Friday, March 27, 2015

Chance Encounter of the Best Kind

    Is there something special about a ski resort that makes people friendlier?  I've noticed that strangers often begin talking to one another with little prompting.  That was my delightful experience today.
    It was a quiet day a Greek Peak today so when I took my morning coffee break there  were only three of us in the Taverna cafeteria.    I took my place at a table somewhat near a couple who was gazing out the window at the entrance to the quad chair lift.   She glanced over at me with a smile and nod and I returned the smile of acknowledgement.   As I was eating my donut I heard an accent which sounded Irish to me.   I made some comment to that effect and was astonished to hear they were from Australia.   From there we went on to an exchange of pleasantries as if we were old friends from way back.  
    Kevin and Terese are from a farm about 30 kilometers from Melbourne, Australia.  They have been a host family for Australian visitors for several years and now are on a tour of Northeast USA visiting and staying with one of the families they hosted.  They operate a dairy farm in their native country so Kevin and I have a mutual interest in agriculture.   Among other mutual experiences would be the parenting of seven children.  It would take too long to relate here the extent of information exchange that took place of 30 minutes or so.   They truly had enjoyed their stay at Hope Lodge and looked forward to traveling to Niagara Falls later in the day.  Perhaps via Cornell University that was well known and respected in their eyes.,  
     I took my leave to return to the slopes, not expecting to encounter them again for the day (or ever).    To my surprise, as I approached the entrance to the lift, their two children, Kate and Jimmy who were the skiers were talking with the lift attendant about the various trails on the mountain.   I introduced myself and suggested that rather than rely on the lift attendant's directions, I could guide them to a few trails appropriate to their level of ability.    From there we enjoyed an hour or so of mutual appreciation of the art and skill of skiing.   Kate is a competent skier capable of skiing the whole area.  Jimmy, however, had one lesson yesterday.   To my surprise, Jimmy had learned enough to be quite safe on some of the easier intermediate trails.   Obviously a fast learner!
     After leaving Kat and Jimmy, I finished my quota of runs and prepared to depart for home.   As an afterthought, I rightly guessed the family would be having lunch in Trax Restaurant.  On the chance they might want to contact me in the future, I left my card touting this  blog and bid them farewell.
    One would expect that to be the end of surprises for the day.  Not so!  In the cafe at the exit to the restaurant I ran into veterinarian friend Mark who was taking some time off from his practice to get in a few ski runs.   Another chance encounter of the best kind!  
Kate and Jimmy at the entrance to the Terrain Park.


Unknown said...

Gerry, it was such a pleasure to meet you. We are going to send this link back to our family in Australia. Kate and Jimmy got a very big thrill out of it. Keep skiing the slopes. We will be following your blog.
Therese, Kevin, Kate and Jimmy Moloney

Gerry Rehkugler said...

My pleasure! Have a wonderful stay in the USA. Safe journeys always.