In either December 1973 or January '74 I spent a week or so at Stevens Pass ski patrolling. It snowed the entire week very hard. On the last day that I was scheduled to be there I had a gig with my band in Bellingham and intended to ski the day and then drive back in time for downbeat. When I left the patrol building and went to the overnight parking lot I couldn't find my car for quite a while. I had forgotten exactly where it was and all of the cars were big snow hills, you couldn't see which car was which. Since mine was a VW Beetle it looked like at least 25% of the other cars in the lot when completely covered with snow. After a search that took quite a while I finally found the car, got into the trunk (not an easy task), pulled out my emergency shovel, and dug a ditch to the highway so that I could get out. Whew! On the road at last.
I pulled out of the parking lot, turned onto the highway, and traveled less than 1/4 mile when traffic came to a stop. They had just closed the pass for avalanche work. So I sat, and sat, and sat, looking at my watch and slowly getting an ulcer. I had left the patrol building with plenty of time to drive home, shower, get my axe, and get to the gig. Now it was looking dicey. Finally, they let us go but I was now on a very slim margin. I couldn't lay on the gas to get home faster because this was during the 1973 Arab oil embargo and there was no gas available all the way back to town and I knew that I would be coasting in on fumes even if I drove the speed limit all the way, which I did.
I got to town only a short time before we were to play. I remember jumping out of the shower in a panic when the phone rang. It was our band leader and my best friend who was screaming, "Where are you?" which was rather rhetorical since this was the day before cell phones, so he knew exactly where I was. I yelled back that I was coming as fast as I possibly could and soon dashed out of the house and made it about 5 minutes before we started. We played for four sets (after skiing all day and driving 120 miles) and I just about couldn't make it home (maybe a mile) because I was so exhausted.
But the skiing was fantastic and I wouldn't have missed it for anything.
The good old days.