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Pique n' your interest

Five years later

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This week marked my fifth anniversary of living in Whistler and working for Pique. I’d stop to wonder where all that time went, but I’m pretty sure that it went the same place as my money – into making the most of the life I think I chose, but most likely chose me.

I arrived here in the summer of 1999, visiting a friend before setting out on a three month, 3,000 mile hike from Manning Provincial Park to Mexico via the Pacific Crest Trail.

I lasted all of three weeks on that trail, spraining my knee while humping a 40 pound pack up and down mountain passes in Washington state. I literally dragged my lame leg 20 miles over two days to get to the highway, made my way back to Canada, saw a doctor, and was told it would be at least three weeks to a month before I could hike again.

I didn’t exactly budget for that. In fact I didn’t budget reliably at all, not realizing that the guide book I was using was printed in the mid-1980s and the price of supplies and equipment had gone up since then. I should have clued in when the guidebook suggested rubber ponchos as appropriate rainwear and wool sweaters for cold nights. Looking back, there no mention of GoreTex or Polar Fleece anywhere.

So I found myself back in Whistler, recuperating and mulling over my options. It was then that I learned of a job opening at Pique Newsmagazine, and had my mom send out all my press clippings and some examples of the work I did over the previous 18 months at an advertising agency – mostly brochures for road graders and reverse osmosis water purifiers, but hey, everybody has to start somewhere.

The way I saw it I had two options at that point – if I got the job I would stay in Whistler, do a little snowboarding over the winter, and save the Pacific Crest Trail for another year. If not, I would take a bus down to Oregon and get back on the trail, coming back to do the sections of Washington I missed another year. After that I would probably return to Whistler to find work for the winter.

To make a long story short I got the job, and it’s been my privilege to report for the Pique and the people of Whistler ever since. It’s a fascinating town, with a lot more going on than most people could imagine, or one paper could possibly cover.

I’ve made some mistakes here and there – colossal any-other-newspaper-in-the-world-would-have-probably-canned-my-sorry-ass mistakes – but the people have been pretty good about them. Very ‘Whistler’, if you know what I mean.

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