By Jaime Cary
Mountain to Sound Outfitters
Growing up, I always loved the outdoors, but I doubt they would be as big a part of my life without my Dad. My father taught me to ski before I could run. I have vivid memories of flying down mountain slopes in his backpack, laughing the whole way down; my nose poking out from under my hat, mittens so fluffy I couldn’t make a fist. For birthdays he would take me hiking, or we would blow up the big raft my parents bought when I was three and float the river. He was always pushing me to ski harder stuff or offering me advice on lines to take in the water. If I had good grades, I was allowed to play hookie on a big powder day.
I was routinely taken out of school for river trips, starting with a Gates of Ladore trip when I was eleven. I was taken out of school during the week of finals and whisked off to Utah and Colorado, where I was taught how to swim rapids and shoo Mormon crickets off the lunch table. As we drifted down stream and my Dad named off the rock layers, I knew that I would never get this feeling out of my system.
Many ski turns and river miles later, I still find myself most at home in the outdoors. The lessons my Dad taught me have come to be the most valuable, and I cherish the adventures that we go on. Thank you Dad. I couldn’t have done it without you.