Winter finally arrived (a while ago now). After a couple of months waiting the snow eventually arrived and I moved up the mountain (Mount Washington on Vancouver Island for my UK friends). Although it started a week late, the skiing has been pretty good. And while there were some “damp” days, often following a heavy snowfall, I still managed to have fun. All good to build a base though. I don’t go out every day, but most days. It’s great having the freedom to choose, to pick the good days, or to just not ski if I don’t feel like it (which seldom happens). As the season’s gone on, the weather has been very cold and dry. This has made the conditions very stable so even with little new snow, the skiing has been great. Even better, there’s been lots of sunshine!
I have a job on the mountain, or should I say a “job”. I volunteer as a Snow Host one day or so a week, which entails helping people with directions, locations of rentals and tickets, organizing queues, and acting as a tour guide for newcomers to the mountain. It’s a great way to meet people and make new friends, and the Resort offers some great perks for the time I put in. And it gets me up early at least one day a week…
Other than skiing and “socializing” (read: pub time), I spend a considerable amount of my time planning my upcoming summer canal cruising. I’m in touch often with several friends that I met last summer and we’re hoping to meet up again. I had thought the ski season would temper my enthusiasm for the narrowboat life at least a bit, but nope, I’m just as excited to get onto the canals this year as last. Maybe more, now that I know how much I enjoy it.
The present plan is to go north through Leicester, west on the Trent and Mersey canal, north to the Leeds and Liverpool, then eventually stopping in Chester and Llangollen in Wales. Overwintering is planned on the Shropshire Union canal (Middlewich Branch). This is about 650 miles, and 450 locks. I calculated my distance last season as 378 miles and 446 locks but that was a short season since I spent the first few weeks outfitting the boat and then came back to Canada a month earlier than planned. So I think I can manage the longer distance if I don’t sit around too much and have the whole six months.
Stay tuned (if you are interested), I’ll be flying over on May 4 to get Cool Change in the water and moving. I hope to continue the blog on a regular basis, with fewer pub references and more miles under the hull. After all, there’s still at least 1700 miles left to explore!