Imagine...the cool crisp air against your skin, the gondola lift line, smiles, jokes, anticipation, frosty breath against the swirled plastic windows, exit stage right and grab the gear, strap on, more jokes, whose first?, with fresh powder everyone is first, runs so steep you feel the tingle, but snow so soft you could ride them all day, long swooshing open runs, tight tree's, loose tree's, sparse tree's, no tree's, cliffs, gullies, moguls, jumps, cat track lines, race till your legs fall off, so many runs you could never do them all in a day, even a weekend, terrain, so much terrain, something for everyone....
Imagine all that...because here in the east...imagining it is all you'll be able to do.
My introduction to Ontario skiing came as a surprise to me as I pulled my van over to take care of business and empty garbage. As I casually strolled to the garbage I looked over and my eyes registered something that my brain refused to acknowledge. I started back towards the van and two quads came up on the far side of the concrete barrier and that is when my brain accepted the reality...this...was a ski hill. Sure enough on the side of the highway some crafty bugger has erected a small 5-7 pole chair lift that might take about 1.2seconds to ride down. Yes I know...when it's all you've got it's all you've got..but for real...I was stunned.
In Collingwood there is about 17000 people and it resides right beside Blue Mountain. Blue Mountain is the premier destination for Toronto's population. So even if it was a hole in the ground like the hills in south Manitoba or something even smaller than it is it would be the busiest hill period. But...it's not. It's developed by the same wigs that have done other big areas and it's a party. In fact hearing what locals say it's a bigger party draw than any other ski hill in the country. But Ontario does ski hills a little differently period. They have down here The Peaks and that is a membership only ski hill, like a golf course. I thought that was pretty awesome. If someone set up a small hill in the middle of powder land that was membership only I'd be down with that.
Anyway, it has been since May that Bambalamb and Miz Dellie left Calgary. Bam (wes) and I are very much on the same page when it comes to the outlook on the future economy and how things are progressing. He wanted to move back to a more reasonable place instead of cowtown and I wanted to explore some thoughts and ideas and land before I picked a spot to settle in again. He used to live in Thornbury and was dying to return to the Georgian Bay. Now I heard about how awesome this place was from my dad, Bam and others but it was the guy at my storage unti that made the most impression. While i was telling him about my trip and mentioned the bay he said loudly in a strong aussie accent, “Stop” and I stopped and asked “what?” and he continued...”No...just stop...put the car in park and stay there...that's the spot”. So i knew from my drive down that it was going to be really nice...and it was.
Meaford and Thornbury are good spots but Collingwood is very much like a Cochrane...just a bit too yuppy like for me.
Bam has a landscaping business and I worked with him and Miz Dellie for a couple of days and slept for a couple more. I was building up my energies and regaining focus of purpose before the next leg of the trip. I was only going to stay a week but ended up doing almost 2 which was great because I got to hang out for 2 of their drum session that they hold at the Shelagh Fox gallery. Back in Calgary I never jumped in on the chance to drum with Bam...something about shyness, ego, silliness. So letting it rip in these two sessions was great. But right up until the last few days Bam and I never really had a conversation like we did back in Calgary and then we did...and in having that conversation it renewed the depth of the things I am exploring and it felt great. While we are on the same page there are a few years between us and like always I love the mix of real world experience and friendship. It's a powerful combination when you can accept each other as is and be as supportive as you can to help each other out.
|Bam at his drum session putting out the rhythm|
|Everyone there was great, it's a regular crew and they sound amazing|
|Miz Dellie...she just finished a hot flash here and i was trying to capture her glistening head. It's her birthday today Nov 24th - Happy Birthday Miz D!!!|
|During a break while we let our hands rest|
|when you capture everything...sometimes you have to shoot yourself just to show that you were there|
|Bam and Miz Dellie|
|Happy Birthday to J! Heard a lot about him and he was a great guy. Also a fabulous musician!!|
The two of them have a busy spring summer fall coming up and if there is one place that i want to touch base with again it's the Georgian Bay...so as Arnold says “I'll be back”
and I'm off to Niagra Falls
|On my way out...getting some last minute love from the kids|