A Night of Boarding

During my last week of work I had made some plans that were coming to fruition tonight. A colleague from work that I got on well with had asked me if I was interested in going up to one of the local hills for a bit o’ boarding. He even made some signs and hung them around the department to entice others to come with. He snagged one more colleague. 

No one wants to hear about my day. It was spent shuffling things into boxes. I’ve been blessed with a bit of visual spatial abilities to fit things together. A touch of OCD forces me to be thorough. The exertion does however call for some kind of activity to unwind. I’ve actually been looking forward to going night skiing even though I board. 

The pick up was at sixteen-hundred hours or thereabouts. The most important thing is to make sure you have everything. In between chatting and wondering as well as writing the hour quickly approached. I thought I’d have more time. I still have tomorrow. 

Stephen showed up a little early. We sat outside the apartment chatting waiting for another colleague to finish work. Stephen is from the UK a small town named Winslow I believe. He spent time in Manchester and I asked him if he knew Bernie. He loves it out here in BC and gave me a hard time about leaving. 

Jan (pronounced Yan) is from the interior. Since our department is a large one we only had brief interactions. It turns out that he tree planted as well as working many other jobs before settling on Radiography. He is a good skier having grown up near a hill. It would have been nice to spend a spare block in high school riding the hill before returning to class still dressed in your gear. 

 I’m used to just going but with these guys this was more of a hanging out and chatting outing. It wasn’t too cold outside and there wasn’t too many people out on the hill tonight. The city was visible from different parts of the hill depending on where we were. Since there wasn’t too many people we covered most of the hill that was lit up by the lights. The same lights that are visible from the city becoming you to come up and enjoy the snow that this year is in abundance. I’ve been told that there have been some poor seasons with little or no significant snowfall. 

We made jokes but we also talked about some serious stuff. It was a bit more of an adult conversation. Since when? What? At some point it becomes increasingly more interesting to discuss issues and experiences and how they relate to our daily lives and long term prospects. Discussing my own situation with them they agreed that it made sense. 

Standing on top of the hill looking down at the terrain I’m about to enter. My mind forms a general route of where it wants me to go. Pointing the board downhill the motions to control the direction of momentum comes naturally now. The board and the rider are one connected through bindings. As speed builds up the point between control and lack thereof is constantly tested. Speed has a subtle but serious effect on the eyes. Tears begin to stream blinding to some of the terrain that could cause a slip or fall. I’m conscious of trying not to catch an edge. 

Riding up on the lifts the trees and the lights create a surreal feeling. Besides the sound of the mechanics behind pulling us up the hill is a quiet place. There are the occasional shrieks and shouts as well as our banter sharing various stories of our exploits on the hills. There were moments though that didn’t have any such interruptions where just the sheer beauty of our surroundings were enough to hold our attention. 

We went into the lodge to share a pitcher and a plate of nachos. Sitting there we saw the end of a tennis match where one of the Willams sisters continued her dominance on the court by beating Sharipova to move onto the Semi Final. We talked about real estate and the local market that is pushing everyone around. In a sense it is the big monied players that are moving things around. We little fish are cought up in the currents they create with their motions. 

On the way down we stopped at the lookout point to admire the city below us. This sparkling jewel at the edge of the continent shimmering against the nighttime sky. The clouds are high allowing us to gaze far off in the distance. The ever present construction activity has changed the landscape below. This city has become a good market for those willing and able to invest in it. 

I have been waiting to take a photo from one of the local mountains since I got here. This was my opportunity and Stephen was gracious enough to stop here and allow me to photograph from here. It was a good night out with good company. Something to think about in the UK as I’ll be flying out there in a week.

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