I was promised on a time – to have reason for my rhyme; From that time unto this season, I received nor rhyme nor reason.
Nor is there reason much in this season. Winter never settled in, whereupon it left again. Only to return for a wink, then gone in another blink. Such convolution allows the illusion, that each day on snow, may be the last to go.
As such, I bustled over to Winter Park, the Resort of the Good ‘ol Boys; all of whom seem to deem shorts and ski boots as required Spring attire. While the vast majority of the mountain was closed, including the revered Mary Jane slopes, my disappointment dissipated upon hopping on the Zephyr Express and discovering they have a run named for my family! Apparently quite famous as a race course, and also one of the Resort’s original runs. I was first to lay down tracks on it that day; well, actually second; but only to a Ski Patroler.
Now, my information may be biased (as one of my favorite humans is a WP Ski Patroler), but these guys are On It. Such is to be expected of a department with an impressive retention rate of seasonal employees; some of these guys have been doing this job every winter for the past 43 years. Andy is on his 5th season of such work and heck, I’m impressed with HIS knowhow, I can’t begin to fathom the wisdom contained in those magnificent mustaches of the Original Fellas.
It being Last Day, Ski Patrol were busy dismantling what was left of the mountain: signs, netting, bear traps laid for people who cut boundaries, etc. I stopped up at the ski patrol shack at intervals to catch runs with Andy, tag along, and just generally see what went on. Patrols, aiding the lost and injured, reconnaissance, bow staff training with the valley’s Sensei, Hawaiian shirts, and lots of other very important business transpired in the mountain-top cabin.
That afternoon was the Spring Splash, much like Keystone’s Slush Cup, except this event involved an obstacle course through which the participants must traverse before even attempting the lip and pond at the bottom. It was an all around ruckus. Participants were pushed off the starting line riding switch (backwards) then had to navigate through goopy snow, a jungle of poles stuck in the ground, 2 slushy embankments and turns. Add to that the snowballs thrown by onlookers, then the jump itself.
Alice:I’m sorry I interrupted your birthday party. Thank you.
March Hare: Birthday? My dear child, this is NOT a birthday party.
Mad Hatter: Of course not. This is an unbirthday party.
One sequence of contestants were the March Hare and the Mad Hatter. Turns out, the March Hare was wearing a black man thong beneath his thin white bunny onesie. A fact to which we became painfully privy when he rose out of the water. The Mad Hatter came down with a bit of a delay, as a Ski Patroller had to convince him to put his pants back on before entering the course.
That afternoon, as the mountain cleared out, I listened to a 12 man funk band play for closing day, as the last Patrols came down off the mountain, maneuvering around mud and bearing the bounteous burdens of receding retainers. Then we mowwed burgers as various Patrolers were honored for achievements ranging from ‘Most People Hauled Down the Mountain’ to ‘Most newb move.’ Andy was honored for having hauled down well over 100 people throughout the season, though he confessed to having maimed most of them himself before lashing them to the sled.* Congrats Andy, well done.
And so, consecutive conclusions to the selfsame season subside.
*A patently untrue statement.