This weekend was the anniversary date of Ryan, Aimee and I leaving Manitoba for the mountains in the West. We officially left Manitoba on November 11th, so nobody would forget us. We landed in our new home at the end of the following day, so the anniversary date is November 12th.
That was 14 years ago. It seems both like a long time ago, and a short time.
Earlier on November 12th, 1994, we left Medicine Hat, and found snow in the East Kootenays. I can remember sitting in a restaurant in Fernie BC, and seeing snow up the sides of the mountain, and the snow meeting clouds. I had no idea what was above that line. What I learned over the years is that clouds are very greedy with mountains - they like to hold on tight to them in the winter.
By the time we started ascending the Kootenay Pass, the snow was falling - it got heavier the more we climbed. Our friend Ron and Ryan (who was 17 at the time) were in the rental truck ahead; I followed in my Toyota Tercel. Never for a moment did I think about the fact that I didn't have winter tires. Now, I wouldn't dream of climbing that Summit without my "winters."
In the car with me was Aimee (age 15), our dog Portia and the cat Nina. By the time we crawled our way to the Summit, the light was gone from the sky. Everywhere was white. Portia crawled onto Aimee's knee, and they both looked out the side window. All was quiet; my eyes never left the road. Out of the silence, I heard Aimee's voice - "Look, Toto. We're not in Kansas anymore."