Monday, July 5, 2010

Some like it hot...

... but I'm not one of those people.


It's 33C -- feels like 40 -- and I'm hiding out at Starbucks with an iced espresso drink thinking of Alaska.

My best friend's mother is currently sailing up the Inside Passage. I am envious, but I can't admit it to my friend because at least I've been there done that. She hasn't. Wants to. So I keep my mouth shut and take another sip from my iced drink.

Mind you, the only place I like ice and snow is at a safe distance. Up close and personal -- especially if shovels are involved -- doesn't appeal to me at all. Standing on the deck of a cruise ship, shivering a little from the cold wafting off the ice, listening to the thunder of a glacier calving, that's my idea of good time.

Not all my experiences with glaciers were that comfortable. On a family trip out west my sister and I talked our parents into hiking up a mountain with the promise of hot drinks and a great view from the tea house at the summit. Dad in his deck shoes, Mum in her slingback sandals, and Joey and I in our flip-flops were passed on the trail by hikers in boots and thick socks. Then we got to the tea house (a shack) to find out it was closed for the season.

At least the view was still open and as magnificent as advertised.

On the way back down we decided to take the glacier route. Our path was supposed to take us above an ice field. It didn't say that the path was extremely narrow and high up. My mother suffered from acrophobia. There was no way that she was going to take that path. Fortunately there seemed to be a lower route.

Route is the operative word. It wasn't a trail. It was a swath of loose stones between an overhang of ice and a field of snow. It was an avalanche waiting to happen. Then the stones disappeared and we were walking through snow.

Ever hear the story of Robert the Bruce who, during a dark time in his career was holed up in a cave with a spider who determinedly kept rebuilding her web. She taught him to never give up. This trait has been handed down the generations, from Bruce to Bruce. Where my mother got the stubborn streak is anybody's guess.

Dad in his deck shoes -- used-car-salesman-white if I remember correctly -- Mum in her slingback, leather-soled sandals, Joey and I in our flip-flops hiked across the ice and snow all too aware of our precarious situation. However, we could see the path we were supposed to be on ahead. Soon enough we were safe and sound. The snow ruined Mum's sandals but she dined out on the story for years.


Looking out on the heat-hazed day beyond my air-conditioned sanctuary, I remember that day fondly.

2 comments:

  1. Exciting to read about your adventures going from an espresso to Alaska:) Thanks for your contributions within our community.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, Mattias. Are you feeling cool yet?

    ReplyDelete