By Curt Derbyshire
Every year, as ski season begins to draw to its inevitable close in Western Canada, we all have to admit that we look forward to the heat of summer. As hard as it may be to be honest with ourselves, we are earnestly yearning for some fun in the sun and a reprieve from that single train of thought that endlessly rumbles through the mind - snow.
Then the first hot day hits. The UV ray levels spike past eight and it feels utterly fantastic to wear flip-flops. In fact, it just feels fantastic not to even think about wearing ski boots. Broken, bruised toenails, reaching for the sky.
Sure, it can still snow the very next day, and does just that in a lot of places. But a cloudless, late May afternoon that sees temperatures in the high teens might be all it takes to get these exciting summer feelings brewing. The battle through the June Monsoon can be a little trying but even it can yield a few beauty days. When July hits and the thermometer starts to breach thirty, the summer is fully on and it seems like there is no end in sight. At that moment, the Dog Days of summer don't appear to be a problem concerning anyone.
Beers on patios, cliff jumping into icy rivers, lying on the beach, Frisbee, barbeques, mountain biking, and my favourite - bikinis! Whatever your guilty, fair-weather pleasures may be, it’s all so much fun that the thought of an endless summer starts to sound appetizing. A tasty treat that everyone can agree on.
We thought you might need a little dose of nostalgia in the midst of the Dog Days of Summer - video courtesy of our friends at Whistler Blackcomb
Then suddenly, that one rare day sneaks in there, as it so often does in Canada, and forces the jeans, hoodies and maybe even a night time toque out of the depths of the closet. The full steam ahead, summer party train comes screeching to a halt. But it’s the most delightful, sensuous, nostalgic screech one can imagine. Like clockwork, those all too familiar feelings start to well up from inside you and seize every ounce of thought processing power you have.
Summer, as far as you’re concerned, can go straight to hell from that point on. Every hot, sunny day is just a wasted opportunity for snow to begin accumulating, making its way down from surrounding peaks. Every beer infused conversation inevitably winds its way towards skiing, no matter how obscure the starting point. Winter plans are made, broken and then re-imagined with such frequency it’s impossible to know where you’ll be on any given day in January without the help of some sort of super human, scheduling secretary. The internet is no longer used for looking at your ex’s drunken party pictures on Facebook, it is now almost strictly dedicate to surfing for porn...the ski variety, of course. Sicko.
From the early days of August, the end of October looks light-years away, and it feels even longer. But, just like every year, the leaves begin to yellow, air gets crisper, days get shorter, and nights cooler, each one incrementally more than the last. Soon, before anyone can grasp a hold of it, August is gone and September is on its way out. No longer is your hopelessly romantic snow dream just a dream. No, everything is most decidedly hopeful as Freshtival arrives in Calgary and the party really starts to hit its stride.
Wherever you are in Canada, winter is never too far in the future. Those feelings of the dog days of summer can be wiped clean and hope renewed with just one statistically abnormal weather day. So keep hope alive and enjoy your summer while it lasts. Remember, no matter what time of year it is, the next ski season is on its way.
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