Sunday, April 17, 2011

They call me "The Shack Hunter"

First off, let me start with the fact that I will wholeheartedly admit that I have become completely spoiled living the life of a "ski bum"  for the past three years (living outside of what "normal" people will call "reality" -- but that's best left for a whole 'nother post). Not only that, I have also completely ruined with good snow….as in, if there isn't at least a good few inches of new snow (say 6" at the bare minimum) and fresh tracks, I don't want to waste my time. (ok. that's not totally true. i'd still go….but i'll definitely be pining for new snow the whole time).

That being said, living up here at Big Sky there's nothing else to do BUT ski, even when conditions are not exactly up to my standards. (ooh, life is SO hard sometimes!). There have been days where there hasn't been any new snow, the mountain is pretty much tracked out, it's too crowed and just too many gapers, and I just plain don't feel like going. However, like I said, if I don't want to go ski, pretty much my only other option is sitting around in my compartment (which is probably about the size of most people's living room) and looking out the window and watching other people ski. But, oh, what to do, what to do when conditions are (though still decent) less than ideal?

Answer: Shack Hunting.

It is said that there are 32 shacks residing on this mountain. Some are old gondolas, some are made from trees and branches, others from old skis, some even from plexiglass and plywood. There is even one that is an old VW beetle (it's true!). Some are pretty hidden and you don't know there there until you, literally, ski right on top of it, and others are pretty out in the open (…if you're not skiing with tunnel vision). So far I have found 10, and know the general location of at least one more (though, when I say "I have found 10" I really mean "I was shown 9. I found the 10th one on my own, but was shown the general area in which it stood").

So on the days where I don't know what else to do, I go in search of these:

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Letter to L____

Dear L____,

26 is way too young.

I was in complete shock and disbelief when I heard the news, and while somewhere along the way we stopped talking and lost touch, you were always someone I thought I would see again. Someone I'd be able to say "Hey, I'm sorry we stopped talking. I know these things happen and people move on with their lives, but I'm sorry anyway. I hope your life has moved on in the direction you have always wanted it to. I hope you are happy where you are right now."

26 is way too young.

You were such an exuberant young lady, and anybody who knew you (whether friends or not) can not deny that you had a certain, special zest for life. You were fiercely loyal to the people you could call your true friends, and though I hadn't spoken to you in years, I can tell that you still cared deeply and passionately for your family, for your friends, for people in general, and for life, this world, and everything that encompasses it.

26 is way too young.

I believe in a connection that everybody in this world shares. That once you have been connected with someone, no matter if you lose touch with that person at some point in your life, you are always, on some level, connected with them. I feel that all of the experiences we shared, breakfasts in Dillion, classes, late nights, galavanting across Europe......that those experiences connected us. And now I feel that you are gone, though you will live on each day in the memories of all who knew and loved you, that a little part of me is gone along with you.

The world has lost a special soul, and my heart breaks for your family and loved ones.

26 is way too young.

Rest In Peace, old friend.

May you find more happiness and joy in your next great adventure.

Sincerely yours and never forgetting,