1.03.2011

[semi-annual snowmobile extravaganza.]

yesterday, we drove up to the cascade mountains for a snowmobiling trip with our friends, kellie and neil. this is a trip we've taken before with them and it's suuuuuper fun. the drive from bremerton is about three hours and it's always an adventure, absolutely beautiful, and freeeeeezing cold.










mike and i rented a snowmobile and neil and kellie had one, too. we rode for over two hours through the mountains, stopping now and then to take in the scenery. it still amazes me that places that beautiful exist outside of paintings and post cards. the snow looked like it was filled with glitter, the sun was shining, and the air was ice cold. 

the last time we went, mike almost sent us careening off of the side of a mountain. crazy snowmobile driver. this time, everyone was totally safe. thinking about the fact that thousands of people must drive around these mountains every winter, it occurred to me to ask our guide if anyone's ever gotten hurt. he admitted that, yes, a few people had flown off their snowmobiles in the past but the worst that had happened was a broken arm. that piece of info gave me some food for thought as we started on the next leg of our trip. off we went again, zooming around corners and through trees... and then i saw it. roses tied to a tree a few yards over a cliff we flew past. i looked back over my shoulder to see if there were any other clues as to what i had seen. whatever it was, i didn't think people left roses on trees where someone had simply broken an arm.

on our next stop, i couldn't resist asking our guide what the roses were about. why were they tied to a tree off of the trail? it didn't take much prodding to get the story out of him- he came out with it pretty quick. a woman, in her 30's, had lost control of her snowmobile. she went straight around the bend when she should have turned. she hit the tree and died instantly.

so much for a broken arm.

i walked around for a bit then, taking pics of a huge ice mound that had formed around a tree. i guess i needed it to settle in that someone had died doing exactly what we were doing. a group of friends, out for a fun day in the mountains... and one of them never made it home. so sad. thinking about it, though, i imagine there are a million worse ways to die than living an adventure. i hope she was happy and that her heart was pounding like mine did all day, that she was surrounded by her friends, living an absolute dream.

we scooted around on our ski-doos the rest of the afternoon, and the sun started to creep behind the trees before we knew it.

when we were thoroughly frozen and our butts were numb, we headed back to the lodge, packed up our gear, grabbed a warm apple cider for the road, and headed back down the mountain toward home. 

i'm thankful i live so close to some of the most beautiful places in the US. i'm thankful for my love and my friends. and i can't wait till next year's adventure.

1 comment:

Sara Louise said...

Awesome way to kick off the year!