29 June 2008

Ski Day 31: Birthday Fun @ Timberflats

Saturday, I turned 37. Rather than sleep in, kick back, relax, and enjoy a day off, I decided I should head up to the mountain and patrol. Actually, it wasn't a snap decision - I had dispatched to patrol some months ago. Last year, I spent the evening of my birthday with the patrol, playing victim for the OEC finals. So why not do some patrol-y stuff again this year?

It was already quite warm when I parked the Sorento in the 'chute' up near the day lodge, and I grabbed my gear and headed to the patrol room, in shorts. At just before 6am, it was already shaping up to be a short-sleeves kind of day. If it weren't for the wind, I might not have bothered with my long-sleeved shirt.

Recently-minted patroller Nate - one of the guys I sled-coached this season - was up with us, and it was nice to see a new guy putting time in on the hill. I wonder if the rest of the freshly-crossed-up patrollers will put in some days this summer. We definitely need the help.

Ski Bowl, looking only barely skiable. But that's still a lot of snow over there for this time of year. I don't think they are able to run the alpine slide yet...

Still rocking a ton of snow. Mile Canyon isn't even much of a canyon yet, and it almost looks like you could still ski on Norman.

I got to test the shoulder out a little by hauling a sled up on the Mile chair, and that was no problem. I'm pretty sure I can do most anything I need to on the hill, and as long as I'm skiing carefully and not lifting and extending much above shoulder level, I'll be fine.

The snow was already pretty soft when we started out, and it obviously would continue to soften up as the day went on. But the first couple runs of the day were pretty nice. My folks called me to wish me a happy birthday, and it was kind of lucky timing on their part - I was just out checking some rope-lines, and had stopped to just kind of take in the glorious cloudless day when my phone rang. We chatted for a bit, and then it was back to work.

I got back up top and decided to call my brother to wish him a happy birthday as well (we're fraternal twins), and I had only been on the line with him for maybe a couple minutes when we finally started getting busy. I was hurrying him off the phone when he told me to go find one of the GMVS (Green Mountain Valley School) kids that he knows to go say hi. I'd have to get to that later, though - people were getting hurt.

I got to drive the sled for 3 cases on Saturday, which made it one of my busier patrol days. One was a collarbone, the other a shoulder dislocation (I feel your pain, kid), and the last one was a 'boarder we had to put on a backboard in one of the terrain parks. And that's just the stuff I was involved in. There were several more cases throughout the day. And of course the last one had to happen just as we were waiting on the last chair on Palmer for sweep.

Between my 2nd and 3rd cases, I did manage to run into the kid my brother told me to say hi to, which was kinda cool. There were several groups from VT up there, and I had the chance to talk to some kids from Middlebury College. It's always kinda cool to chat with home-staters when you're all the way across the country.

Anyway, we finally got released I think around 3:30 or so, and I took off for home. I needed to get cleaned up and ready to go out and meet some friends for my little birthday gathering. As I drove through Rhododendron, I noticed the temperature display at the Dairy Queen: 103. No effin' way, I thought. Must be just from being in the sun or something. But the next 3 readerboards I saw were all in triple digits. I started to wonder if I couldn't convince everyone to meet me at Charlie's or the Rat instead...

But the gathering at the Rose & Thistle was too much fun for me to really care much about the temperature. Sis-in-law Jenn and her hubby Troy were there, as were Rick & Brandi, Ryan & Kelly, Ryan's bro Travis, and my co-worker Nathan and his fiancee Katie. Katie's from GA, so she was the only one unfazed by the heat. It was great to see everyone and hang out drinking and talking and laughing. B and I got there early and ate right away, since we were both terribly hungry and didn't want to start drinking on empty stomachs. Turned out to be a good thing, except the gang was maybe a tiny bit bummed that they missed the waitress bringing out my Guinness cake with a single candle on it and singing me 'Happy Birthday'. I got some great gifts and funny cards, and the evening what just what I needed after the day I had on the hill.

After we got home, I decided I should play a little Team Fortress 2 with some folks from the Control Point community, since they're a good lot. I was still pretty...'happy', let's say. Late night TF2-ing can be quite an adventure, since the CP folks often decide to get a little creative with map selection and playing games-within-the-game. I had a load of fun goofing around with a couple of the guys I've played with quite a bit, and we were trying out all kinds of things. One of them is a server admin for one of the servers, so we were messing around with game speed, gravity, and all kinds of stuff. It might actually have been more fun sober...


Dorr said...

Might have been a different story on Sunday. The Large Ski Area went up in smoke. This dude captured the video of the fire started by lightning.

Ghost Dog said...

Wow...yeah, glad to have missed that. I imagine T-flats paused chairlift operations a few times for the lightning, or maybe closed early...