I didn’t expect to make any friends on my flight from Seattle to Portland. It was Thursday. I was headed to the Oregon Coast for Memorial Day Weekend and had already checked out. The flight, and the seat next to me, were empty. Correction, it “was” empty until Tom, boarding the plane late, plopped down next to me.
Courtesy nods were exchanged as we listened to the flight attendant give her speech, taxied away from the terminal and took off, heading south. As the plane leveled and the fasten seat belt light was switched off, Tom and I got to talking. It was small talk at first. The typical stuff that strangers discuss – where are you headed, how’s the weather, etc.?
Then he dropped the question that is the reason behind this post – Where do you work?
I told him I worked at Alta Ski Area. His eyes brightened and he got a huge smile on his face.
“I met my wife 24 years ago at Alta,” Tom said. “We met on an old double chair.” He had my attention at double chair.
Tom went on to fill me in on the rest of the story. It went a little something like this:
He was on a ski vacation with some buddies from New Mexico. His future wife was in town on vacation from the East Coast. She was a part of a three person group. Tom just happened to have broken away from his friends and was spinning a few solo laps. His wife’s friends hopped on the chair together leaving an open seat next to the woman that he’d eventually marry. The chairlift conversation led to a day of skiing which led to après ski which led to another day of skiing and après ski. With their vacations coming to an end, Tom and the woman who is now his wife parted ways. Yet, in typical fairy tale fashion, they kept in touch, their relationship growing despite being on opposite coasts. Eventually, they closed the distance and sealed the deal by getting married.
We touched down in Portland and Tom and I said our goodbyes. As I made my way to airport pickup, I couldn’t stop thinking about his story and how many other people have stories just like his that involve Alta. In the grand scheme of things, people’s time at Alta is short. They come, they ski and they experience. Yet, in many cases, including Tom’s, it’s a time that shapes their lives and a time that they’ll never forget.
Do you have a story of your own that could go down in the Alta archives?
Filed under: Alta Archives, Something New At Alta | Tags: Alta, Alta archives, Alta Ski Area, flight, flying, marriage, Oregon Coast, stories, travel, traveling, weddings | 1 Comment »