|Skis, beads, and crown|
Of course I had no objection! March is usually the best month to ski in the Cascades anyway. Not only that, it also meant we could celebrate a few more holidays usually missed. Our bus has a party every Valentine's day, but this year, a lady on my bus and I decided it would also be fun to celebrate Mardi Gras.
|Enjoying Heather Canyon|
So I ran to my local Dollar Tree and picked up a bunch of beads, masks, and decorations. And I couldn't pass up a Mardi Gras-themed tiara (only a dollar!). With the help of some well-placed duct tape it fit perfectly on my helmet.
|Great views of Hood abound|
My Vancouver ski buddies were more than happy to don the colorful beads I offered them. Glen brought his daughter Annie and she was a great addition to our group. We had a perfect blue sky day full of great skiing, culminating in three amazing runs down Heather Canyon (the snow was like velvet!)
|Our great Mardi Gras decorations|
For the ride home, we decorated the bus in festive gold, green, and purple. I made special sandwiches, and my bus friend whipped up a batch of Mardi Gras-colored jello shots. The jello shots were a huge hit, so popular they were all consumed before I could get a photo!
|Sunshine and smiles|
A couple weeks later, we had a more subdued celebration of St Patrick's Day (planning Mardi Gras had worn me out) with a only bottle of Guinness and Irish whiskey making the apres-skiing rounds.
|Hello from the bottom of Heather!|
A week after that was our final bus Thursday of the year. To end things on a high note, the weather gods cooperated with a lovely clear day.
|Me 'n the guys in Heather Canyon|
My Vancouver "Men in Red" ski buddies and I went everywhere! We took multiple long runs from the highest lift at the resort. I was finally able to try out a new GoPro gadget that attached the camera directly to my ski pole. I'm happy to report it worked splendidly - way better than my old selfie stick. Take a look at the video below for proof:
My friends and I had lots of fun that day. Brian had the idea to take some silly photos of us pretending to crash into trees. I think Glen had the best one of all - I call it his "Sonny Bono impression."
|Glen does his best Sonny Bono impression|
Waiting to load the chairlift, someone was playing a loud upbeat song, and my friends and I broke into spontaneous dance moves (much to the delight of the liftie!)
|Ready to rip down Stadium run|
I kept forgetting to bring a few "sacrifices" for the poor, empty bra tree. To liven it up, my buddies hung a few leftover Mardi Gras beads high on its branches.
|Hanging Mardi Gras beads on a tree|
You never know what you're going to see at your local ski area.... (I came upon this snow imprint at the top of the chairlift, and have no idea how it was created!)
|The crazy things you see at the local ski area....|
Of all the activities I do, skiing is hands-down the one that brings me the most joy. It's a time to play in the beautiful winter outdoors. A time to fly down the slope as fast as my skis (and my nerve) allow. A time to be silly with my friends. A break from my humdrum working and life routines. That's why I love these midweek ski days.
|I'm gonna miss my ski bus buddies!|
Throughout my life, there's very few places I really felt as though I fit in. On the ski bus I've met a great group of like-minded people who share my obsession with sliding on snow. We all get together for 8 short weeks to play on the slopes, laugh, be a little crazy, and enjoy the company of fellow winter enthusiasts. These folks are my peeps!
Here's to my bus buddies - thanks for another wonderful ski season. Seeya next winter!