Her first name is Burton. She must be named after her grandfather or something. Her middle name, which she goes by, is Deja Vu. Her nickname, used only by her close friends, is Flying V. She’s a female and she’s black. In the winter, we spend most weekends together and often times a bonus weekday. She knows how to have fun, loves the outdoors, and keeps me on my toes and heels. We have a mutual respect for each other and rely on each other to get us through the ups and especially the downs. She also doesn’t mind when I pee on her. It’s no secret that I have a girl crush. Deja Vu is my snowboard.
Deja Vu loves boarding through the trees on chair four at Lost Trail Powder Mountain. We will be weaving in and out of the of the perfectly spaced trees and Deja Vu keeps dropping the F-bomb in sheer excitement.
I say to her “Deja Vu. This is a family ski hill. You can’t keep talking like that”
She says, “Lisa, get over it. I don’t see one single person in these trees to hear me.”
I look around and she’s right, we have not seen anyone since we left the groomer and snuck into the trees.
Mostly Deja Vu is a powder whore. She admits it. Don’t even bother her unless you can promise six inches or more. On powder days she is the first one up and in the car ready to go. We did go up one day for 36 inches and that was difficult. We crashed on upper Thunder just under the chair. I had to dig her out of the snow which was not easy. She started crying and saying we were going to be here until June. I had to yell at her to pull herself together and get her head out of her ass which made her laugh because she doesn’t have a head or an ass. Eventually we got going again, crossed the cat track and headed down lower Thunder and all was well until we got to the flat part just before the lower cat track. We crashed again. This time even I was worried that we would be there until June. Deja Vu was not stuck but every time I tried to get upright my arm would sink into the snow up to my face. There was nothing solid to push against, just 36 inches of soft fluffy snow. Even if I undid the bindings it would be like trying to walk on water. So I started rolling; using Deja Vu as a lever. Deja Vu is not religious or a church goer, but you would have thought different that day as we started a slow role towards solid groomed snow.
“Good God Almighty” she yelled, “Sweet Jesus and mother Mary whose smart idea was this?”.
Eventually we fell off the powder lip and onto the solid snow packed road with a thud. We were exhausted and covered in snow and this was the first run of the day.
My friend Aaron Lebowitz has started designing, building and selling snowboards in Missoula. Soulmotion is the name of his company. Every time I see him at Lost Trail he uses his enthusiastic, lover of life, triple latte energy to entice me to ride one of his boards. I do want to try out one of his boards for sure. But how can I possibly leave Deja Vu planted in the snow by the lodge and ride the lift with another board? We’ve been together for so long I don’t even know if I could ride another board.
Don’t get me wrong. Deja Vu and I have had our moments. One time I embarrassed her so bad that she was wishing she was a ski and could just spit me out. That’s the difference between a board and a ski. A ski can be thinking “have you lost your mind?” and eject you down the mountain while the ski comes to a safe stop. A board on the other hand is bound to you for the whole ride. You could be sliding on your back, head first down an icy mountain and that board is still attached to your feet. If you’re thinking fast you’ll use your board to help break the slide instead of picking up speed the farther you go. We had just gotten to the top of chair two the day I embarrassed Deja Vu. The wind was howling at the top and right in our face. I eased to the edge of the chair and in a timely manner stood up at the get off point and the wind blew me back into the emergency stop arm. The entire lift came to a stop. Deja Vu is scrambling in a mad panic to remove herself from the scene. The lift guy has to come out of his warm shack to start it back up as an entire chair lift of people are waiting. I’m non gracefully dragging myself with my arms away from the chairs in a legless, homeless person kind of way. Deja Vu did not speak to me the rest of the day.
I have been equally upset with her at times too. We were going up the rope tow to head back into the lodge when the rope tow stopped. We were maybe 20 feet from the start so we waited for the rope tow guy to walk from the bottom shack to the top to flip the switch or plug it back in or whatever he does. As we waited a punk kid got in front of us on the rope. There was barely enough room between me and the person in front of me and now there was another kid in that space. Deja Vu starts mouthing off.
“Who does he think he is? I’m gonna run his ass over….as soon as this rope starts I’m running him over. Teach his ass a lesson”
I said “no, no you’re not. He doesn’t know any better and you do. Get ready”
I grabbed the rope and leaned back. Abruptly the rope tow started back up and Deja Vu and I were prepared. The kid in front of us was clearly not ready and we ran over him. I did not talk to Deja Vu the rest of that day.
Most days Deja Vu and I have an epic day. Sometimes we have a biblical day, which is an epic day times two. There are times when we are floating peacefully together down the side of a mountain on a blue bird day with soft powder spraying in our wake and we know that this day was meant for us. We fall in love with the moment. We find the perfect spot where the turn and the slope of the mountain create a sensation of zero gravity. You’ll know it’s us. All you can see in the bundled up helmeted, goggled me is my smile as you hear Deja Vu dropping the f-bomb. There goes the Flying V.
You can find more entertaining blog posts and the monthly book selection at Wild About Books. Thanks for reading.