Monday, February 20, 2012


Canadians are hardcore. Especially Canadian boys. I actually think I heard the words "You can tell we all grew up in Canada because we know how to build a snow wall," come out of someone's mouth this weekend.

It started off innocently enough at our friend Serge's house on Friday night. It's his birthday weekend and he'd recently built a fire pit (because that's the normal thing to do in the dead of winter) in his back yard. He wanted to try it out since the wind was calm and it was fairly mild outside. Seemed like the perfect way to spend an evening and unwind.

So a few of us gathered around the fire while Serge sat presiding over his court. We dragged out deck chairs and titled them next to the fire, close enough to dry the snow but not too close to melt the chairs. We poured drinks and pulled out blankets to keep our legs warm. Conversation was flowing and all was right in the world.

Then someone went to get more firewood. They brought it out in a big plastic tub. You know the kind you would use to chill beer and bottled water at a party? Within minutes the tub was emptied of firewood, refilled with snow and turned upside down.

Then it was refilled and dumped again, sand castle style.

Then I asked if they would mind making me a table for my drink while they were at it. Sure, they said.

As soon as we all had end tables the building recommenced. Nothing better than a table that holds your drink and chills it all at the same time.

The pile got higher and higher.

They didn't appear to have an exact plan, but they seemed to have vision. Build as high as they could. The snow would become whatever structure it was meant to be.

They were so serious at one point someone (I can't be sure who because they were hidden behind the wall) yelled, "Hey, shovel hog!" I tell ya, you will never hear me utter those words. Never.

Meanwhile the rest of us without shovels remained in our patio chairs enjoying the fire.

Occasionally one of the builders would even come out and join us. I mean, this work had been going on for hours and they needed a break.

Finally, after hours of hard manual labor that caused The Canadian to strip down to just his t-shirt, the vision was complete. Is it a wall? Is it a couch? No! It's a giant SNOW THRONE!

It even moonlights as a refrigerator. Man, is snow ever versatile.

And if one throne/wall wasn't enough they started in on a second wall. I think they were going for a complete dome. 

The second side never amounted to much more than a wind barrier, but it was a damn impressive wind barrier and definitely helped keep me warm and the bonfire smoke from blowing in my face.

The final product. Complete with a tiki torch enterance. Welcome to Snow Festival 2012!

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