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Came up Tuesday night to Breck, after Aspen to spend most the week checking out Breck and Vail. Both were awesome, and huge. I had my tour guide at Breck, fellow '08 William Smithie, Andrea, who showed me around the mountain, best of the best for the day, and I was struggling to keep up with her and her Rossi S110s. We had a blast, and the town was awesome. More to come on Breck soon, when I get some better inter-ma-net.
Vail was Thursday. It was a trip, I skied it alone, but it wasnt long before I had made a friend on the lift up to the Blue Sky Basin, an irish guy, Stuart, who was on holiday at Breck, but spending a day at Vail. We had a good time hitting all the runs in that back bowl, and then jetting back to the front side. There is so much terrain there it's unreal.
More to come soon on Vail.
Check out the Pictures from Breck and Vail here!
 
Aspen Highlands 01/25/2011
 
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Pictured: 2 good dogs waiting for their owner while owner gets a beer at Highlands.Below: A bad dog who has to wait in Jail while her owner gets a beer at Highlands because she can't be trusted tied to a rack of skis.
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The skiing was so good at Snowmass that I chose to ignore my body pains after taking a massive digger fairly early in the day (are we surprised that I took a massive digger?). It snowed all day, and the place was virtually empty for a saturday. There were deep stashes of snow everywhere you looked, and all the hike-to terrain was easily accessed by a relatively short hike. I skied the day alone, but Snowmass was a place where the locals were super nice, and very willing to point me in the right direction. I even ran into a guy who was a former Skiershop employee back in the day.
I had planned to ski Sunday at Highlands, but when I got up in the morning and could barely move the left knee, i decided to take sunday off, and ski on Monday. A good choice all around, though I also decided to skip any hiking for that Monday, which was probably a good idea too. (Highlands has a snowcat to bring you 1/4 of the way to Highland bowl, then the rest is about a 30-45 minute hike. I reunited with my Silverton ski buddy Garrett, who had been up in the Utah back country for a few days, and we ripped around all day, having a grand old time, in about 4" of freshies. Highlands is referred to as the Aspen locals mountain, and I found that to be true. It was more challenging than Snowmass (debateable I guess), steeper for sure, but it had an excellent vibe all around, from the mountain itself and from the small base area, which had just enough. I celebrated an excellent time at Aspen Highlands by toasting the end of the day at the Highlands Pizza co,v with a 24 oz PBR pounder. Check out the Pictures here. I also stopped by Aspen's Buttermilk, to check out the X-games venue, which was sweet.
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It won the blue ribbon for a reason.....24 ounces just isnt enough
 
Video Test 01/23/2011
 
Getting the ol' helmet cam to work
 
 
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That's fo-rizzle in Aspen. Legit 40 cents more expensive per gallon in town.
 And where beautiful women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano....
 The car hit the big 100,000 miles while I was driving there, but I missed the picture. This one is close enough.
More to come on the Aspen adventure soon, but some of the pictures are up. I skied Snowmass, so the ones that are up now are of Snowmass, except for the gas one. Thats seriously Aspen. I tried to take a picture of the PBR drink special: 4.00$ at a bar, but the bartender was looking at me funny and then i forgot.

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Crested Butte 01/22/2011
 
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The Butte was all that it was cracked up to be plus more. Endless fresh snow on the mountain, and cool people who gave the town a great vibe. Check out the pictures. If you can't read the back of his one piece, it says 'McGnar'. If that isnt Badass, I dont know what is.
I got a mountain tour from locals Davin and (powder) Pat, who met me at 11, after waking up to a -18 degree morning, by 11 it was warmed up. I got going at 9ish, to get some freshies, and it was glorious, but I didnt really get to know the mountain until following my guides around. It is definitely a mountain that you want someone to show you around first time there. Gus was happy to hang in the car while I skied, although it was one of the colder days she has had. I could live there for sure.
More on the Butte to come. Skiing Aspen today, see how that goes. I did manage to conquer the Aspen night life solo last night....More on that
 
Telluride 01/18/2011
 
The dog is costing me a little more $$ than I thought possible. The only place for us to stay in Telluride which didnt involve me sleeping in my car with the dog was the 'Camel's Garden' which was at the base of the mountain. Very nice, definitely too nice for me, but we rolled in so late that we didnt have much of a choice. Gussie was happy that we were not sharing her crate in the back of the jeep. I dragged a skier from the Silverton group with me to ski today, and with a few inches of new snow last night we were able to rock socks. The sking was awesome, and the town is even better, I think I want to move here. There is no leash law in town (except main street), and there were lots of people with dogs.
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Silverton 01/17/2011
 
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I'm in Durango, Colorado after an amazing Sunday skiing Silverton. I was so nervous I almost threw up every minute all the way up until we were dropping into a run for the first time. No joke. But after that first ascent, and then the first ski down, I realized I was going to be fine. I used the Auras for the first run and then was quick to switch to the new Libertys which got some serious breaking in. I was akward in them, getting used to them, but they were awesome, and even though there was no new snow. Check out the pictures!
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Sorry, forgot to write that I actually made it to New Mexico, on Tuesday, with Mom and Guss in one piece. But now Im departing. Highlites of the drive over included eating catfish at the "catfish round up" in Oklahoma, and eating steak at the 'Big Texan' in Amarillo TX, where if you can finish it you get a 72 oz (plus more) for free! We didnt try. The southern snowstorm tried to keep us from getting west, but we made it through. We toured Santa Fe, where a crazy guy saw gussie and said to me, "mmm....lunch on a leash". Odd. Our excellent hosts, the Holdsworths, put us up at their house in Santa Fe, where their dog was kind enough to let gus stay too, but looked at her like she was his retarded cousin from the east.
Then we were Off to Taos to ski a couple of days before returning mom to the airport. Taos was nothing short of amazing, though I really wish I didnt have to start there, since I got worked over. It was steep, and there was no new snow, but it was fun. It took a long time to get to know the place too. But miraculously on day two, a local skier, was kind enough to show me around for an hour, and suddenly day 2 was much better than day 1. It was awesome, more on Taos in The Skiing page. And though I still felt like I didnt know how to ski there, at least I knew how to get to the goods, once I remember how to ski again. I didnt spend much time getting to know the town, but I did get to enjoy a slow roasted duck and goat toastada, and it was delicious.
I also had the pleasure of sampling the terrain at 'Ski SantaFe' area, in Santa Fe NM. Dad was my ski buddy, and host Sam joined us for the afternoon portion. It was a fun little mountain, with amazing views, and enough variation for any skier to get their fill.
Gussie would rather be left here in New mexico to run free, and would prefer I pick her up on the way back. Poor pup doesn't even know this is just the beginning. Now it's off to Colorado for Silverton on Sunday. Sweet life!
 
 
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Tennessee to Arkansas.

Rediculous blizzard in the south, and no one knows how to drive here. The dog and I made our way to Tenn, from Virginia on Saturday morning. We decided we were going to stop off at the only ski place in Tennessee, just to take a picture and see the place, not to actually pay the 47$ that Ober Gatlinburg wanted to coast down nine trails. It was in the Great Smoky Mountains, near the National park, so I would check out that too. Well it actually turned out to be, what was probably the first powder day they had ever experienced, because it was dumping from the sky, and I'm getting excited to climb the switch backs on 'Ski Mountain rd', and make my way toward Ober Gatlinburg. A guy with Florida plates almost forced me into a ditch, but I pressed on, and I was psyched to reach the gate at the top. A fat guy with a big ego stopped me so I could pay him five dollars to proceed in and park. I was about to pay it, then  he took one look at my front seat, then said, "sorry that animal cant come in...no pets", and he pointed to the flippin hand written sign near the shack. Even though I pleaded and said she would stay in the crate in the back, and I drove all the way from Massachusetts to ski there (which was a lie but how was he to know), he said no, then told me to get out of the way so others could get by. What a D-bag. I think this occasion marked my first major realization on this trip that traveling with the dog was not going to be as easy as I told myself if would be. And oh yah, the National Park was closed too, due to snowy roads into the park. Sweet life.
Mom met us in Nashville, TN, where we got our fill of honkey tonk bars and BBQ. We visited Graceland, just because that's what you have to do when you're around Memphis, and although i was thrilled by it all, I was not thrilled to see that my mother had sneakily placed an enormous bumper sticker on my car that reads "I've been to Graceland" (Honestly think of the tackiest bumper sticker you have ever seen, now think of it on my car). Like I said, not thrilled about it. But she thinks its hilarious.

In Arkansas now, making our way west on I-40. Still snowing here.
 
 
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Once in the area of Snowshoe, West Virginia, The dog and I finally found a place to stay after a long search, and no we are not really near the mountain resort, because, no, they don’t allow dogs near any of their fine lodging establishments.  Actually they did, but it wasnt in the budget. As we speak, she is actually farting, and then getting up and relocating because it’s so rancid. This is going to be a very serious adventure with this dog. Honestly I had to call about 15 places to find the 'Brazen Head Inn'. I laughed out loud when I finally showed up at the place that let a dog stay there. Apparently he built the place with his sons. But down the road, five dollars bought me peace of mind, in a six pack of PBR bottles, and I didn’t even know PBR came in a bottle. I  was invited to wing night in their dining room, where the owner cooked and his dog hung out. Check out the Pictures

I need peace of mind because the car is already making awful noises when driving, and smells like burning when we stop. I think tin cans are dragging under the car. We stopped at a super walmart off route 66 in Virginia and bought some provisions, like sandwich stuff, and snacks. I recommend going to walmarts in other states because it is a good source of amusement.

Baltimore was a great time, we stayed at Nell’s apartment, which was awesome. I am an awful city person.  The dog ate her meals on the street next to the car. Thank you to nell and her roommate megan for putting us up.