Maxed out 

Tips for November: if it rains, pour

Ahh, this is better. I was beginning to forget what it felt like to be pelted by rain hour after hour, day after day. I’m back from the Cariboo, skis waxed, Gore-Tex rejuvenated, spirit antsy as all get out, ready for another ski season to begin.

Climbing out of Lillooet on the drive back, a nostalgic feeling began to simmer up inside me as I stabbed the windshield wipers into life. "Gettin’ closer to home," I thought.

Somewhere near Blowdown Creek, intermittent couldn’t keep up with what was falling and I could feel the excitement begin to well up. If it was raining this hard already, cresting the pass would be a four-wheel drive experience. Maybe the road would even be closed because it was snowing so hard.

After a tease of snow in the Cariboo in mid October, the weather adopted the region’s famed lifestyle – maybe tomorrow, maybe never. It turned mild, never snowed again, rained infrequently and half-heartedly and actually warmed up enough to force me to lie in the sun beside a smouldering leaf fire and daydream about all the things a more dedicated gardener might do... tomorrow... maybe.

Somewhere near the highest point on the Duffey Lake Road, near the first warning sign for trucks to check their brakes, check their load and phone their loved ones, the point just before the 15 per cent downhill grade warning signs, I kicked the wipers into high and wished I had another speed beyond that. Rain fell in sheets, buckets, cats and dogs. A plague of rain. Not a flake of snow. Not even one of those big, congealed, sloppy flakes.

"This is not good," I murmured. "We’ve got to be as high as the Peak." Visions of early opening vanished and thoughts of rock skiing returned. "Gotta stop obsessing about this and think about something else."

So I began to draft a mental list of things to do to stay sane waiting for the rain to stop, the snow to start and good skiing to finally rule the land again. Being a public spirited kind of guy, I’ll share my wet-weather To-Do List with you. Yeah, I know, prince among men, blah, blah, blah.

#1. VideoMania. I don’t even know who all rents videos in town anymore. There’s Marketplace, but it’s changed hands. There’s Nesters I’m itching to try out. Creekside and the village must still be around and the library for those of us still waiting for our first paycheque. If you want to wallow in despair until things dry out, here’s five I’d get, not that all – or even any – of these are available.

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