Intoxication. Exhilaration. Sunshine. Laughter. The sweet scent of early flowers and the sound of birdsong in the air. A heady mix of stolen evenings and sun chasing, spring is Fernie’s drug of choice and we’ve been jonesing since February. After what seems like the longest winter in recent history, Fernie’s golfers and bikers are itching to bare their lilywhite legs and get a hit of the greens and trails.
Like many others whose hearts are now firmly in Fernie, I made my way there from elsewhere. I grew up in Ireland, spent several halcyon years ski-bumming in the Kootenays, then Immigration kicked me out so I moved out to New Zealand and went back to school. Well no, I’m being overly dramatic in describing my ejection from Canada. I wasn’t deported or anything: my visa ran out and, the variances of the Working Holiday Scheme being what they are, I wasn’t able to renew it. So! Onwards to New Zealand, for now at least.
The Stokie and Morris two Fernie names that go back generations with many stories behind them. Part Stokie and Morris, it’s not surprising that Kim is not only passionate about the community, but she’s also one tough cookie when it comes to recreation in the mountains. “When we got into trouble, my mom would make us bike up to Island Lake on our BMX bikes, check with Gord or whomever was working up there, and then bike home,” she remembers with wide eyes. Boy, I was 24 the first time I made that trip on my mountain bike!
Community – the #1 reason people live in Fernie, as per the 2010 Fernie Fix Best of Fernie results. The next most voted answer, the people. Community. People. Both powerful influences in any person’s life and within any town or city, yet they seem to be more recognized in some than others.
My first recollection of a recycling bin was in first year university in Victoria, circa 1997. You couldn’t walk a block on campus or in town without being confronted with one. Although the learning curve wasn’t steep, it took effort to get going, learning all the steps as you found them. When I travelled to Seattle a couple of years later, I saw how much further they were as my sister and her friends were taking part in recycling and “green” living in a far more aggressive and user friendly way.
After five months on the sidelines, there is nothing like that first post partum ski. Elated, you shred down your inaugural line, snow billowing around you in a celestial state of mind… until you hit an enormous death cookie. Your knees fly up towards your chest. Your bladder, shocked by the sheer compressive force, simply opts to let go. Your knees hurtle still higher, towards your chin now; and the only thing separating a passing snowboarder from an ear full of breast milk is your very chic GORE-TEX®. You are utterly soaked - but you stick it.
Since 1970, Earth Day has been a catalyst for change and a powerful reminder that just as we care for our brick and mortar homes, we must also care for and protect our global home- the planet that sustains and protects us. In 1990 over 200 million people in 141 nations joined in the very first International Earth Day to celebrate the biggest environmental event in the world.
You may be surprised by this month’s Unsung Heroes, for little is known about the water developments taking place right under your feet. Such development dates back to the 1980’s yet is seemingly a surprise to many. Including myself.
Casey Brennan is a Fernie resident known to many as the face of Wildsight, and thus a perfect fit for this month’s featured resident. What I wanted to learn and share was how this gem landed in Fernie and became the manager of the Flathead Southern Rockies program for Wildsight, among other notable positions and roles.
This month one of the columnists asked how many “green” editions we have published. “This will be our fifth,” I said. It immediately sparked an interest, resulting in me going through the four previous April Fix’s in an effort to pinpoint what I took away from each one.
Any three year old knows that money doesn't grow on trees – you get it from the bank machine. My five year old now understands that in order to get money out of the bank, you have to put it in. In his mind, what you really need is one of those plastic cards, preferably a gold one. Clearly, in order to protect my children from a financial crisis of their own making, something needs to be done. So how, and when, do you go about teaching your children the value of money?
These days you can’t help but notice big smiles, clad in yellow jackets when you arrive at the ski hill plaza. Keeping the lengthy lift pass line's spirits up, directing lost souls to ski school or simply waxing lyrical about the joys the day has in store for you.
I chatted with a long term Fernie resident and an advocate of the hosting troops at Fernie Alpine Resort, to find out more about these yellow suited and booted individuals.
What does a ski host do?
I can’t help but get a wee anxious when thinking about Dr. Ahmoye. He was my dentist growing up after all! But once in the chair his large smile put me at ease and I was able to enjoy the visit (as much as a dental visit can be enjoyed, that is). After only being in Canada for four years, Dr. Ahmoye and his wife Dorothy came to Fernie in search of a practice and community to raise their family. Not surprisingly they were happy with what they found.