For now Gussie and I are back in Newport and back to work at the Jamestown Boat Yard. Living the dream : )
So when I started all this it seemed like the thing to do was base my whole trip off of the concept of only East to West, but that was not conducive to the best skiing....So it ended up being more like: North to South to West to North to West to South. Then All the way back east. I did alot of zigzagging. I ended up hitting 35 different Ski areas in 75 days of travelling and adventuring. I put 15,000 miles on my Jeep Grand Cherokee. The page with all the stats and final info about the trip will be up soon!
For now Gussie and I are back in Newport and back to work at the Jamestown Boat Yard. Living the dream : )
I departed Boulder, CO on wednesday March 16 at 1:30 pm. I arrived to Stowe, Vermont on Friday March 18 at 5:30 pm. I would drive 10-15 hours, then sleep, then drive. I missed Stowe alot, and skied Saturday and Sunday. The sun was shining, and the snow softened up. The beer flowed like wine. It was so great to be skiing the familiar again: familiar terrain and familiar friends. I got some good turns in with the skiershop guys. Back to real life today, back to Gloucester, then Newport. Unless it snows here....Ill have up some final stats soon about the trip.
Drove 11 hours today, with a stop over in Salt Lake City, to give me time to see if I wanted to ski a day around there, to arrive in Steamboat Springs, CO. I plan on doing a last Hurrah ski day there tomorrow, before busting out 12 hour driving days and taking I-80 East home. Unless the conditions are shitty, then Ill just continue on my way.
I have a few stops planned, so see some friends and family on the way home, but I got so bored on my drive this afternoon that I was talking and singing to the dog who was crated in the back. So really I was talking and singing to myself. Its going to be a long haul back East.
Saturday I skied Alpine Meadows, with masses of weekenders from "the bay area", (thats how the weekender phenomenon was described to me). It was a nice sunny day; the snow softened up, and made for fun conditions. I was skiing solo all day, but it was definitely one of those days where I was crushing run after run with a big shit-eating grin on my face, and hearing the voice in my head say, "god I love skiing". Skiing to music always makes me kind of a dumb skier, I feel like I start to look like how Elaine from Seinfeld looks when she dances. Not ideal, but Im having a good time and of course I could care less. But spending Saturday skiing around and figuring out where everyone else ISNT skiing, was definitely a good day.
Today I sampled the South Lake Tahoe scene, to round out the California portion of the trip: Heavenly. It was also alot of fun, though the conditions today were not ideal, since the soft snow from yesterday froze and crusted over night. The views were still awesome though.
Heavenly was Slightly harder to do solo, and I learned that it is worth looking at a map of that place before starting the exploration. I wish I had more than a few days to get to know that place, because alot of the stuff that I ended up finding, felt like it would be unreal with even a little new snow. I did alot of those runs anyways, for the sake of checking them out, and I looked quite foolish trying to make my way down alot of the chutes etc without eating shi** on the ice layer and falling down. But it started to snow while I was there, so it got better as the day went on, There were also some amazing front side bump runs, "the face" which were nice and soft, and could make nearly anyone who attempted to do them, look like a rock star.
Check out pictures from the weekend from both places etc. here.
I finally kind of made a plan for the route home, It should lead me back through utah and colorado, and im tempted to stop off at a few places on the way home. we will see. Tonight Im back in a motel with the dog, where we checked in, and the office guy gave me a key to a room that someone was already in. Way to go Elko, NV. That might give you a hint about the quality of the establishments we utilize.
After a day to chill on Thursday, bring Kaitlin to Reno, check out Truckee, and sit out a day of skiing while the skies greyed and rained/snowed on and off all day, I took Friday to be shown around Squaw by Nate and Sam, who had the day off. Ill admit that we didnt get the earliest start to the day, but it was blue skies, sunny and very mild temps. I broke out the soft shell. I probably packed 18 jackets for thus trip so I might as well use more than just one.
The snow was a touch heavy but the fact that I had to really work for turns made me deserve my beers in the afternoon. I was pressed to try and keep up with them, sam on his fatty surface skis and nate on his board, but I managed to keep them in sight, and we covered what they would define as the best of the mountain (given the conditions) in its entirety. I felt cool because I got to keep my stuff in their secret liftie locker room, and I felt like a big deal because they seem to know everyone. Every Aussie at least. We did pause for a beer break at the top of the tram dock, which has an amazing view. That is definitely not to be missed.
A sunny day of skiing called for a few PBRs on the deck of the Cantina. Everyone got their "shifter", which you will have to work at Squaw to find out what that is....Or be friends with someone who works there. I loved Squaw, for its steeps, its bowls, (its lifties...) and its gnarly inbounds runs, which at most places would be roped off. I think the terrain off of the KT-22 lift alone, equals or tops the amount of terrain at some eastern mountains. I didn't get to see the place on a pow day, but there's no doubt Ill be back, and chances are, with the way snow comes down from the sky here during the season, Ill get my pow day, and probably get myself into trouble.
This morning Ill spend some time recovering after going out last night in Tahoe city with them, ski, and then maybe plan the trip home...Maybe...
Check out the pictures and some more of my ramblings Here!
Met kaitlin at the Reno airport on Monday, March 7th. She was only here for a short time, so we tried to make the most of it. And, as it turns out, that is not enough time for her to adjust to the time change, as she woke up at 6 am every morning, and made sure that I was up at that time as well. We had the pleasure of being hosted on our first night by 2 fellow Gloucester guys, (and Sam's dog Brookie), Nate Dogg and Sammy Z, both living and working at Squaw Valley.Viva la liftie. We engaged in some libations and some darts. In the morning we hit Squaw, and managed to break up the day with some more libations. Probably one of the best Bloody Marys I have ever been served at 11 AM at the Olympic bar, by our friend Paulo the bartender. Kaitlin was happy to see western elevations higher than 5000', I have never met anyone else who fully smiles when they ski, though the elevation may have effected her tolerence. Because we didnt make it up too late after a long day of skiing (more on the skiing on the Squaw page)....We treated ourselves to a hotel the next night, though it was not dog friendly, and Gus and I had a good time evading the staff a the hotel. It was a blast. Wednesday was another ski day. The snow was really wet and heavy, and the temps were rising, but the sun came out more than a few times, and in my true Morgan style, I was way over layered for the conditions. The Auras performed like champs. Kait and I had a lovely time getting to know Squaw, though it was to short for her. It was an excellent reunion; I dropped her off at Reno this afternoon, and she will be showing up for work in Boston tomorrow. Woosh. Im back with the guys for the night, they have the day off tomorrow, so we will be shredding the Gnar. I need to start planning a route home, but I dont want to. Check out the Squaw page here.
Poor Todd, a fellow Landing School design program graduate (2010), never thought I was serious last year when I said I would probably show up on his door step this winter. I showed up, and I showed up with my dog. Todd and his wife were kind enough to host me at their house where they live about an hour from Reno, NV. It was a perfect stop over to be able to get up in the morning and take off for Reno, to pick up Kaitlin at the airport. It was great to see him, he even picked up some PBR for old time sake, so we could drink and shoot the shit for hours in the comfort of his living room. The visit made me remember that I should get my head back into boats soon....We both honestly never thought I would ever actually show up at his house when he casually gave me the invitation last year, but it was a great visit. He told me to get back to work, and we parted ways. Love it. Check out some of the pictures of the brief Quincy, CA visit, here.
I departed Chuck and Trevor in Port Angeles on a rainy friday afternoon, making my way down to Bend, Oregon. It rained the whole way, and I had my fingers crossed that it might be snowing higher up. I rolled into the town just outside of Bend (Redmond, OR) late and spent the night at a cheap-o, no name motel. Gus and I then made our way to Mt. Bachelor, to roll solo on a saturday, for a full day. The Mt. Bachelor website was down that morning, so I was slowly making my way up there, expecting a new fallen 2" that snowreport.com gave me. Apparently wrong, because I was greeted by a fresh 15" that fell over night, and there I was, giddy, but having no idea where to start. The summit never opened but I had an amazing day lapping the Northwest express lift, which had very low visibility at the top, but was really fun.
After the day, I spent the night in Bend, which was an awesome town. There were more brewpubs there in one small area than any city I had ever seen. (I think like ten). Since I was riding solo, I picked one brew pub, Deschutes, and saddled up to the bar for the better part of the night, drank some strong brews and had some excellent food. I think I have been talking to a dog for too long, because the 2 locals I was seated next to seemed to think I was Canadian, because when I went to inquire if the seat between them was taken, I asked "is anyone holdin' this seat down?" to which they were both confused at my question, looked at me like I was thick in the head, and said, "if youre asking if the seat is taken, it is not...are you canadian? I dont understand what you just asked us, but the seat is all yours..." After that I mostly sat in silence, studying the bubbles in my beer. They didnt even know what I big deal I was....Skiistowest creator!...come on! Oh well, that just showed me I need to start re-adapting to real life again. Fantasy land is coming to an end sooner than I think. In the morning, I made an early departure for Lake Tahoe, in Cali, where I would be having another Landing School reunion, while being hosted by Todd, his wife, and their dog Taylor. Never thought I would make it this far.
Check out the newest pictures here!
And new videos from the trip here!
Here's to calling your friends who you havent seen in what seems like years, hoping that they live where you think they live now, which is about 3 hours from where you are, in Seattle, WA, and hoping that they will take you in for a few nights. After dropping kate off in seattle I had some time to check the place out, so Gus and I went to discovery park, and pike place market. Loved seattle. But what then? I probably should have given them a little more warning then just...Heyyyy, can I come see you guys...?! Im in the same state as you, with a car and a dog!
Thanks Chuck and Trevor, for not only living where I think you live, Port Angeles, WA,but also showing me around. They were both surpirsed that I was on this coast, with a dog and a car, when I should be working, but they were happy to show me around anyways. It was awesome. They are defiitely living the dream.They both work for Armstrong Marine, in town, where they design and build some really sweet aluminum boats. Chuck brought his boat up, and we went fishing. I never thought I would make it onto a boat on this trip, and I am really psyched that we did. We went "fishing". I didnt, i just sat there, but I did get a fishing license for the day anyways. His dad joined us, and Gus came for the ride. It was so beautiful and so fun!
Haha, there will be some really good pictures to follow. So now the dog and I are on our way South again, after living the dream for a few days with my boys from the Landing School. : )
Check out some of the new pictures, Here! The rest will be up soon!
Another post by Kate...Despite Gussie growling at Border Control, they let us back in the country and we arrived late Sunday in Bellingham, WA to stay with my Grandma. Its a full house of dogs with her two corgies, Bill and Mary, and Gus but everyone seems to be getting along. We drove up to Mt. Baker after seeing they got 16 inches overnight psyched for a powder day. Baker is definitely a local's mountain and snowboarding haven as well. 70% of the skiers and riders went back country. As we didn't have the avi pack or the local knowledge, we stuck to the trails which were still amazing. It was my first real powder day and I used the Auras again and Morgs was on the Libertys. I definitely felt muscles I didn't know I had but I had great time. We dipped into some trees and had some great runs off of Chair 6. The weather was foggy, then clear which let us see all the back country those bros were ducking the rope for. By the end of the day, there was fresh snow puking again and it was like fresh tracks all over. We met some East Coasters out on vaca, Ian and Rob, who took us on a great last run. Rob took a tumble and lost a ski and Morgan and Ian had to go all the way around to rescue the ski but made for some good laughs at aprés. First we closed the mountain then headed to Chair 9, a great pizza/ bar scene just on the edge of the National Forest. Good times. Been a great trip out west, wish I could quit my job and continue with Morgs and Gus but headed back to the East tomorrow.
Check out the pictures of Mt. Baker here.
Morgan is an avid bird watcher