17.03.2006 -2 °C
Probably the greatest 48 hours ever experienced by anyone ever in a small town. The story unfolds….
The day began with a seemingly normal start for a snowboard bum @ KHMR - awake at 8am, wolf down a bowl of super-power fuel breakfast cereal (Vector), stumble to the bus sprinting the last 50m as running late, with Ben the trusty driver tapping his foot and checking his watch as he always does in tune to my late arrival; arrive at KHMR day lodge and gorge down a Mountain Muffin (ham, egg & cheese muffin) and (free) coffee.
Checking in at snow school it seems I have a lesson for the morning - probably the cutest little girl (11 years old) I’ve ever seen - no paedophiliac comments please, just perfectly innocent admiration of a little one). Lesson progression is insane - within the allotted 2 hours we’ve moved from a rather tentative side-slip on the nursery slope to full blown, smooth-as-silk linked turns from Catamount. I don’t know who was happier - the girl or me. Mid-lesson Travis T, Matt and Lisa (my instructor) passed overhead on the chairlift and I could see how pleased they were that the lesson was working out. Afterwards, the sense of achievement in helping another to further their snowboarding and discover confidence in themselves was almost too much for me - I almost cried with joy. Happy happy days!
The afternoon was free to rip it up with Matt and Lisa, the highlight being my first venture into a secret powder chute called Dutchman’s Wallet - a tight, steep gulley with a balls-to-the-wall entrance which requires a clamber down a 25ft cliff with only roots and small rocks to hang onto. (Apparently Canadians view the Dutch as being generosity challenged, i.e. tight as a duck’s bottom, hence the chute’s name.) Powderous fun ensued in this secret stash which was a real treat as seemingly none was left else where on the mountain.
Onto the evening, and oh what a night! Proceedings started at Bar Omega - I have a mental block for recalling the name of this place, instead insisting on calling it Utopia which caught me out one night where I met 3 nice girlies from Edmonton and arranged to meet them at said Utopia which of course doesn’t exist. Besides that I also forgot their names, telephone numbers and where they lived even though I had been to their room - some things never change. Anyhow, the Powder Trip massive was out in full effect, with Megz and fellow peeps from KHMR joining the ensemble, green Kokanee beer was consumed in copious quantities and The Pogues and other such Irish classics were delved out to the slightly-unaware-of-the-meaning-of-the-day public.
Step up the pace and onto The Mad Trappers Pub, normally a beer swilling venue for lumberjacks, railroad workers, mathematical geniuses, tourists from Alberta and such like, but tonight the place had a new vibe courtesy of the Golden’s own party crew ‘Golden Delicious’. Pumping house and breaks filled the air as the crowd were whipped up into a frenzy of chemically-charged dancing mayhem, with Tom delivering his own unique dance choreography likened only to a mix of David Brent’s (The Office) MC Hammer impression meets Michael Flatly (Lord of The Dance). Even the normally reserved toon Neil (our Powder Trip chaperone) showed us all what can be done with a hula-hoop (hah hah). Brady and Ryan joined the throng, slightly amused at my seemingly unblinking eyes - it’s the adrenalin I tell ya.
The party finished all too soon at 2am and end-of-the-night panic set in. Luckily my party animal friend Mallory came up with the goods and announces an impromptu mash-up is to be hosted at our favourite party venue on 10th Street. Arrive at the house with a slightly reduced number of Olly, Matt & Megz with several newly acquired friends in tow, we ascend the stairs to find that their loft conversion has been super-clubified since our last soiree, with the addition of a disco ball, funky lights, and jungle cargo net.
Right on cue the Golden Delicious massive arrive armed with decks, sound rig and boxes full of juicy vinyl and the beats begin to flow once more. A mystical man known only as The Leprechaun satisfied the masses with his Lucky Charms. My familiarity with the tunes is realised when delving through the record boxes only to find classic after classic of UK house, break beat, new school breaks and every anthem ever to grace the glorious shores of Brighton. Happy days!
After a brief discussion of life, the universe and the intricacies of tea making, the Golden Delicious DJs agree to let me grace the decks. I hadn’t played in months but luckily for the awaiting masses and my own ego I did not fail to deliver, and was quickly whisked away into a trance-like state, oblivious to all who danced only 2 feet from my face, chopping the beats into spine-tingling packages and dropping bass-lines like there’s no tomorrow. I had fun, oh yes I had fun.
Down with the DJ mitts and on with the dancing. Hooked up again with Matt, Megz and Olly and we became as One, with a certain young lady more than others. After spending 3 months hanging out together day in, day out, a connection never felt before was shared (which has continued till this day), love and dancing mayhem filled the air once more. Down to the chill-out lounge, sharing some great conversations, also discovering the merits of the Canadian version of ’Lights Alive’. Much fun!
Before we knew it, the sun was beginning to rise reminding us all of the fact that night doesn’t last for ever and a new day is dawning. Megz had a full day of work ahead on next-to-no sleep after her first real rave experience (ouch) and work she did, hardcore! I on the other hand had a slightly better deal, driven to Radium Hot Springs to soak and relax for the afternoon in the mineral enriched waters. Heaven!
Back to Golden and I treat Megz to a slap-up dinner at the Kicking Horse Grill. The food was simply amazing, devouring a 14oz prime Albertan steak with the most amazing spiced chutney I’ve ever tasted, washed down with a fine Okanogan Valley red wine, and finished with the richest chocolate desert known to man. Bliss! Bed beckons, have to get my rest you see for another day at KHMR - oh, did I forget to mention the 20cm dump over the weekend? Joy joy joy!
Not your traditional St Paddy’s day I know, and perhaps I am starved of such entertainment, but surely life doesn’t get better than this!?