Story continued from “Chairlift Mustache Discovery” …
Lesson: Never stop for photo op when there is Ski Patroller to follow.
Mamacita and I got off the chairlift laughing, it didn’t matter that it was at my expense, it just felt good to be together expressing joy over frustration. I’ve often heard laughter is medicine for the soul; in that moment I could feel the vibrations bounce between us, loosening and relieving tension like a masseuse working out the kinks.
We skied ahead to an enlarged map of the mountain. Standing in front of it was a mountain host, another 20-something with wispy brown hair swept to the side and tucked behind his ears. He sported green reflective Oakley sunglasses and a side smile that widened as we approached.
God almighty, I thought remembering that this was one the reasons I moved west; fit, outdoor-loving guys with side smiles for days.
“Hey!” I said to my reflection in his shaded eyes. “How do we get over there?” I extended my pole to a section of the mountain that had marked double black trails but no chairlift access.
He nodded his head, looking from Mamacita back to me, smiling.
“It’s easy, just traverse Skyline trail all the way until you get to a red gate, go through it and you’ll be golden….oh and make sure you keep high.”
“Sweet, so there is no hiking involved, right?”
His head swiveled no, still smiling as if he was in a Pantene commercial.
I took a mental note: Skyline traverse, stay high, go through red gate, and we’re golden. Most importantly no hiking involved. Then I turned to Mamacita,
“What do you think?”
“Sure, why not.”
I was surprised at her nonchalant response. I didn’t quite feel confident about the route from looking at the map but Mr. Pantene seemed pretty certain. Behind Mamacita I noticed a yellow sign that read:
Go With the Flow.
I snorted a laugh; the coincidence of its placement and an email I read earlier was not lost on me. In the past 2 years this same message keeps popping up at the most random times, making me feel like Jim Carrey in the Truman show, especially since I have never seen it before on a mountain.
Fine, I thought half mad and half entertained at the universe, we’ll flow.
* * *
Heavenly Mountain straddles the California and Nevada state line. As we traversed I noticed a European couple in their thirties posing next to a California/Nevada sign, by the arrows I could tell we were headed in Nevada’s direction. Soon Skyline trail forked, and as instructed we took the high road. The further we ventured the more isolated it felt until finally a red gate presented itself. I stopped telling Mamacita to stand next to it for a picture. She humored me. As I snapped the shot I read “out of boundary” on the sign. Odd, I mused; I thought they were named trails. Before I further questioned I saw a ski patroller pass through the gate. His presence made it seem okay to enter.
Our flow, captured in the flipbook below:
Pirate Skulls + Red Gates= Epic Skiing
Who reads the Fine Print?
“Are those beer tracks?”
Seek and you shall find…First Tracks!
Beard stroke moment: What happens when the snow melts?
Answer: You hike and vehemently curse Mr. Pantene.
2.5 hrs later. Civilization.
Hitchhiking in ski boots,
A Warrior Princess