Some Quads Need Keys

It was freezing cold that morning, it had snowed. It was of course February, in the Okanagan, so we weren’t exactly surprised by the snow, or the cold, but I wasn’t impressed. The alarm clock buzzed way to early, long before I wanted my eyes to be open. We hit snooze a couple of dozen times, but then, right when I was planning on drifting back to sleep Corey made me get up. We didn’t want to be late getting going, we had to get up and get moving.

So I did, while complaining that it was my day off and I was tired and did he realize how, freakin’ cold it was out there? without complaint, ok so maybe that’s not quite true.  We didn’t have kids back then, it was just us and sleep was my baby, or maybe I was a sleepy baby, I forget.  Anyways, we dressed, we picked up his brother and we stopped for coffee (or tea whatever floats your boat).  Then we drove for 1.5 hours to find a place that had more snow than we did, to a place where snowmobiles, and snow shoes were the norm and to a place where Corey’s new toy would attract more than one person’s intrest and attention.

Back in the day, Corey worked for a Bombardier dealership as a mechanic.  He serviced all sorts of recreational vehicles, changing this belt or that, doing something with the oil and other stuff that totally made no sense to me (enter: The Smile And Nod).  He didn’t last long at that job, it wasn’t a very good fit for him or us, he had to commute to get there, they didn’t treat their employees correctly and his shop partner had the intelligence of a mole on crack. 

But before he decided to jump the perverbial ship, Corey did one of the things that to this day rings out as one of his cooler mechanical experiences.  He turned one of these:

 

Into one of these:

It was the first quad with tracks Vernon had ever seen and Corey installed them.  Bombardier had just come out with the kit that winter and Corey had spent weeks getting these tracks on and ready to roll.  Then, because his bosses weren’t all bad, and because everyone wanted to know how this bad boy worked, they let him bring it home for the weekend.

You heard me right, they let us have this super fabulous and slightly expensive piece of equipment for the weekend to go play.  The only deal was we be careful and fill it will fuel.  Sure, fine, done!  Let’s GO!

And that’s what we did.  We loaded the super quad and another snowmobile onto Scott’s truck and off we headed with plans of a really awesome day spent in the snow, taking pictures and making memories. 

We did make memories that day, and there are a few pictures, but they aren’t of us up in the snow.  We never got to take the quad out for a solid run, we didn’t ever go up into the mountains with it, and the tank of gas we put in, barely got touched.

Oh, we drove into the hills that day, I may have slept half the way on Corey’s shoulder (there was a drool ring to prove it) and we did get out ready to rock and roll.  What we didn’t do was get them started.  You see, when you have a fancy toy like that, similar to a vehicle you have to have a key.  We, didn’t have the key.

In all Corey’s excitement, the poor guy forgot to grab the keys.  They were still sitting in his lunch kit, on our kitchen table, 2 hours away from where we were.  It wasn’t a good moment.

We hadn’t been together very long at that point, and I had never seen anything but the super happy Corey.  In fact, we’ve been together 5 years now, and I could count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen Corey truly mad.  He’s been sad a few times, tired, grumpy because he’s tired but really this guy spents more time happy than he does anything else.

This however, was one time he was MAD.  Once we realized that for sure the keys were back in Win-buck, he got out of the truck, cursing and swearing, walked over to a snow bank and yelled at himself for a minute.  Looking back, it may have been one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.  In the moment however, it wasn’t so funny.  Well, I may have thought it was funny (as did his brother, sort of) but Scott leaned over and whispered, “He’ll be fine, let him get it out.  And don’t laugh, it won’t help”  So, I took a big gulp of my tea and did my best not to laugh.

We drove back down the hill, Corey did get a grip, we went home, picked up the keys and started on the half hour trek to Vernon to return the machines.  There wasn’t any time left to take them out, we weren’t burning up any more fuel to get there so back they went.

Then they saw a snowpile.  Corey and Scott never pass up a wheelin’ opprotunity or challenge.  To them, this was both.  Off came the quad, on got the guys and this video was born…

Quads with Tracks from Ashley Stone on Vimeo.

I love how even though the day didn’t go as planned, and the only had a few minutes of “play” with the machine, they’re both still happy.  And it makes me laugh Corey talking about how beautiful and peaceful it was up the mountain, because it was – minus the little outburst from him.

We never did take that machine out again.  In fact, it was the last time we went out on any of the quads or snowmobiles before Bethany was born.  And while we both look back and think, “Man, I wish that day had been different”, we also look back and smile, because even mistakes can make good memories, when you’re determined to have fun.