Do you ride with a Beavis, Caillou, Paris Hilton or Donald Trump?

While the snowmobile community is usually tight and inviting, there are some personality types that are perhaps a little less desirable to ride with than others.

  1.  Tinker Bell:  Tinker Bell usually never has his/her ride together.  Forever wrenching and tweaking, they will hold the group up with “one more clutch adjustment” and many other wrenching needs that should have been completed and tested before coming along on a ride.  Tinker Bells need to learn that time and daylight are scarce during winter months and no one wants to be waiting for you to perfect your ride every time you are out.  Mechanical breakdown is a part of sledding, but if you know your machine needs some work perhaps perfect your ride before heading out with others on a serious shred day.
  2. Tommy Tune Alot is actually the cousin of Tinker Bell.  Yes Tommy your brand new Turbo is awesome… yes we are all envious of your horsepower and bad assedness… but can you Tune on your own time.  Granted many of today’s turbos are pull and go, Tommy thinks he can simply get that little bit extra out.  If you want to tune, do it on your own time
  3. Beavis and Butthead:  You know these two.. they have the least amount of knowledge yet seem to encourage each other to do incredibly stupid things. ” Hey Butthead, you think I can drop that line and avoid that tree?”  “Settle down Beavis. This is only gonna hurt for like a minute or something.” – Butthead beavis and butthead
  4. Professor Perfect:  You know the type, been there done that and loves to state the obvious and critique your riding skills?  Ya, me too.  Holy man we get it.  You have skill, now shut up about it and let me hit trees in peace.
  5. Mr McTrenchy can dig a trench like no other.  Completely lacking in throttle control, Mr McTrenchy destroys technical single track lines, and constantly digs himself to China, making for a very …very long day. It is even worse when McTrenchy is your group leader.. Follow me he will say then, completely destroy any chance of following him through technical sections of trees and off camber trails which lead to play areas.
  6. Jim Beam and his buddy Johnny Walker… holy hell dudes, excessive drinking and riding really don’t mix if you’re out in the remote back country.  Pull your head out and make better life choices… love momJohnny Walker
  7. Caillou.. For those without kids… Caillou was one children’s program that I absolutely refused to let my kids watch.  He whines, he complains, and whines more and for some odd reason always gets his way.  Oh I forgot the pouting part.. yes he does that too until he gets his way. The Caillou shredder… “I’m cold.  I’m hot.  My muffpot isn’t warm enough.  My goggles are fogging.  I hate trees.  I hate open spaces.  I hate my sled.  it just never ends.. Usually people try to help poor whiny Caillou.. but don’t .. that just feeds that irritating grating behavior. Suck it up butter cup!  Sledding isn’t for Caillou especially when you have to stop shredding a deep, and I mean deep blower pow zone to accommodate them.  true story.  (disclaimer.. do not google or youtube Caillou.. you will NEVER get that whine out of your mind) caillou poutcaillou
  8. Paris Hilton, seriously who could picture her sledding.. oh but she tries.  Make up done to the nines, every little detail matching right down to her sports bra, which you are certain to see at least once on that ride.  Yearning to be a superstar sex symbol shit gets real when her mascara smudges or those bodacious tata’s she was flashing suddenly need a skin graft. The whole Don’tchya wish your girlfriend was hot like me thing gets old real quick.   Paris, stick to Beverly hills.  You don’t NEED to let the snowmobile world revel in your sexiness.. oh wait.. yes you do.. I forgot. Paris
  9. Donald Trump.  You know the dude.  Obnoxious A hole who hates anyone new riding with the group especially “foreigners”.  This is really difficult to navigate if you are organizing a ride with your out of town friends.  If the Donald comes along he is rude and cold to the out of town riders creating friction and drama. Ya not many of us would like The Donald in our group.  With love from a Canadian Snow Mexican  Eh! donald
  10. Droopy Dog.  Back in the day I remember a cartoon featuring a clinically depressed basset hound.  Droopy Dog was such a downer, and unfortunately makes appearances in a shred zone near you.  Droopy hates riding, but still owns a sled.  Droopy is always selling his sled but he still sleds.  Droopy has dropped out of the shred game so many times it’s exhausting to count.  Here’s a tip Droopy, if you want to ride, go out and enjoy it.  If you are not enjoying yourself don’t ride, but your perpetual depressed state of being is really a downer for those who live and breath fresh dry pow. DroopyLife is too short to take seriously.  Get out there, ride hard and have fun.  Be safe, and always know that we, snowmobilers, are simply the hippest most fly people on the planet!

It’s ok to feel like a drag queen

There are many things in life that completely drain my energy and propel me into a state of frustration and crankiness.  Looking back on my life I have many regrets, but none more so than wishing I had more time to enjoy the little things.  I try hard to make the most out of life for I feel very blessed.

In my garden this morning, being “helped by Pedro” I had a bit of a different perspective on life and the things I may begrudge.  Turning that frown upside down, this is what I came up with.

Dishes in the sink.  While it is lovely to have a spotless kitchen, what actually matters is the fact that I have had time and money enough to prepare meals lovingly for my family.  This means a LOT to my Ukrainian/Polish heritage.  If there are dishes in the sink, that means that we had enough money to prepare a meal.  It was touch and go for many years, especially going through Kev’s immigration process.  There were times I went without meat for supper so my family would feel full.  Times I survived on wax filled Cup o Noodles so I could feed my family more nutritious food.  Dishes in the sink, I appreciate you.

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Being the president of my snowmobile club and the past Provincial president can drive a person to drink.. more. Oh man the endless pressure and frustrations from people who simply can not get along.  Dealing with founders syndrome (people who think they OWN the bloody club to those who simply refuse to support or help the club make me want to toss the metaphorical towel in and say screw this!  Oh how awesome it would be to simply enjoy an event rather than being responsible for the organization and execution.  Or to simply go out and ride fresh white powder with no other obligation,  but then I remember I can help make a difference.  I can use my voice and hopefully save a life and grow the sport responsibly.  I can help mentor youth, and facilitate the creation of trail systems where grandparents can enjoy the day with their grand kids.

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Laundry piling up is not something I begrudge any more.  This means that I have a house full of people to love  It may sit clean and unfolded on my living room chair, but I am so thankful that my children are here.  One grown and gone, the next soon to leave for college, I really will miss folding the socks and underwear.. wait.. who am I kidding I have a sock basket, help yourselves and hope for a matching pair.  My friend Meg, who’s fiance died in a recent avalanche said something about laundry that inspired a new outlook.  She explained how hard and emotionally crushing it was to only be doing laundry for one.  Nick is gone, and she is now doing laundry for one.  I get it now.  Thank you Meg.

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Noisy kids, and loud music… I love it!  Ok sure perhaps not when I’m trying to write an article, but that noise is actually a blessing.  It means that the kids and their friends, and their friend’s friends are loving to be in our house.  We are the cool house!  Sage has the most ridiculous taste in music in my opinion and it irritates me to no end when his thug gangsta ditties fill the house, but that also means that he has his own mind and his own taste in music.  Sure I’d love for it to be music I like like his brother Leo, but how cool is it that he is expressing his own creativity.  It can be expressed a tad quieter but all in all, go for it Sage Dawg.. Yo Hommie blast those tunes in my crib but don’t pop a cap in anyone please.

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Only finding the left shoe of every pair of shoes I own isn’t neccessarily a bad thing.  It means my little chocolate lab Pedro is having fun with his shennanigans.  Socks.. the little dude is obsessed with socks, and gathers them from around the house and makes piles in random spots.  He is such a joy in my life.  He makes me laugh and loves me more than anyone or anything on earth.. even more than socks.  Grizz his big brother is pretty patient.  I love that dog with all my heart.  How blessed am I to have such amazing animals.

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Kevan’s golf obsession actually has some perks for me.  Quiet time in my garden.  Time one on one with the kids and the ability to make meals like lazy cabbage rolls, borscht and other meals that Kev absolutely hates.  Kev golfing gives him “man time” so that I can have “me time”.  I dig it.  I also love the fact that he takes the time to teach me the game of golf.  I’m far less serious about the game then him.  He is quite strict and has many rules such as I must wear shoes and a shirt.  I can NOT play in the water hazzards or chase random chickens on the golf course, but all in all it is a pretty fun game that we can enjoy together.  In all honesty I’d rather be dirt biking than golfing, but hey some golf courses have little coolers on the cart for beer… so I’m ok with it.

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Kev is always hungry and wanting a meal.  I must admit, in the middle of my morning I tend to get a bit frustrated by his need to be fed.  My mom used to say “are your arms painted on”..which, in translation means do it yourself, but I really do see the other side.  I am able to spend time with my husband throughout the day.  His shop and our home are on the same property.  I am able to feed him healthy foods made in our home saving our family money and keeping him on the healthy path of life.  I am thankful he loves my cooking more than any place else he could eat.  It really does make me burst with pride and love when he says “honey that is delicious”.

We are not rich, but that is also ok.  Each year we are getting more and more of a solid foundation financially working together to secure our future. That means a lot to me and feels so rewarding.  To work as a team with my husband supporting our family.  We are a team.   Recently a friend, urging me to follow him on his get rich quick scheme told me I can quit all of my jobs if I work really hard with their multi level product line they were selling.  Really?  Quit all my jobs.  I LOVE my jobs, I mean REALLY love.  I get to write, I get to teach children, I get to work with bears and work in the snowmobile industry.  WHY would I want to quit them?  I am proud of the path we are on, and in all honesty while we may not have oodles of dollars, I feel rich and incredibly happy with my life.

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Weeds, although I may succumb to swollen eyes, hives and itchy skin while weeding my garden, I have a MASSIVE garden to feed my family with.  I have produce out the wazzoo and for that I am thankful. I could have done without the excessive weeds this first year in my new garden.  So excessive they choked out my potatoes when I was busy working, but hey next year it will be that much better as will the year after.  My garden in our new home is on it’s way to being incredible and for that I am thankful.

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I kind of feel like a drag queen if I have to get dressed up for an event.  This doesn’t happen often thank GOD.  It’s ok though.  I am blessed to be a bit of a tom boy.. ok a total tom boy and my husband loves me this way.  I love sledding, fishing, dirt biking and being out in the back country.  My kids have grown up like little bush babies which has made them stronger and more grounded I feel.  It’s ok to feel like a drag queen when you are following your passions in life.

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fishing

 

I guess the moral of the story is if you step back and look for things to be thankful for redundant tasks and tiny frustrations could actually be your greatest blessings.  Life is short and sometimes not fair, but it is always good. Life can be hard, and sometimes the only way to deal with something is to face it head on and go through it.  In the end life is worth it, and life matters.

 

 

So you want some gratitude eh Kid? A letter to Sage

My youngest son Sage is quite the character.  14, and bullet proof I’ve watched his personality shift into something that is somewhat more cocky than I’m used to.  Gone is the little Mr Sunshine of his toddler years.  As a little baby he was kind of glued at the boob to me.  An avid nurser, most people didn’t see his head for the first two years of his life as he was always under my shirt.

If you ask, “oh won’t he be embarrassed by sharing to the world his boobie-holic behavior?”… yes.. perhaps…. which brings me to my next point.

Sage informed me this morning that I apparently don’t show him enough appreciation.  He works hard and would like me to be a bit more grateful.  Perhaps he’s right.  I’ve been working extremely long hours, sometimes not getting home till after dark.  The kids have really had to pick up the slack.  Perhaps I should be more expressive of my gratitude.

Perhaps the kid owes me some gratitude himself… Case and point as follows.

  1.  Thank you for giving birth to me mom.  I know my head was on the larger size percentile wise when I was born.  Thank you for taking it like a champ and giving birth to me and my cranium without any drugs for my safety.
  2. Thank you for moving to Creston because the air is clean, the people are kind and wholesome food is right in our back yard.  I know I was just a baby when you chose to do this, but thank you for moving here for our health and well being.
  3. Thank you for not eating chocolate, drinking wine or coffee or anything else that would upset my tummy while you were nursing me.  I really did scream when I had an upset tummy, so thank you for dealing with that in a loving and caring manner.
  4. Thank you mom, for tossing aside any chance of a social life for so many years so you could home school me.  It really was a wonderful way to be educated for the first few years of my life and I appreciate the foundation of character it built in my life.
  5. Thank you mom, for working from home while you homeschooled us.  I know we were loud, and intrusive sometimes when you were trying to massage a client but I really appreciate having you around and cooking awesome meals every day.
  6. Thank you Mom, for teaching me how to fish, ATV, and snowmobile.  I know many kids don’t get this opportunity and I really am thankful for growing up in the back country.  Thank you for letting me ride your brand new snowmobiles by myself.  That takes a heck of a lot of trust, and I am honored and thankful you trust me.
  7. Thank you mom, for supporting me in sports.  I know you are busy, you have 4 jobs, and can’t always make out of town games.  But I appreciate how proud and supportive you are.
  8. Thank you Mom for thinking of me when you go out shopping.  The fancy hair gel I like, the freezies, that cheddar popcorn I love so much.  Thank you.  I know these things are necessary, but I really do appreciate the thought you put into picking things out for me.
  9. Thank you mom for not completely losing your shizzle when you ask me to take the compost out, or unload the dishwasher and forget.  I know that you often have to complete the task you’ve asked of me, so thank you for that as well.
  10. Thank you mom, for taking the time to massage me with wonderful essential oils when I’m sore or not feeling well.  Those oils work so well, and I really do love massages whether it’s on your massage table, or we’re chillin on the couch.  I know essential oils are spendy, so thank you for knowing how important they are for our family.
  11. Thanks mom for being so easy going when my girlfriend and friends come over.  I know I tend to get a bit lippy around them, so thank you for putting up with my sass and not embarrassing me too bad in front of them.
  12. Mom, I know I haven’t said it in a long time, but thank you for being so loving and kind.  I didn’t receive many spankings, and trust me, many of my actions were spanking worthy.  You get me and understand that sometimes it takes love to get me out of the Rage-Sage mode.
  13. Hey, I should say this to you mom.  Thank you for working 4 jobs and still taking the time to tend your garden which gives us amazing healthy food.  Thank you for working 4 jobs and cooking great meals.  Thank you especially for borscht.  It takes a long time for you to make, and I eat a LOT of it so it doesn’t last very long.  I am very thankful for the way you cook.
  14. Thank you for the rides you give me.  I know sometimes it’s asking a lot, but I really do appreciate it.
  15. Thank you for not being upset when I blow you off or don’t want to hang with you.  You do understand that I’m older now and have my own life.  While I’m thankful for the invite I really enjoy being with my friends.
  16. Thank you for nursing me back to health after my ACL surgery.  You spent weeks without sleep and was always there for me if I needed ice, medicine or more cucumbers.  The massages and little wonderful extras like making special meals for me when I was recovering were very appreciated.

There is so much more I can add to this post, but I guess what I’m trying to say, sometimes in life, in the real world we aren’t validated for every single effort we make.  Sometimes we just have to get shit done and not complain about it.  Working together, especially when it comes to household tasks makes life easier for everyone.  Yes, the dishwasher is a normal duty of Sages, (unless he sleeps till noon) Yes, at any given time some people will put forth more of an effort than others.  Sometimes some people in the house don’t pull their weight when it comes to household tasks.  Sometimes it’s me who’s too exhausted from working 4 jobs to get enough energy to unload the freakin dishwasher.  But always know it is appreciated.  No one enjoys scrubbing floors, and toilets.  I can think of many more enjoyable things to do with my life than vacuum, dust and mow the lawn.  Laundry.. NO ONE enjoys laundry, especially the folding part..Putting it away.. what a PITA..  but really our only alternative is to go around naked, and you guys have already expressed I have to keep my nudey free spirit to a minimum.. So we may be at a stale mate.

I appreciate every effort you make Sage, Tatum and Leo.  Household duties sometimes suck.  but they have to be done.  We are so blessed to live in such a beautiful home, with such a huge yard and produce abundance.

The best part of my life, without a doubt is being your mom, and always will be.  You make me laugh, and are such a sweet, kind hearted young man.  I’m incredibly proud of your strength and stand up personality.  I’m so thankful that when your buddies were experimenting with alcohol you chose to not be a part of it.  You have no idea how proud I was in that moment.  You are a leader, not a follower and have charisma that could charm a flatulent snake.  (that would be very difficult to do).. so right now.  Thank you for the amazing wonderful young man I have the pleasure of calling my son.  Every day I am thankful for you.. never ever forget that… even when I ask you to scoop the shit out of the dog run…

 

 

Love

your mom

What do Bears and Avalanches have in common?

My work as a WildSafeBC coordinator is very rewarding and fulfilling especially when I help people prepare for the back country.  Bear spray is a valuable tool that can help save lives in the event of a bear attack.  Much more effective than a gun, bear spray flat out stops a bear in his tracks allowing you the time to vacate the area into safety.

From what I have experienced, people who purchase bear spray don’t simply want to have it.  They want to know how to use it.  Seriously how effective will it be if  you don’t know how to use it?  I spend many hours teaching people not only how to use their bear spray, but also how to avoid a bear encounter in the first place.

Some ask if I am afraid going out fishing in bear country.  “there are bears out there don’t you know”? I was born a bush baby, and even as a young child I went out fishing alone with my trusty lab.  I knew to watch for signs of bear activity, and should I see fresh scat or a hidden food cash stored by a bear or cougar I knew to immediately leave the area.  In adult hood  I have increased my education and understanding of back country safety.  I go out prepared, avoid encounters, have my bear spray and I know how to use it.  Am I afraid? No I’m not afraid.  I enjoy every moment out there whether I am catching fish or not.

The best back country bear encounter is the one you avoid.  Recognizing signs of bear activity, and understanding the actions needed to diffuse a bear attack are important back country practice.  Bear spray in your back pack, is not effective in any way shape or form so it is now common practice to wear the spray on a holster either on your hip or pack.  Common sense in my mind.. but is common sense really common any more?

If we look at the snowmobile community it is now common practice to wear avalanche transceivers, and carry a shovel and probes on their person.  Sure we have some who are vying for a Darwin award and still have yet to do so, but mountain riders for the most part are riding with their safety equipment.  My question is can they use it?  One wouldn’t simply pack bear spray and expect it to save their ass when a Grizzly bear is charging them would they?  No.  So why do we expect transceivers to magically save our lives or the lives of our riding partners by simply wearing it.

Hours of practice are necessary to develop the muscle memory, the mental and emotional familiarity to  effectively conduct a transceiver search.. very much like a bear attack, time is of the essence.  Every second counts when you are searching for a buried avalanche victim.  The only way to be effective is to practice.

Avalanche skills training doesn’t give you a free pass to do whatever the hell you want in the back country.  It doesn’t somehow make you invincible because you have a certificate.  Avalanche skills training is only as effective as the individual willing to practice and utilize that training when it counts.

Are people feeling peer pressured into having the equipment and education?  Are they spending the bucks simply not to be “that guy/girl”?  In the case of bear spray my answer would be no, as people absolutely do not want to deal with a face full of bear and potentially lose their lives or the lives of a loved one.  They want the equipment to save lives, but this seems to be the exact opposite thought process for many snowmobilers.  Got the gear.  Got the education.  Now I can hold my head up high and not be one of those losers without it.  How dare those losers go out into the back country ill prepared.

Back country safety doesn’t work that way.  Do yourself a favor and practice.  Practice your searching, digging and probing skills.  Dig snow pits to understand the snow pack and look for potential signs of weak layers.  No different than noticing a steaming pile of Grizzly bear crap on a trail, these subtle clues give you insight into how to avoid a potentially deadly encounter.  Use your head always.

In my mind an avalanche is infinitely more powerful and unpredictable than a Grizzly bear so please treat it as such.  Please get the gear and the education but after doing so take nothing for granted.  Lives are on the line, and lives matter.  Practice with your equipment and put your training into action each and every ride you enjoy.

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First blog post

Welcome to my own personal little spot of Trish Drinkle, unedited.  Who am I?  A bit of a conundrum really.  Is she a redneck?  Is she a Kootenay Hippie with her magic potions and such?  Is she a conservationist, she works for WildSafeBC don’t you know…. How could she possibly be a Sledder?

It’s true I do wear many hats.  I’m a slightly reclusive redneck/hippie ish mother of four married to one heck of a Snow Stud.  I am a writer, I work for the BC conservation foundation, I am a musician classicaly trained violinist who prefers bluegrass hoe down type of music, I’m a mom, a wife and I’m not perfect.  I throw f bombs and have a very warped sense of humor, I have a long fuse but when it blows Chernobyl is the best way to explain it.

I also have a very strong faith.  Faith in God.  Faith in the good in people, and faith in the good of life. That faith bites me in the ass sometimes, but overall I think it’s worth it.  It’s worth it to believe in the good in people and life.

All in fun I’m sometimes mocked for my rose colored glasses kind of existence.  Yes, it’s not an act for facebook this is how I truly am.  I have been through seriously tough crap over the past 5 years that have nearly cratered my Mary Sunshine-ness.  I simply believe if you focus on the good in life you shall attract even more goodness.  Am I naive?  Maybe, but it makes me have hope to believe in the good flat-out.

So welcome to my first post and the beginning of Trish unedited.