Latest Adrienne: Lost In An Alpine Rendezvous

I have been stranded on the Planet of the Apes. This is the reason for my absence. I’ve been lost in action. AWOL.

It all began a couple of weeks ago, with a simple email from an admirer living on a coastal island close to where I reside. His name was Marcel. Yes, he’s French. Dear ladies of Margaret’s Book Club, please think twice before you read further, as this story is not for a southern belle, with cheeks that blush at mere mention of between-the-sheets activity. Nonetheless, I will continue…

Marcel cannot spell and demonstrates no knowledge of grammar. His first letter to me was one sentence, written simply:

you are soprety

I don’t need a guy to be a Harvard scholar and actually thought it was kind of endearing. His second email was slightly better:

i whould be honered to meet you my number marcel ***********  want to chat one night

I liked the word, ‘honered’, even if spelled incorrectly. I liked it.

And the third:

i have three kids very fit like it very hard to find someone like that my name is marcel whould you like to have coffee nd chat

Noting that he lived a ferry ride away from me, I wrote and asked if he made it to the Mainland often. Long distance relationships are doomed, in my vast experience. It takes forever to get to know someone and inevitably one of the two must consider relocating. He wrote and said that he planned on moving to the Mainland this summer. One of his daughters lives close to me and because he is a tile setter, work is plentiful wherever he decides to live.

Ladies, he looks like George Clooney. He has a very nice physique from diligent working out, mountain biking, dragon boating, and aerobics. The man has two certificates for teaching aerobics and he looks it. He has nice hair, as I can see from his pictures, and having any hair at all is a huge bonus.

So what if he can’t spell? That’s such a little issue. I’ll look after that department. However, I was to find out that poor spelling and grammar were the least of his problems.

I had the most romantic first date with this man. He met me at the ferry terminal in a seaside bay, a picturesque village whose economy is fueled by the ferry traffic. I climbed the Chief earlier in the day, went for a swim, soak and steam, cleaned myself up, and then headed to the terminal to meet this Marcel. I felt aglow, as I always do after such activity.

I was a little apprehensive, but my experience has taught me to not get my hopes up. We spotted each other immediately and we sat together at a cozy little eatery across from the bay. He spoke with a noticeable speech impediment. I can describe it like this: Cardiovascular was pronounced- cardiovasular,  without the ‘c’. I note this because much of our conversation circled around fitness training.

Again, endearing, I thought. Not a deal breaker. No one is perfect. He can’t spell, has a speech problem, so what? He’s an active, virile man. He looks after himself and loves the same activities I do. He looked excited at the thought of climbing second peak on the Chief with me. This is something I’ve been wanting to do, but wouldn’t dare on my own. I’ve heard it’s dangerous and I’ve been waiting for a guy willing to join me. He’s adventurous and has recently done some zip-lining on the Island.  He mountain bike races and has placed in the top ten in the world for his age group. One has to prioritize very carefully. Spelling and speech rate low in my books—unless I’m dating a writer.

We enjoyed the dinner very much. When he spoke of his work he looked down at his hands with dismay and muttered that he had working man’s hands and hid them under the table. I took them in my own and held them. He smiled.

The ferry sounded its horn, signaling it would soon depart. Marcel and I gathered our belongings and briskly crossed the street to where my car was parked.

“I enjoy meeting you, Adrienne. Can we do this again next week… on your days off?”

“Yes, I’d like that. I’ll figure it out. I’ll plan something we can do together.”

“Okay, well…”

We embraced and kissed.

The horn blasted once more, breaking us apart, and I waved as he ran to catch the boat ride home.

I felt elated. The kiss rated high on my kiss-o-meter.

Our second date did not fare as well.

 

***

 

It would be seven days until Marcel and I met again. He took a job up North, in a remote fishing village. He’d be away the entire week. He called the evening before he left. We chatted amicably on topics ranging from children to work, and looking after ourselves. We had much in common. He ate well, worked hard, and played hard: my kind of man. He told me how his son got involved in drugs, not a user, but a seller.

“He was making big money, Adrienne. I was so worried he would end up at the bottom of the ocean. I got myself involved and because I knew a few undercover cops, I gave them information that caused deportation of the head guys. My son never knew how it went down. He’s now working on the oil rigs doing an honest man’s job.”

“Weren’t you scared, Marcel?”

“Scared? No way. Not of men like this. I would do anything to save my son.”

I think this story alone sold me on the man. This showed courage. We say we will do anything for our children, but how many of us would put our own lives on the line in this way? He proved that he not only would, but did. I admit to worrying a bit about this, projecting and thinking if we did live together, would this come back to haunt us?

He told me he’d been divorced for two years and not had any kind of relationship with a woman since.

“I don’t want to wake up the next morning and look at this person beside me and wonder what the hell was I doing? I want to feel deeply for someone before I go there. That’s just who I am.”

He gets another Brownie Point for that.

He called me every day, sometimes twice, just to say “hi” and that he was thinking of me. I received an email:

good morning sure glad we have the opertunity to get to know each other very happy cant waite to meet have a great week you made mone a lot better

I liked the two words, ‘very happy,’ because I felt it too.

I did some research on the internet and found a travel hostel just outside of Squamish where the Chief mountain is located. It would serve us well—they had separate male and female quarters, very inexpensive, a cooking area, internet access, and the location was snuggled into the mountains on a lake. It would be perfect, I thought. We could climb the Chief a couple of times, and if we stayed two nights, there was an aquatic center only a short drive down the road. We would have ample opportunity to get to know each other without becoming intimate. I mentioned it to him and he was very enthusiastic.

The week flew by. I packed in my usual way: two suitcases full of all kinds of gear for climbing, swimming, dining, and changes in weather. It’s still spring and not unusual to have snow in the mountains. I brought all my lotions and potions, hair conditioner, makeup, and hot rollers. I do not pack lightly, and I’ve given up trying, and given up apologizing. I need what I need. I sped off from work and with a light heart drove the two hour distance to the ferry terminal. I laughed when I saw that all he carried was a small backpack.

We agreed to bring food, so I brought eggs, vegetables, a fresh loaf of bread and butter, and coffee. Marcel brought some halibut that he’d caught up North earlier in the week. We’d learn to cook together. This was a thrilling adventure for me. We chatted happily as I easily navigated the curves on the famous Sea-to-Sky highway. Marcel talked non-stop and because I was busy concentrating on the road, it didn’t matter. I remember a lot of, ‘Because that’s just who I am.” I remember him saying, he is a giver not a taker.

“If we lived together, Adrienne, I would give you all the money. I would, because that’s just who I am. You do with it what needs to be done. I would give it all to you.”

Hey, I liked that idea. Very generous.

We parked outside the Hostel, and Marcel peeled off four twenties from his wallet and handed the money to me.

“You go ahead and pay for the rooms and there’s extra there for gas.”

“Thank you, Marcel.”

We went in together and registered.

“How busy is the women’s bunk area?” I asked.

“There’s no one there. You would have it to yourself,” she told me.

“Yes! And what about the men’s?”

“Hmmm. There are four guys in there so far.”

I looked at Marcel.

“Four guys, Marcel. Maybe we ought to see the room first, you think?”

He nodded and off we went, up the stairs and down the hallway. The common area was clean and spacious. She put the card lock in the handle and warned us that the room might be messy. She opened the door and it surely was. Messy. The four beds were unmade and clothes were tossed everywhere.

“Do they snore?” Marcel asked the woman.

She and I looked at each other and burst out laughing at the question. Like she would know.

“You can’t sleep here, Marcel,” I muttered to him.

“Do you have any other rooms?” he asked.

She nodded and took us down the hall and opened the door to a room with two double beds.

“The bathroom is communal and it’s across the hall,” she explained.

“Well, why can’t we stay here? I sleep in one bed and you in the other,” he looked at me questioningly.

I paused, thinking of our options. I trusted the guy. I didn’t have an issue with that, but it was closer than I wanted to be. I wanted that time alone at night just to be by myself and have that down time. I knew I had to be flexible.

“Okay, Marcel. Let’s take it.”

 

***

 

How fun it was, the two of us, Marcel and I, in a wonderful, rustic retreat in the mountains, away from it all and so quiet. We took our tea outside, through glass doors off the dining area. There was a stone patio with a gas barbeque and comfy chairs. The lake was only steps away and we watched a mother goose and her goslings drift by slowly. We sat together and drank in the tea and the marvelous view of snow-capped mountains. We planned in detail the upcoming day. We’d rise early and he’d cook us a breakfast of bacon, eggs, and toast. We’d pack a lunch and start climbing the Chief before nine o’clock. I was excited to go. We retired to our room by ten.

I gathered my towel, toiletries, and night wear, which, thankfully, were track pants and a t-shirt. I’d be fully covered and not the least bit enticing, although I know full well just being in a room alone with a man is enticing enough. But, remember, I trusted the guy and a little bit of yearning is a good thing.

The women’s bathroom had three private showers, and very clean. I felt right at home and took my time. When I returned Marcel was already in bed by the window and smiled at me as I shut the door. I suppose I shouldn’t have gone over to his bed and given him a hug and a kiss, but it seemed the right thing to do. I knew he wouldn’t push this farther than I wanted and I was right. We snuggled a bit and he told me how good that felt and how long it had been.

“Stay with me here, Adrienne,” he coaxed.

“I’ll never sleep, Marcel. I’m going back to my own bed,” and with that I gave him a final kiss and left him there.

I would have had trouble sleeping even if he wasn’t in the bed next to me. I was wound up about everything—being in the mountains, the upcoming day, the newness of our relationship. I felt hope. I was already planning my conversation to my roommate, explaining that Marcel would be moving in. I thought of how nice it would be to cut back my hours—I wouldn’t have to work as hard, now that there would be a second income.

And then he began to snore.

I pulled the comforter over my head in an attempt to muffle the sound. I’m sure that I eventually fell asleep.

I woke at the first sign of light in the room, the sun. It would be a gorgeous day. I blinked a few times and then I heard Marcel speak.

“Adrienne, come into my bed.”

So I did. We had a little cuddle and then I bounced out and grabbed my backpack, heading for the showers again. We agreed to meet in the kitchen downstairs. I showered and dressed in my climbing gear and pulled my hair into a pink baseball cap. I slathered sunscreen on and left the room.

The smell of bacon was thick in the kitchen and there he was cooking the entire pound of it. It sizzled and popped and he busied himself turning slices and and whistling. We were the only ones up. It was barely six AM. The sun streamed in through the patio doors and I opened them to release the intoxicating aroma to the outdoors.

“How many eggs do you want, Adrienne? Six?”

He was beginning to know me and my huge appetite. But, no, six was a little more than I could eat. It was delicious. He cooks! He wouldn’t let me clean up, instead told me to go relax outside with my coffee. I sat in the early morning light and tallied all his Brownie Points:

* he’s generous
* he cooks
* he cleans
* he’s brave
* he has a great body
* he has hair

Things were looking good. I smiled, feeling great and looking forward to a wonderful day. Few men have climbed the Chief with me and the one who did had to take deep gulps of oxygen from his puffer numerous times. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But, this guy was going to show me up and I liked that.

We drove to the base of the mountain, parked and walked the short path to the beginning of the climb. The waterfall was engorged, typical for spring in the mountains. I sighed deeply upon hearing its roar. The only thing better than returning to this monolith is bringing someone who loves being there as much as I do. The air is different here and I love how the the rock and ancient trees feel on my bare hands.

He went first and stepped up, light on his feet; I marveled at the ease in which he climbed such a steep terrain. The entire ascent he ran ahead of me, performing push ups while he waited, yelling down to me, ‘You’re doing excellent, Adrienne!”

I was in my glory.

We stopped at the halfway mark: a huge boulder challenges climbers, then a gently sloped rock leads east. We stretched out on the cold granite and soaked up the sun’s rays. We didn’t speak, just made the breathy sounds of absolute ecstasy—the view, the exertion, the endorphins.

After a good rest we continued on and that’s when I mentioned to him that I’d like to attempt the second peak. He agreed. How different it was, the climb into the second summit. I’d never seen this part of the mountain and it was breathtaking. I had to be alert to my footing; there are dangerous sections with slippery roots and crevices. Up, and up, and up. My breathing labored and my heart pounded in my chest. We struggled to spot the orange squares on trees that marked the route. Chains are moored along narrow passages and we climbed further, until we finally came across a yellow sign bolted to the rock.

WARNING
THIS PART OF THE CLIMB IS NOT RECOMMENDED BY THE PARKS DEPARTMENT
HIGH RISK OF FALLING CAUSING INJURY AND/OR DEATH

To reach the summit of Peak 2 you must climb this rock face and it was frightening to say the least. There were metal rings bolted into the rock about four feet apart. The rock is near vertical at a sharp angle from the ground. I’ve not seen anything like it. I looked at Marcel. I had just complained that I felt shaky, dizzy. We decided to sit right there and eat something from our backpacks.

“We can’t do this, Adrienne. I think we should go back. You are pushing yourself now and that’s when people get hurt.”

I agreed, but I will never get the image out of my mind. I want to climb it and I told him so. One day I would. He disagreed saying it was foolhardy and there are risks that he will take, but none where his life is in danger. I reminded him of his mountain bike racing.

We turned back, both of us knowing we did the best we could for the day. He talked to me about stamina and that I had to work on that. I needed to stop taking so many breaks and that was the only way to build my strength. I appreciated his advice and knew this was something he could speak about with authority.

We returned to the hostel, exhausted and drunk with endorphins. We grabbed our swimming gear and headed straight to the aquatic center. We met in the hot tub and I let the jets soothe my aching leg muscles. I gazed out through floor-to-ceiling windows and I could see the mountains and trees. I waded close to Marcel, feeling relaxed and so pleased with our accomplishment. I put my arms around him and he cradled me in his strong arms.

It was then that I noticed that Marcel was a very hairy man. Indeed.

I am part French and I know this is common in both men and women, but this was more than I had ever seen. He explained that he gets his back waxed four times a year. Ouch! I told him he ought to try laser as it’s painless and permanent. There were copious amounts of fur on his hands and arms. I suddenly found myself inspecting his eyebrows, big black commas.

Oh well, I thought, hairiness is not a deal breaker for me.

We spent an hour there and then returned to the Hostel to make dinner. We were going to barbeque the halibut and roast vegetables. There were a few cracks showing, yes, but nothing major and no one is perfect.

Then something happened, on the short drive back, he began to talk in the third person. This caused me to pause.

“Marcel wasn’t happy to hear Joanne was with this guy,” in speaking about his daughter.

And…

“Marcel is very hungry!”

I sensed a level of detachment. Oh dear.

 

With you, we await Adrienne’s continuation of the story. We have received no text beyond this point. An Alpine Rendezvous © 2011 Adrienne S Moody. Read the latest Adrienne exploit on Now.readthisplease.

 


Into the Sky
With Adrienne…

Spending the day with the Stawamus Chief begins with the packing correctly at home. I have a mental checklist that ranges from lunch to bathing suit for the hot tub afterwards. When packing one has to remember the weather unpredictability. I once went without a hat to cover my face when I lay at the summit and close my eyes. A burn from that altitude (okay it’s not that high—but still!) is scorching. My list includes:

– carbs, protein and fruit
– lots of water
– sun hat and warm toque
– sunscreen
– gloves for climbing~preferably fashionable suede fingerless ones
– hiking boots and two pairs of socks
– layers of clothing
– in summertime, a coverup long sleeved shirt for sun protection
– cell phone

I don’t bring first aid items with me and I suppose I should. It wouldn’t be much effort to bring band-aids and tensor bandages. Just before I leave I let two people know where I am going and text or call when I am down. There is the lengthy trip through the city—horns blaring, tires screeching, slipping by undetected through radar, lineups, stalls at lights, and then, the Sea-to-Sky Highway. Even the name brings to mind something… otherworldly. After you pass the Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal the scene outside your windshield is breathtaking. I heard on the radio during the Olympics last year that it is one of the most expensive highways in the world to maintain. There are rock slides, one of which happened the day before I was to embark on a trip last year. My good friend called late to warn me not to attempt the road. It was going to take construction crews a few days to clear the highway.

My first trip up last week was nothing less than spectacular. After a grey dreary winter, seeing that crystal blue water, snow topped mountains, and that massive rock, invigorates the mind. After I parked at the climber’s parking lot, I anxiously gathered my things and headed down the short pathway to the base. I knew almost immediately that there were changes. A yellow caterpillar sat by the stairs and a sign:

Watch for workmen upgrading the trails

The smell of cedar permeated the air. The Chief was undergoing a facelift. Just as the Sea to Sky highway underwent major renovations which included blasting into the mountains and disturbing wildlife to straighten the road to make it safer, the Chief has had his trails altered. Instead of stepping up on the rocks and carved logs for footing, boring safe cedar stairs have been constructed. By the time they are finished it won’t take any skill at all to climb. All that will be required is a good set of lungs. Dismayed I climbed and made my usual stop by The Rock which is about halfway. This slope is a well known point of interest for the view and a chance to rest before embarking on the ladders and chains waiting ahead.

After chatting with another climber, I was left alone with the wind and the sweeping view. I lay back on the rock and closed my eyes. I didn’t make it to the top this time. I never feel too badly about that when I don’t. The journey is as rewarding as the destination.

I headed down.

Patches of snow contrasted against the black rock. The rush and crash of the waterfall sounded like music after the dismal winter rain. Alive. Fresh cut Cedar. Mountain air. Muffled sounds of the odd climber. The cold solid feel of rock on my fingers as make my way downwards. I stopped several times where the sun streaked through the trees and warmed my skin. I was in no rush to leave. You can tame him but you’ll never really change him.

 

Visit Adrienne’s picture book, Into The Sky © 2011 Adrienne S Moody. Read the latest Adrienne exploit on Now.readthisplease.

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2 Responses to “Latest Adrienne: Lost In An Alpine Rendezvous”
  1. Rosann Dhillon says:

    Wow, marvelous blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your web site is excellent, let alone the content!

    • Adrienne says:

      Hi Rosann,

      I’m only one of the humble writers here. The layout, design and overall user-friendly site is due to our Partner In Crime: Gaboo. My co-writers and I have been together for about five years but only recently went public, thanks to our leader, Gaboo. He not only put this all together but is a talented writer as well.

      Thank you so much for visiting, reading and commenting.

      xoxo

      Adrienne

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