t matter how little. There was time to eat an apple and head out of the door. It was 815 and it was time. Time to go, go, go.
Kaydee left first with Barrman only a minute behind. He snuck into the trees and found a fresh track right away. It sure seemed like a lot more snow than he saw out of the window.
This could be a pretty good day.
He slid to the bottom of the Ridge Rocket Express. There was already a line of people waiting, They stood out of the coral on the village side. He slowed down as he approached the lift line.
Where was Kaydee? Barrman looked in the crowd for his wife. He didn’t see her in line, so he pushed around toward the other side of the Ridge Rocket.
There she was on the other side of the corral. She was standing watching for him to come. She waved her ski pole and he smiled as he saw her.
On the short side. The side with hardly any people in line.
Way to go Kaydee!
Barrman skated and pushed to join Kaydee. They stood and waited in anticipation for the lifts to start taking people to the heavens.
Usually, the lift opened at 830. But not this time.
Barrman spotted Cookster and Crispy in line ahead. The chair spun mockingly around as everyone stood and waited. Excitement mounted. Barman spotted Miss Right wearing her yellow snow host outfit. He called to her and waved.
Barrman beamed and bounced to the music. He smiled and chatted with Miss Right. There were rumours of more snow than first thought. Maybe even some fresh tracks.
Barrman danced some more. Kaydee smiled and watched him bounce.
Then the line began to move.
The chairs began to load.
It was 845 on the nose. Welcome to the weekend.
Barrman saw Cookster and Crispy cruise by them on the run as the chair began its final ascent into heaven. They were headed for Exhibition as their usual first run down.
“They will have an awesome run!” Kaydee said.
“Woo-hoo Cookster! Crispy!” Barrman called out in joy. This was going to be fun.
Barrman skied off the top and didn’t stop. He looked back at Kaydee, “Paradise?”
She smiled and nodded.
Paradise it was
Barrman didn’t stop. He didn’t slow down. He just pointed his skis toward Paradise and began to turn in the untouched snow. The cloud and snow wrapped around the trees and onto the groomed runs that were coated with a fresh layer of joy.
The snow was like icing on a cake. It was creamy and light on the top and firm and smooth underneath.
There were very few tracks in front of the ski duo. Kaydee skied right behind Barrman and they slid into the bottom of the chair. They smiled at each other, full of adrenaline and exhilaration.
“That was way nicer than I expected!” Kaydee laughed as she looked up at Barrman.
Barrman beamed with the glory of first tracks. He laughed, “wow that was really good. And you stayed right with me. What happened? The new wax kick in?”
“I tightened my boots, and new lenses in my goggles made a big difference I guess.”
“Apparently,” Barrman chuckled.
“What time is Webber joining us?” Kaydee asked.
“He should be here right now. That was too good. I don’t want to wait.” Barrman started to push toward the gate.
“Give him thirty seconds at least.”
“I’ll give him a minute. But you know there are no friends on a powder day.” Barrman looked anxiously for his friend.
“It’s not quite a powder day. But close enough. Ok, let’s go.” Kaydee pushed toward the gate and they both scanned their passes and slid toward the upload station. Where was Webber? Barrman kept looking but he didn’t show so they sat down on the Snow Ghost and slid back up towards the top of the mountain. Into the foggy snow-covered world of Big White.
More snow continued to fall.
Barrman texted Webber and told him they would catch up at the bottom of the next lap. It was too good not to get it before it was gone.
Only the true die-hards know to be on the chair for first tracks. Fresh groomers or fresh powder the best time of day to ride is between 8:30 and 10:00. Before the hordes arrive from Kelowna.
They connected with Webber after another spectacular run down Perfection. While they rode back up the chair they got a call from Cookster. They met Cookster, Crispy, and Gusman at the top of the Ridge and connected on a busy Saturday morning. There was something special about connecting with friends on a ski hill.
Connection in the alpine. And fresh turns in Paradise. What a wonderful way to spend a day on the mountain. The six riders explored the mountain and entertained each other in the lift lines. Barrman and Kaydee even went back out and skied The Easter Chutes at three o’clock in the afternoon. They found more fresh lines in the trees.
They ended the day meeting friends in Happy Valley. They sat and listened to the musical ministrations of the Bosman. Barrman and Kaydee found a table and they were joined by a few good friends and enjoyed a proper apres’ ski.
Barrman stood at the bar and waited for a Tequila and Soda when a pair of warm arms wrapped around him. He leaned back into the welcoming arms. Wait a minute they were too tall for his wife.
He turned and looked and it was a dear old friend who he hadn’t seen since before the pandemic. Linda smiled at him and laughed, “Is that how you react to everyone that hugs you?”
“It felt good, what can I say?” He sensed the goodness and warmth it came from. He sensed love in that hug. Barrman smiled again. It was good to reconnect with an old friend.
The Pandemic had left so many gaps in the world. Separated far too many and far too much. He walked over to her table and saw another old friend, her husband, Bob. It had been too long. They hugged and shook hands. Things they were told not to do in the last few years. Hugs are things the world can’t do without.
It was a wonderful way to end a wonderful day, The kind of day everyone needs to keep going, to keep living.
Keep living the dream.
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