Summer... at last 

click to enlarge Snowball fight? There is something like 30 feet of snow up on Whistler. Why not make the most of it on this hot summer day?
  • Snowball fight? There is something like 30 feet of snow up on Whistler. Why not make the most of it on this hot summer day?

One week ago, I was whipped. Beaten. Broken. Tired of rain, tired of cold, gingerly walking across ground swollen with water and capable of holding no more, I gave in to sloth and re-lit the furnace at Smilin' Dog Manor. The early morning temp was 7.5°C. It was July 3rd. I couldn't face another frigid morning fumbling with kindling to light a fire in the fireplace to warm up the chill in my normally cozy living room.

I gave up on summer, 2012.

The next day the temperature soared into the mid-20s. Two days later it touched, ever so briefly, 30°C.

On the way back to Whistler several days later, I toyed with testing the AC as I drove through Lillooet — temperature 28°C. I finally tested it when I hit Emerald and marveled that at 30.5°C it was warmer in Whistler than Lillooet.

And so, summer came in the guise of a heat storm, our seasonal equivalent of a massive snow dump. I suspect it won't stick around too long and if it doesn't I'm superstitious enough to blame the people I've heard actually grousing about it being too hot. Too hot?! I don't think it completely inappropriate at this point to say we should be able to force such people out of town. Tie a bag over their head, put them on a plane and force them to land in the mid-day sun in, say, Ottawa. You want hot?

I will concede there is enough heat outside to warrant caution in writing this week's column. While the preferred form of education in Whistler is still a smokin' topic, avoiding it this week can be seen as a public service. Ditto the continued flawed policies of Generalissimo Harpo, the global economic collapse and, of course, the killing heatwave in the power-short eastern seaboard of the U.S.

I had the extreme good fortune to grow up in the southwest U.S., a land of unlimited sunshine, very little humidity, no biting insects, and altered-reality landscapes. What seems to pass now for killer heat was, there and then, just another summer day. Of course, the average person wasn't rendering an extra 50 pounds of lard a couple of generations ago but....

The two most valuable lessons I learned growing up in a hot climate was how to order cold beer in at least several different languages and no matter how hot it is, there's always a couple of good ways to cool down.

So, being the public-spirited kind of guy you've come to expect, I will offer you heat weenies Max's 10 best ways to beat the heat in Whistler.

1. Go jump in a lake. If you're fond of crowds, do it at Rainbow Beach or Lost Lake. It'll seem even cooler if you're nekkid and let the water evaporate as you lie in the sun on the dock at Lost Lake. If you're really hot and don't mind the shrinkage, Green Lake is always a thrill, although if you're a young, childless guy, you might want to bank some sperm first.

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