Monday, January 10, 2011

Getting in Hot Water

"Can you girls just hand me that beer?"

Let me back up a little.

After taking the wrong back road we managed to arrive just at dusk (this is Canada in January so, like, 5:30).  My Civic braved the mining road like the gem she is.  We'd parked on the far end of the pull off and set up our tent on top of two feet of snow and three tarps.  After unrolling our sub-temperature sleeping bags (that means "You will survive."  Not, "You will be comfortable.) We finally shivered our way into bathing suits, hoodies and snow boots.

Cue: Classic natural hot springs.  A beautiful set of pools surrounded by snowy overhangs.  large flat rocks, river within fifteen feet, the toking crowd and snowflakes that melt in your hair.  A star spread sky.

What makes it all worth it, as inclusion to the joy of getting in hot water, is the chance to spend hours with people you care about.  The rare opportunity to do so without cell phones.  Without texting, social etiquette concerns or pressing engagements.

Finally as our single water proof time-piece neared one AM the girls in our group climbed back onto the path.  By now the only people left in the pool were the guys from our group and a few others we came to dub "The Canadians."  Strange, yes, seeing that the rest of us excepting one fit that definition ourselves.

Rather then braving the outhouses at the top of the trail we opted to change on the path.  Four of us took turns holding up towels and dropping our wet suits into a frozen heap on the ground.  I stood holding the towel for a very naked friend.  The other two of us were also engaged in providing and using these make shift change rooms.  That's when The Canadians piped up.

"Uh, girls.  Is there, like another beer up there?  Just, yeah, do you see a Molson?"

I glanced down.  three feet to my right I could spy the top of a can.

"Yeah.  There's one right here."

"Oh, yeah, cool.  Do you, like, think you could just hand it to us?"

I glanced down.  My friend was looking for a bra in our snowy pile.  I was balancing a flashlight and a the two corners of the towel.  Since we'd been at this ten minutes already I would've thought that The Canadians could have figured out the inappropriateness of the request.

"Seriously?  Hand you your beer?  Umm, yeah.  Just let me drop my towel on my friend here and hand you your beer."

No, I didn't say that.  I mumbled something about in a minute.  Canadian dude started scrambling up the bank.

"Oh, there it is.  Just out of reach."

Luckily girl number five managed to reach us in time to hand him his Molson and they faded off to the bottom pool.

Why did we call them the The Canadians?  They were proof as to where our stereotypes actually come from.  And very much thanks to this quote.

"I f***in' drink beer all the time.  F***in' Christmas shopping, I drink beer.  In the f***in' shower I drink beer.  Driving to these hot springs I drink beer.  F***in' love beer, man!"

We figured out a better process the next morning.  Arrive at the pools when there is nobody around.  Toss a frozen chunk of suits and towel into the hottest pool.  Proceed to change.  It's really too bad that the colder it is in open air the better the hot spring experience.


Allison said...

I've never experienced a hotspring before. But I have been in the company of many, many Canadian men.

Angel1649 said...

I spent a couple of years in Iceland, and it's the only place I have been with natural hot springs. There is something so amazing about snow and hot water at the same time. This just gives me one more reason to get in my car and drive to Canada. Sooner than later, I hope! I'm glad you had a safe trip and enjoyed yourself. I'm baking a pie and loading my car (mentally of course) until I can find the time and $$ to make it a reality.

Kris said...

Mmm. Concurred, Angela. I don't think I could properly explain natural hot springs in winter! It's kinda a have-to-experience. Keep baking! ;) PS, you need to let me know about your time in Iceland eventually!

Haha, Allison! I'm so glad you understood what I was going for! =Validation from (one of) my favourite Canuck reader(s)!

Tabs A. Geek said...

Yep. When you know people like that, it's hard NOT to see where the stereotype comes from.

I have a few buddies like that. Definite Canadian Stereotype... and Ontarian to boot. Huge Leafs fans. Drink beer. Talk about sex. All the time.

starTHINKer said...

Ahaha, wonderful story, Kris! I could see it all playing out. Miss the hot springs :(

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