The cosmic circle's spun 'round one more time and the mountains are open. OK, some small part of the mountains are open, for those of you who insist on being glass-half-empty pedantic. And the opening of Blackcomb can only mean one thing: American Thanksgiving.
Yes, our neighbours to the south are back again, turkeys in tow; neighbourhoods all over Whistler will be redolent with the rich smell of turkey dinner today, Pique Thursday. The only thing better than walking around the hood and catching a fleeting sniff of roasting turkey is walking into my house and smelling the same... which isn't going to happen. For I am Canadian and I et turkey over a month ago.
Ironically, turkeys figured in no small way in my preparations to move to Canada. Lo those many years ago, burdened with a shockingly low number in the annual Selective Service draft lottery and a president who couldn't figure a way out of Vietnam, I laid plans to escape to Canada if my various other options for avoiding the draft failed. Having carefully studied large-scale contour maps of the southern half of British Columbia, I had narrowed my choices down to three.
Whistler — still shown as Alta Lake — was one; true story. I wasn't a skier but spent lots of time climbing and the contour lines around Alta Lake blew my mind, which wasn't really saying much because the contour lines around the whole freaking province blew my mind.
Nelson was another place, but that was largely because even in the far reaches of the American southwest it was known as a draft-dodger destination. Having bridged the cultural divide between draft dodger and esteemed, mature citizen, many of those I might have joined then now run the town.
Prince George was my final choice. Why, I hear you ask? Turkeys. Pouring over bits of trivia — Historical Aside: For those of you who have forgotten, or never knew what it was like to dig up information about far-flung places before the Internet, discovering trivia about places like Prince George was a hit-and-miss affair requiring hours of library research — I discovered, much to my surprise, no one in or near Prince George raised turkeys.
I found this both a troubling oversight and a potential business/lifestyle opportunity. I was, at the time, raising two turkeys, three if you count the German Shepard dog named Turkey a former girlfriend had stuck me with when she left in a huff. It was the waning days of my back-to-the land period and the turkeys, named Thanksgiving and Christmas for obvious reasons, were more despised pets than anticipated dinners. Nonetheless, I was momentarily intrigued by the notion of owning Prince George's only turkey ranch. Of course, I'd never been to Prince George. Now that I have, I more fully appreciate the bullet I dodged. But I digress.