Road Trippin’ to the Capital

27 Apr

Ottawa was home to Kay and myself for many years and it’s a place I miss more than not, so we both found it appropriate to take the new van and head to the capital for a little birthday fun with the homies.

Since buying the van, the weather here in Ajax has been inconsistent to say the least, 17’C and sunny one day and 2’C and snowy the next, winter has been playing games with me all season. But luckily, the Friday before heading to Ottawa, the weather improved and allowed me to get outside and do some work on the new vehicle. The van prior to being ours, was owned by Hydro One, they had a variety of metal shelving bolted to the sub-floor, leaving multiple holes in the floor once removed and there was a bit of surface rust present as well, but on the positive side, the interior siding and parts of the floor we’re spray coated to prevent damage, and major rust issues. It is key to have the floor fully sealed for when it’s time to insulate and start the initial build, any way for moisture to appear in the cabin is never good, and will only lead to more rust and mold issues. I headed to Canadian Tire (aka Crappy Tire, only the best store to come out of Canada), bought the Bondo Body Patching Kit, a face mask, rust brush and some heavy duty sandpaper! Now that I had all the necessary goods, I was determined to get the floor looking like new. After hours of scrubbing chipped paint, inhaling what I believe are toxic fumes through my face mask and getting hardener all over my pants, the holes we’re fully patched, which evidently ended up being a lot easier than I envisioned. Once the Bondo was dry, I gave the floor one last sand to smooth everything out and grabbed some non-toxic sealant my dad had left over from his multiple projects. If you are ever dealing with surface rust issues, attack it at the source and seal it as best as possible to prevent it from spreading, even though we will be insulating the floor and fully covering it, it’s better to have everything freshly sealed!

IMG_2638With a fresh new floor, Kay and I we’re ready for a little road trip to Ottawa and spend a couple first nights in the van!

We got a late start on the drive due to both of us working Sunday, leaving majority of the drive in the dark, we made sure to keep the tunes loud and to keep the conversation going or else our eyes started to feel mighty heavy.

The sign for Ottawa appeared around 11:30pm, and we made some calls to see where the homies we’re at. After playing phone tag, we picked up our good friends, Molly and Arija at a local bar, drove to their place, parked the van, stretched the legs, and enjoyed some beers, and their company (along with Aaron) until the early hours of the morning.

It may of just been the excitement of spending a night in the van but we both slept great, or it could of been our MEC Reactor 6.5 Sleeping Pad and our new Big Agnes Dream Island 15 Sleeping Bag, since our Van isn’t fully insulated yet, these made for a comfy warm night.

Enjoying breakfast public park style.

Enjoying breakfast public park style.


Once the crew was awake, we enjoyed some caffeine, filled our backpacks, picked up my brother, grabbed beers from a local Depanneur and headed to Gatineau Park for an afternoon of hiking. Molly and Aaron navigated us to a trail that we somehow had never encountered, but then again Gatineau Park is full of hidden gems. The Carbide Wilson Ruins Hike was one of those hidden gems, the moderate trail leads to an old mill that is open to explore and provides an insane view of the neighbouring rapids. The mill was built by Canadian inventor Thomas Wilson in 1911. Originally from Princeton, Ontario, Wilson discovered a process for creating calcium carbide, which is used in the production of acetylene gas, the mill was closed in the 1960’s and turned into a monument for the public’s viewing pleasure.

The crew

The crew

IMG_2649

The excitement was real.

The excitement was real.

Proud of this shot.

Proud of this shot.

Arija the resting Buddha

Arija the resting Buddha

IMG_2655

Airja performing her nature calls

Airja getting that pro shot.

IMG_2665

IMG_2667

Who’s down to Kayak this thing?!

IMG_2669

IMG_2672

IMG_2675

Beer sippin’ & Snowball tossin’

This picture has a lot going on.

This picture has a lot going on.

Matt's new modeling photo for the upcoming Twilight movie haha

Matt’s new modeling photo for the upcoming Twilight movie haha.

Views from above

Views from above.

13091609_10153660389126656_2106772790_o

Nature is neat.

 

13105914_10153660390676656_780336142_o

13090885_10153660391166656_1403723275_o

Deciding the best way to get down the rapid.

Deciding the best way to get down the rapid.

IMG_2682


Most of the time was spent in awe of the rapidly flowing water, throwing snowballs through the mill’s old windows, taking photos, polishing off some cold beers and just enjoying being outside with the homies! Also, if you ever find yourself in the park wandering around, once you’re feeling hungry, I urge you to check out the Chelsea Pub, they feature their own brewed beer which is unbelievable and the food is spot on!

That night Aaron took us to his new place of employment, Mulligans Golf Bar, a pub filled with golf simulators, that’s my kind of bar! After consuming a ton of alcohol, performing thousands of golf swings and a sore stomach from the continual laughter, we headed home, ordered some food and hit the hay!

The following morning Kayley and I said our good-byes, and took advantage of the beautiful day to enjoy the drive ahead. If you are ever driving from the Toronto area to Ottawa or vice-versa, we recommend taking HWY 7, it’s filled with rad views, small little towns and tons of places to get food and taking pee breaks.

IMG_2694

Silver Lake Picnic Area

Getting those feet wet.

Getting those feet wet.

IMG_2692


Thanks to Kayley, Arija, Aaron, Molly and Matt for an awesome birthday, you guys are the best and it’s always the best of times, sorry I missed everyone else but we will back soon! I can never be away from Ottawa for very long.

-Chris

The happenings of Winter 2016….O ya, we also bought a Van!!

1 Apr

I swear The Countless Wandering is alive!! I know it’s been a while but I had been contemplating for some time now as to when I was going to write a new post. You hadn’t heard from me since the last fall adventure which was back in October (which seems like yesterday), but long enough ago to where I almost forgot my login info (Shoutout to https://lastpass.com/). Kayley and myself both found jobs at the beginning of November after what seemed like an eternity. Kayley started out as a sales rep at PetValu then moving into an awesome position with the Toronto Zoo, to say she was excited would be an understatement. For myself, I ended up getting a gig at Boardsports Canada in Toronto, as the Snow, Skate and Surf Buyer as well as Manager. Working in the extreme sports industry has always been a passion of mine so it was a solid fit. Now with us working full time jobs, our adventuring had been put on halt, and when Kayley’s old VW finally bit the dust, looking for a van became a full time job within itself.

The Winter here in Southern Ontario was not great, actually it straight up sucked. We knew moving to this area was going to bring a different scene than what we we’re used to in Ottawa, but we weren’t expecting the worst winter on the East Coast in over a decade. That being said, when you’re a complete winter junkie, you deal with what is thrown your way and go with the flow. I was even lucky enough to get a couple Ontario powder days in (Unfortunately minus Kayley since she was at work making the big bucks!).

We kicked off the season by chasing the first real snowfall in Ontario with driving to Hidden Valley Resort in Huntsville for a couple runs of fresh!

Snow makes her jump for joy.

Snow makes her jump for joy.

My snow bunny (Lion's Lookout, Huntsville)

My snow bunny (Lion’s Lookout, Huntsville)

A view of gold

A view of gold

Feels good to be back on the board (Hidden Valley, Huntsville)

Feels good to be back on the board (Hidden Valley, Huntsville)


Local riding was done between Brimacombe where Kayley and myself got a couple night sessions in and Mount St. Louis with the homies.

Corey becoming Euro with this radical carving technique!

Corey becoming Euro with this radical carving technique! (Mount St Louis)

My weapon (2017 Salomon Assassin 155)

My weapon (2017-Salomon-Assassin-155)

Ontario Powder Day #1 (Brimacombe)

Ontario Powder Day #1 (Brimacombe)

Just happy to be snowboarding :)

Just happy to be snowboarding 🙂

A bad day on the slopes is better than a good day at work.

A bad day on the slopes is better than a good day at work. (Mount St. Louis)

Getting Pitted. Photo: Corey Jacobs (Mount St. Louis)

Getting Pitted. Photo: Corey Jacobs (Mount St. Louis)

My new powder spoon! Thanks K2! (The Mean Bean 148)

My new powder spoon! Thanks K2! (K2-The Mean Bean-148)

Demo Day at Devils Glen. Ontario Powder Day #2 (Ride War Pig 148)

Demo Day at Devils Glen. Ontario Powder Day #2 (2017-Ride-War Pig-Small)

His and hers

His and hers

Snowy morning in Greenwood. (Greenwood Conservation Park, Ajax)

Snowy morning in Greenwood. (Greenwood Conservation Park, Ajax)

The best kind of morning.

The best kind of morning.


February rolled around and I was able to take a week off to enjoy the little amount of winter we we’re getting. My brother, Matt came home from school for Reading Week, we packed up the Jeep and headed to Blue Mountain for a couple days to get some laps in and have as much fun as we could handle. The weather went in our favour, had 2 solid days of fresh and mild weather, which mean’t big smiles and sore legs by the end of each day. Always a treat to hand out with Matt! Never a dull moment.

First chair up.

First chair up.

Hanging at the secret stash spot.

Hanging at the secret stash spot.

Matt catching a little mid day rest.

Matt catching a little mid day rest.

IMG_2333

The stoke was high.

The stoke was high.


After an awesome couple days, we headed back home, with me leaving with Kayley the following day for Huntsville. Muskoka’s always getting pounded with snow during this time of the year so we decided to head to Limberlost Forest Reserve just east of town and find some secret hike-in pow runs. The snow was a bit heavy making the hike up hard on the legs but each trip down was worth the leg burn.

IMG_2343

Half way leg break

Half way leg break

IMG_2352

Strapped in and ready to rip!

Strapped in and ready to rip!

Round 2

Round 2

What form!

What form!


I got spoiled a second time around this winter with getting a 3 day trip to Killington, Vermont with the Burton squad! The 9 guy squad packed the Van early March 7th and went Vermont or Bust for 9 hours. Surprisingly, crossing the border went a lot easier than we all expected, a van full of snowboarders can bring a couple connotations to mind, the border patrol guy was even a snowboarder himself and was stoked to hear about our trip! As we arrived at the Burton headquarters in Burlington, everyone seemed to have gained an immense amount of energy and got stoked for the private tour ahead. The tour was lead by TK, a true snowboard historian, knowing every minuscule detail of Burton’s history and snowboarding in general. He showed us around the HQ offices, from marketing to product development, it was cool to see how the largest snowboard company in the world functions. The offices were littered with original artwork of all the Burton models over the years and housed some of the nicest of people. We then headed over the ‘Craig’s Place’, named after the legendary Craig Kelly. This is where all the prototypes are produced (no photos we’re allowed in both sections due to obvious reasons…don’t want their competitors stealing their awesome shit!), Burton is always pushing progression in terms of technology, so it was insane to see how it all goes down and the people that make these changes happen. Also, I should mention that the Burton museum within the factory had me speechless, to see all that history in front of you was surreal. We then packed the van to head another hour south towards Killington, while we all sat in awe of what had just been witnessed. If you ever read this TK, thanks for the tour, you are a radical human-being!

A sweaty, stale van with 9 awesome dudes...does that sound weird.

A sweaty, stale van with 9 awesome dudes…does that sound weird?

Board history wall in the front entrance of the HQ's

Burton board history wall in the front entrance of the HQ.

The Burton Sasquatch

Sasquatch!

Flagship store

Flagship store

Old pro decks in the floor

Old pro decks in the floor

img_1429 (1)

The Entrance to Craig's Place.

The Entrance to Craig’s Place.

TK mesmerizing the group with this knowledge!

TK mesmerizing the group with this knowledge!


Ready to have a beer or 7, we finally arrived at the condo in Killington, claimed our beds and all cracked a beverage signalling we had made it and we’re ready for a couple days of slashing. The following morning couldn’t come soon enough, even through a long night of alcohol, dice, beer pong and story-telling. I walked downstairs to get some caffeine in me and got hit by one of the nicest of views I’ve personally seen. The front desk lady wasn’t kidding when she said we had the best view of the mountain.  I stepped out on the front deck, felt the warm air and knew it was going to be an awesome day of riding slush.

Good Morning Vermont

Good Morning Vermont


The snow turned to slush immediately making for a super fun first day, everyone was slashing, laughing and having too much fun. Did I mention we also rode the Burton Stash which is an insanely fun park filled with only wooden features, and with the snow being so soft, everyone was throwing down!

Entering the Stash

Entering the Stash

Day ending beers

Day ending beers


The first day was followed by more drinking, losing money playing dice, ping pong tossing, and resting the legs for another day of spring slashing.

The second day we we’re joined by JG, the OG board tester for Burton, he can tell you the profile and every aspect of a snowboard within the first couple turns, a real snowboard junkie. I was lucky enough to catch a couple gondola rides with him where I picked his brain and just listened to the wisdom, it was rad. He even gave us the chance to demo prototypes for 2018.

Sneak peak

Sneak peak

Little stall action

Little stall action (Photo: JG)

The gnarliest T-bar ride.

The gnarliest T-bar ride.

Well deserved beer on the summit

Well deserved beer on the summit

The crew!

The crew!

Buck hunter...a must.

Some buck hunters in their natural habitat.

A professional pack job

A professional pack job

Looks like it time to say goodbye for now.

Looks like it’s time to say goodbye for now.


JG followed us back to the condo where we shared more stories, and he brought along some of Vermont’s finest relaxants, to help us nurse our sore muscles haha. After a couple quick naps, it was time for food and more beer. The last night was spent putting money in arcade games at a local bar and reminiscing about the past 2 days! Thanks again to Cordell, Carmichael, JG, TK, Burton and the whole crew for an radical trip, couldn’t ask for more! Also, shoutout to Blasco for bringing the energy to the crew, I will carry the Seagulling rule in beer pong wherever I travel.

That trip pretty much put a final seal on this winter season with weather back in Ontario not looking too favourable (especially with lift ticket prices still costing an arm and leg), so my attention was spent finding our very needed Van. Over this period, there we’re many KMs driven to see vans, some we’re okay, others horrible. Through the millions of emails sent, photos sorted through, trips to the mechanic, we finally found a promising lead. After much deliberation, and thought we decided to pull the trigger and get the ball rolling on our future Van Adventures. This White Yeti is a 2006 Ford E-150 with 174k! Kayley and I are both super excited for what lies ahead, there will be ups and downs but that is part of the fun. I will be documenting the entire process to the best of my ability, so stay tuned! 

Our new rolling home

Our new rolling home


-Chris