Sunday, January 30, 2011

Aus-tangi celebrations

I'm not sure that neologism is proportioned correctly as I was the only Kiwi there, but more of that lately.  A Chinook blew through most last week & it was ridiculously warm - which made for some nice evening skis at the Nordic Center & a nice break from having to scrape ice off the car in the mornings.  But it was a little annoying as all the snow melted & there were big puddles everywhere which soon refroze & turned walking out of our driveway treacherous.

By the end of the week a big snowfall warning was in effect & another powder Saturday was in the offing - the fourth in a row.  I drove Pete & Donna (Melbourne-ites visiting Megan & Alex) & their friend Mark up to Sunshine nice & early & we quickly had a good few runs in.  It was pretty cold (~-15ºC) which worked out nicely as it wasn't all that busy.  We all had a few little falls negotiating the powder & the average light, but they were rather inconsequential.  Well they were until I somehow fell directly on my right shoulder on snow that wasn't so soft.  It was a little sore & while I collected my skis & poles (after having slid 10 metres down the steep slow), the adrenalin wore off & I realised I'd popped it out again.  It was a little hard getting off the run as no-one came down it for ages & it was steep; eventually I made it to a flat section with the help of a couple of boarders & Ski Patrol finally turned up.

There were a few bright sides of this - firstly I got my first ride on a Ski-Doo (even if it was rather painful).  It was a little while before the doctor turned up at the infirmary & they wouldn't give me any food even though I was starting to feel pretty weak.  I was also complimented on my diet - my blood pressure was 104/60 or something like that when my shoulder was still out & my body was pretty traumatised still.  Eventually the doctor arrived & put my shoulder back in with some method that he called the Captain Kirk method - for reasons that were lost on me as I'm not a Trekkie/Trekker.  With that nice popping sound, I was a lot happier - especially compared to the next guy they brought in.  He'd managed to dislocate his shoulder above his head & was in what could only be described as excruciating pain.  I haven't heard someone scream so loud & for so long for a long time, if ever.  After the nitrous oxide failed to calm him, it was time for the IV - eventually they got his shoulder back in.

So I had the afternoon off skiing, but wasn't alone for too long as I went & camped in Trappers - Alex came & visited briefly and then I had a nice long lunch with Anya & Greg before meeting my carload at three & heading off the hill (always fun being in the passenger seat of your car while people drive stick on the wrong side of the road [for them] for the first time.  With Australia Day just passed & Waitangi Day (pretty much NZ Day for those who don't know) coming up next week we had a little celebration at Joel & Kristy's - six Aussies, two Canadians & me.  There was Aussie paraphernalia everywhere (amongst it all one NZ flag & I had a stuffed-toy Kiwi pinned to my sling) & much Aussie music completed a great roast lamb dinner & then Aussie & NZ themed cupcakes, pavlova, lamingtons &ANZAC biscuits.

So today was one of those annoying enforced rest days as I contemplate having to rehab my shoulder again & try not to play what-if scenarios over in my head.  I think it's most irritating as it had been so good over the last few months.  It has been pleasant having a day off watching movies however & relaxing on the couch - although I was looking forward to getting out back-country today.  It's a gorgeous day out, if a little chilly.  Canmore is looking particularly beautiful today, so it wasn't too much of a hardship wandering to the grocery store.

Mt Rundle didn't look too bad either.

So I face a couple of weeks doing not much active - if it doesn't snow next Friday, I might cope.  Just as well I've got great friends here - even if it is a stink way to go to get people to do your shoelaces or jacket up for you.  With February approaching there's only three months left here for me - can't wait to get on the bike again (haven't hurt my shoulder doing that) & doing a bit more travelling.

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