Formidable Joy (Whistler 2015)

The everchanging spectrum of a guy, for those who like subtle music references. Now, originally I was all excited to update you on the "Whistler 2015" trip, but it was more of a trip and fall. It's normally a great milestone in life when your dad shakes your hand and sends you off, but this time it merely transferred the stomach flu to my hand to my face to my butt to everywhere I stopped on the 35-turned-50-hour drive from Ottawa to 'Merica to Whistler. For those who liked the previous music reference.. it was like my innards wrote the song Your Hand In Mine. I decided to make the drive instead of flying because I was all excited test out the new Nikon in Yellowstone, among other places along the way, butt alas that was not to be. I also thought I was going to get some winter training in on the road so I brought along a Concept II rower and about ten sets of gym clothes. Lord, what fools these mortals be. erg-bc2015

I guess I still got a little fitness in by lugging this thing up and down multiple hotel staircases, all whilst clenching one's gluteus donutus muscle and holding a grocery bag to the face to prevent upcharles from plaguing the dizzying 70's modernity that is hotel accoutrement - and probably improving it, lest I charge them a decorator's fee.

But hey, I lost ten pounds.

By the time I made it to the chalet in Whistler I was pretty much ready to head back. Honestly it was a terrible feeling, since the whole idea of the trip was to celebrate finishing my thesis, and I neither finished nor celebrated. I did manage to hold down a couple beers though, which - based on entertainment value per dollar - were about $300 each. Stupid Canadian prices.

Of the little luck I did have, I found some sun down by the water in Seattle and up the bumps in Whistler. I stopped by the Conibear Boathouse at the University of Washington on my way north, having just read the Boys in the Boat and wondering if Husky crews still rowed in high-waisted shorts. Aside from the disappointment of only seeing regular unisuits on humans taller than I could ever hope to be, it was still a pretty classy looking place.

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You'd be surprised how fast you can fly down an icy black diamond when imminent danger is in your snowpants.


Maybe I was just sick of being the third wheel/cuteness photographer, but after one morning on the slopes I had to call it a weekend; I was dead to the world.

After another two days lying on the chalet floor watching the weather network, it was time to pack up and leave. So soon?

The rest of the crew headed to the city to catch the Superbowl, but I was thinking one thing: get as many miles marked off as I can. So I listened to the entire game on choppy AM radio as I drove through the Cascade Range, quite entertained by the old men commentating on the half-time show and how Katy Perry was "quite a pretty lady." At least we know a couple things weren't deflated in that moment.

The next two days looked a lot like this, so I tried to take it all in whilst trying not to let it all out. IMG_1964_2

The last day on the road was bittersweet, as most are. But this one was a mix of finally feeling like a normal human again, and some of the worst driving conditions ever. A snowstorm was hitting the midwest and I had nothing to do but stare straight ahead and grip the wheel like I was about to spin it for the Showcase Showdown. I passed at least thirty cars in the ditch and had to block traffic for a high school kid who got the spins in the passing lane in Chicago and smashed the guardrail. I proudly explained to him that his classes were indeed relevant to life, as his car was perfectly perpendicular to the rail and thus maximally protruding into the middle lane, causing the vocal chords of many a passerby to resonate, resulting in an audible "Yer blockin da whole fackin Kennedy road der! Get churself onta da Dan Ryan or fack off! And uh, go Cubs go."

So that was Whistler 2015. If you're jealous if this trip then you know you need to make some drastic changes to your life. Good luck with those. I'll keep you posted on mine.

And remember, hand sanitizer won't stop the flu. Soap and water and avoiding your family.

All my best.