Sunday 26th March – Just Because You’ve Got a Pussy Doesn’t Mean You Have to Be One

on

Despite the lengthy sleep we both had, we didn’t feel that rested when we woke. Our theory was that the heat of the room was causing us restless sleep. We showered and went down for breakfast (one last dose of Trump news) then came back and started packing up our room since we were checking out. It didn’t take us too long but the van felt quite full with all the ski gear and our stuff back in it. I was looking forward to a thorough clean once Kevin goes home.

We were running a little behind by the time we drove out, but we didn’t have to organise much on the mountain this morning so it wasn’t a huge issue. I resolved to be a better skier today and went into the day with optimism. Our park at the door was long gone so we had a bit of a walk to the lodge where Kev lined up to get our lift tickets and I went for a nervous one. Lift tickets attached to our clothes, we got straight into it heading over to the left side of the mountain for something different, even though they were more beginner slopes. We managed to find a sweet run with a few jumps built in that we started hitting. Each time we built up more courage and popped more to get more air, even if it was only half a foot for me. It was about this time that Kevin told me to stop being a pussy and quit washing off speed before hitting the jump. His choice of words being “just because you have a pussy doesn’t mean you have to be one”. He really knows how to motivate me, those words ran through my head in the lead up to every jump after that.

We hit it again and again and again and I felt Kevin’s hysterical disease consuming me each time I got air. I couldn’t contain myself each time I left the ground, yelling out like a big girl at the exhilaration of flying through the air. We repeated that run, even getting down to the real beginner slopes by accident, before heading into the lodge for a round of Chilli Cheese Fries and beers. I’d decided to follow Kevin’s method of drinking while skiing to see if that would improve my form. We soaked up the beautiful sun as we ate and drank.

The conditions yesterday had been icy but today, with the sun, the snow was softening, making for great skiing. After my dose of liquid courage, I was flying down the mountain. There hadn’t been any falls today and I was enjoying the speed. We explored the right side of the mountain a while before going back to our favourite spot with the jumps. When it came time for Kevin to call Claire, we had another round of beer and shared some Nachos before Kev skied down the mountain and I went to do a scout for a long run from the lift at the top. On the way up, I joined another lone skier and we talked the whole way. It’s something I’ve come to love about skiing, the fact that you get a solid ten minutes to talk to a complete stranger and find out their story. Joel was in his early thirties and recently single, hitting the slopes for the first time in the season as a bit of therapy. Even better, he was on ski blades! I was sad we split up at the top of the lift, I should have skied down with him but now that I was two beers deep, all I wanted to do was go fast. I managed to find a way over to our favourite jump section after a steep run at the top, it was a perfect long run with a sweet banking corner right at the end. I was stoked and so was Kevin when I told him about it at the ski lift.

We hung out for a few minutes, hoping to see Joel come down so we could arrange having a beer later, but it wasn’t to be, he was nowhere to be found. Back on the lift, Kevin was as excitable as me. He was happy that my learning curve had been steep and I was now almost keeping up with him. It meant we could have a lot more fun skiing together and that we did. We spent the last hour of the top lift time hitting the long run I’d scouted and it was unreal. The jumps got bigger and bigger, my screams louder and louder. I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face at the end of each run, adrenaline pumping through me. It was Kevin’s last full day in the US and what a better way to spend it. We were on a high.

We raced each other at nearly 80km/h (thanks Strava for telling us) for the last few runs, really booking it towards the end to make sure we could catch the last lift. We were both ecstatic, what a fun time. On our last run, there was no one on the mountain since we’d caught the last lift and we looked at each other, revelling in the moment before speeding down one last time. I really let it go this time getting a heap of air, my shrieks of laughter echoing through the mountain. On the very last jump I lost it, not even trying to land it, just falling on my arse in a fit of laughter. We skidded to a stop at the bottom and I pulled Kev into a big hug thanking him for such an amazing experience.

We ditched our gear back at the rental shop and said goodbye to the Snowbowl. It was only an hour drive to our favourite Sedona camp so we got on our way. After a quick stop at Staples for me to print out a story book I’d written for Kevin’s daughter, we hit the highway, driving past the places we’d adventured in over the last few days. We were rushing to beat the sunset and we just managed after filling up with petrol in Sedona, we were driving down the familiar dirt road to our creek side camp where we found our usual spot vacant to our delight. Once I’d parked, everything was automatic. Kevin went off to collect firewood and got the fire going while I unpacked our table and chairs and got dinner on. After two weeks, we worked really well together, Kevin knew the van almost as well as me.

To spend our last night under the familiar stars staring into a warm fire was a treat. We reminisced about the things we’d done in the last twelve days, unable to believe how with no plan, we’d managed to do everything there was to do and enjoyed every minute of it (except maybe when Kevin hit that tree in Sedona).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *