I could see The Remarkables mountain range rising sharply over Lake Waktipu from my bedroom window in Fernhill, New Zealand. Maps calculates that the drive to the Remarkables Skifield takes 44 minutes. I can’t remember doing it under an hour and a half. The commute was slowed by carpool pickups, gas station stops, bridge lane closures, broken down cars, tire chain fittings, parking lots at capacity, and the climb up unpaved switchbacks in second gear.
I could complain compellingly about that drive, or about cramming seven bodies and their gear in a minivan, or about the bridge that’s been under construction and forced to one-way for over a year, or about fitting chains to tires in the mud, or about spending three hours in a car just for three hours on the hill. The last feels most compelling. I’m not really sure what brought us back.