Thursday, December 25, 2008

Day 228

today was the first official powder day on the mountain. i remember when i first got here in october and, for the next two months, had indifferent and borderline shallow-opinions on the people who kept talking about powder riding. shredding the pow. gnarly. all those words.

then after yesterday and a first experience with only a couple feet of powder, i totally understand the delight of floating and cutting across a mountain snowfall and have the same stoked reaction for riding the pow. had my board not broken last night, i'd have been up there all this morning to experience todays dump.

the snow picked up again this the evening as five of us drove to nearby cranbrook for christmas dinner. we'd all become friends with bethany at camp qwanoes over the summer and her and her family had eagerly invited us foreign guys to their house for a proper christmas dinner. the piling snow and van's one headlight stretched a usual one hour trip to over two hours. three of the southern hemisphere guys hadn't seen much weather like this. tim had however and i'd obviously grown up in the midwest so the two of us took turns maneuvering there at about 25 miles an hour.

bethany is a cheerful and attentive personality. her dad is a hunter and map maker and their basement walls are crowded with the hanging heads of deer, antelope, bears, and a crouching cougar that either he or bethany's brother had shot and modeled. mrs franck is kind and looks very much like her daughter. maybe its the other way around.

as we ate, conversations on cultures differences and our collective first christmases away from home revolved around the table. apparently there aren't twinkies in canada and cuba has been a popular vacation spot for canadians to escape the presence of americans. the kiwis were shocked that pumpkins were only really used in seasonal pies in north american cooking- the didn't think a vegetable could perform as a dessert.

their family even gave us presents. we each unwrapped our own flannel blanket and then a house present of a deck of skip-bo cards and a dvd. my dad likes skip-bo. we all thanked them profusely for their kindness. mr franck responded that he'd hope that if his kids were away for christmas that someone would give them the best foreign christmas experience possible. they did indeed do that for us all.

they offered to let us stay the night and then drive us back home in a truck if the roads hadn't been sufficiently cleared but four of us have to work in the morning. the francks provided a thermos of coffee for the road and a few minutes drive after following a neatly drawn map showed that the roads had since been cleared. the drive home took only an hour.

it's been different, but it's been very good. merry christmas.

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