Inspired by the snowboarding scene in "A View to a Kill," and some neon infused Warren Miller films, Tim (my brother) and I vetoed skis and started snowboarding in 1993. I was five and Tim was three. We obsessed, and thanks to our parents' support, rode the slopes on nearby Mt. Hood from December to April. We pushed each other, we chased each other down the runs and helped each other up from our frequent crashes.
When enough snow accumulated in our backyard, we made jumps and rode homemade rails. During the summer and fall, we strapped on our snowboards and bounced on our trampoline, hoping to perfect new tricks for the coming season.
Eventually, our appetite to play on boards drove us to skateboard. Familiar with grinds and pumping transition, we emulated early skateboarders, riding bowls at skateparks and the miniramp we built in our backyard. With the same attitude and excitement as our first day snowboarding, we rode for hours.
When I went to college in Maine, we continued skateboarding together on my breaks. Regardless of our location or the time of year, our sessions took us back to our early days riding together on Mt. Hood.
100 miles from the nearest paved road, we skated a miniramp on the beach in Nicaragua. A stone's throw from the thundering beach break, we skated when the waves closed out and the tides were wrong. Each sunrise and sunset, we took turns riding Tim's pool board.
Months of brutally cold nights starting at 4 pm make you appreciate lengthening days and warming temperatures with the same fervor as seeing your special lady friend, or special man friend, for the first time in months. In this case, I hadn't seen warm evenings in five months and took to the opportunity of spending time with close friends and grilling meats like an aging Trustifarian to a Ralph Nader book signing. Needless to say I was excited.
On Friday afternoon we stocked up at the local supermarket with the essentials: a few bottles of wine, sausages, rum and ginger beer, ground bison, chips, various hot condiments, chicken breasts, zucchinis and some Coors lattes, and headed to Tucker's house in Belgrade Lakes for an evening of gluttony by the campfire.
Kick starting spring one dark and storm at a time.
Zucchini and olive oil and chicken and ginger sauce.
As the sun crept below the horizon, we fed the fire and enjoyed the fruits of the grill. The last rays of light hit clouds coming off the coast, giving everything a pinkish hue. Conversations meandered from place to place like a group of unaccompanied ten-year-olds at a summer carnival.
Despite flirting with the mid 40's during the day, the temperature dropped well below freezing after sunset making the fire much more than an aesthetic contribution to the evening's festivities.
A taste of the Rockies on the lakes of Maine.
Grilling greed: premature consumption of burger or other meat that requires further cooking.
Lubricated by pounds of meat and a few beverages, we watched for occasional shooting stars, cussed about girls, whittled sticks and went on various outings in search of firewood. Our numbers faded as one member of the half circle surrounding the fire pit after another left for the comfort of bed and the promise of the next day's activities.