All day today the clouds were putting on a show. Grey rain clouds against blue skies and fluffy popcorn cloud sculptures. This was the finale. Even with my encore the sun didn’t come back from behind the curtain of mountains.
This short film of impeccable imagery is transcending. It showed me that there is no limit of what you can create or capture through a lens. I wept as I watched. I was overwhelmed at the beauty on my screen. I want to share it with you, the world, anyone with a beating heart. I am so grateful for Edd Cox (former oil painting teacher) for introducing Gregory Colbert’s work with me. Gregory has a vision and travels all over the world to create these films and photographs. He places himself in remote and dangerous areas to show the connection we have with nature and animals. I’ve never seen anyone do it as well as he has. If I were allowed only one art exhibit before I die, it would be his.
What better way to end the snowboard/ski season than to go to the largest ski resort in North America. Two of my best girlfriends (Leslie and Jen) and I took a road trip up to Whistler, Canada. Why not, since it’s only a five hour drive away at the most. We passed through customs like a light breeze so things were looking up. We had the windows down and listened to more pop music in three days than I’d ever listened to within a decade. Rihanna was at the top of the playlist I’m pretty sure.
We didn’t waste a second as soon as we unpacked our gear at our hotel in the Village. Our signature drink that first evening was called the Mexican Bulldog. It was a beer that would slowly pour into an over sized margarita. Sounds bad, I know but it really was good. Something I would expect to order South of the Border, not North but we’re going with it. Early in the morning we were eager to get on the mountain but not before our java at The Lift Coffee Shop. We then hopped on the next Gondola up on Whistler mountain. Between Whistler mountain and Blackcomb you’d need a week to cover all the runs. It’s incredible how huge both of these mountains are and we had such easy access to it all! Our favorite run was called Seventh Heaven, we’d get to the end of the run and nod our heads all agreeing that we’d like to do it all over again. The Peak to Peak Gondola was an experience that everyone should try if you’re not afraid of heights. They installed it in 2008.
I still smile thinking about this weekend and it will always go down as one of my favorite ski weekends away. Between the snow bird days, me boarding in my bikini and actually getting a tan, the Village night life and all the beautiful men with accents from all over the world asking for our numbers… yup, Whistler will be expecting me next Winter. I already bought my 2014 season lift tickets. Thank you Leslie and Jen for all the laughs and being the best ski buddies this season. Looking forward to more runs with you next year. Don’t forget… Shine Bright like a Diamond!
Sonic and Ginger
A couple of seasons have passed since I backpacked my way into the Olympics. It was my first solo trip, at least with another human. It didn’t feel very solo to me since my best hiking partner was with me; my dog Asia. I frequently go back and look at this picture. It takes me back to how connected I felt with the bird that was flying up and down the valley, entertaining me. Then he was gone, at least I thought. I turned around and he was 30 feet away, propped there on a rock, looking right at me. Curious. It was at this spot I watched and admired.
I woke up this past Saturday morning with my truck adorned with snowflakes. Like stickers pressed up against the black paint, only temporary.
Someone opened up their home to me without meeting me first. Doesn’t that exceed a deal with only a handshake?
A Mason Jar of homemade peaches awaited my arrival on the kitchen table that he had made himself. He left me cross country trail maps, handwritten notes of local restaurants and the best coffee shop to visit.
My motivation for this mini getaway was to cross country ski on some of the best trails in the U.S. but my most favorite moments didn’t involve skis at all. It was hearing the owls in the nearby trees while I was photographing the stars late at night. It was feeding the hens and holding their freshly laid eggs in the palm of my hand. It was having a cat kneed on my lap like he had known me for years and looking through a television screen in a window framing the best view. Now that’s good T.V.
You wonder, what could possibly beat the rolling hills and the mountains dusted with powdered sugar in the Methow Valley? The people.