Road Thoughts – Dec 22

22 Dec

Kayley and I have now been living on the road for about 6 weeks, which feels both accurate and inaccurate, if that makes any sense.

Long drives through Canada along with getting used to the routines of living on the road made it difficult to feel like the van was home since the days were filled with driving, not providing much time for cooking, and hanging out. Once the trek through the country was over and we started to spend more time in one place every couple days or so, it all started to feel like home.

To some living in a van must seem like an insane concept and to be honest it is! Who would want to give up the comforts of a stationary home, their 9-5 job, endless belongings, and normalized routines. These were some of the things that Kay and myself were constantly asked before embarking on this lifestyle: “How are you possibility going to give up ……..? And usually answering that questions with: “It won’t be that difficult”, to only then get an odd look as a response. That’s not to say everyone reacted as such, we had many friends and family members who showed acceptance to the idea (maybe they were just being nice haha). But yes, it is an insane concept, except my version of insane is more positive than negative.

After spending years of attending academia, working, then feeling the pressures of “What’s next?” or “Go find a real job?” (Whatever that is?), or “I wish I did that when I was younger” and witnessing the overall grind of ‘Standard Life’, I needed an out before I got myself caught in a cycle I didn’t want to participate in. That’s not to say I’m judgemental of anyone who finds comfort in living that standardized way of life, whatever makes you happy is what is most important, I mean some days I wish I could feel that same comfort. I can’t directly speak for Kayley but for myself, the pressures of trying to become part of the normal routine has always given me a sense of anxiety. Living in a van with my best friend has subdued that internal anxiety for the time being.

Life is simple in a complicated way: complicated because each day is filled with finding a place to park for the night, fill our water jug, empty our portable toilet, get wifi, shower, etc…. Yet, simple since those our the only stresses we typically face, which are minuscule. Of course along the way worse things may arise (Van issues, or unforeseen circumstances) but overallwhen you have ability to wake up in a rad new place every morning, it’s hard to not feel lucky. Kayley and myself had worked our butts off for the last 2 years trying to provide ourselves with the ability to live a life we wanted to live. We understand that this way of life could end at anytime but that won’t deter us from collecting as many experiences as possible.

For me, my hobbies and work go hand in hand and I hope for it to always be that way. I want my future jobs to be part of the hobbies I enjoy so much or at least allow me to enjoy my hobbies as much as physically possible. Whether it’s strapping into my snowboard, casting my fly rod, pushing around on a skateboard or simply hiking through a forest, these are the times that everything feels like the way it should be and it’s a feelings that you are constantly trying to chase. So far, living in a van has provided me the freedom to enjoy these hobbies to the fullest and giving me the direction I was looking for.

Another big thing for me is trying to learn how to become a better human, not only for myself but for others and the earth we live on. When you fill your life with unnecessary stress, learning takes a seat on the back burner and some of us get lost along the way on what is important in life, and that is something I’m continually trying to avoid. Living in a mobile box brings learning back to the forefront, whether it’s testing your patience when the van is heating up on a cold night or realizing how much water can be consumed on just drinking, cooking and cleaning, you start to understand how easy most of us have it and how we can take it for granted. It takes work to cook healthy meals, manage water use, be active, minimize our overall footprint and use technology only when truly needed, but that’s work I’m happy to put in, and get routinized with. The more I live without useless shit, the more I value the essentials and pay less attention to buying crappy stuff I never needed in the first place. When you surround yourself with the outdoors, you begin to understand the importance of buying local food, products that were made well and will last you years of use and to not take what you don’t need.

The last 6 weeks have been an all around adventure, and as you can tell, it has given me lots of time to think about weird shit haha.

I can’t thank Kayley enough for putting up with me day in and day out! She is a trooper and an awesome adventure partner! You’re the best babe!

Thanks so much to all the friends who have given us a place to enjoy a great meal, to warm our cold limbs, shown us rad places to visit and a safe spot to park at night. It doesn’t go unnoticed, it makes life a lot easier for us!

Get out there!

PS: Check out our pre-Van living thoughts on Vince Interviews Girls Podcast

Donations are rad!

-Chris

Starting off the Season the Right Way.

15 Dec

As I had mentioned in my last post, we had the chance to get our legs on snow when we were trekking through Banff, and if you’re a snowboarder or skier you understand the itch to get back out there after your season opener. The addiction is real.

Immediately after getting back into the van following a hike earlier last week, Kay and I turned onto the radio to hear Big White was opening for the season the upcoming Wednesday with half price lift ticks. Without a doubt the decision was made to be there for their opening day. Neither of us had ever stepped foot there so we were stoked to see what the hype was all about, I’ve had many good friends speaking highly of that place.

Wednesday morning rolled around, and off we went. Only a couple runs were open and it was a super hazy day resulting in pretty minimal visibility up top but it was still a rad day to say the least, lots of awesome side hits and untouched fresh!

Lift Line Blues

Lift Line Blues

Kayley stoked to slashing around

Kayley stoked to slashing around

Strapping into the fog

Strapping into the fog

Lunch time!

Lunch time!

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Kay rip

Kay rippin’

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Big White got our legs and stoke ready for opening weekend at Revelstoke. We headed back towards Revy early Friday and drove straight to the resort to ensure we had our passes sorted out before the following morning. Later that night we met our buddies, Mitch and Charles at the Village Idiot Bar for a drink, heffy grub, and discussion on the stoke for tomorrow’s big day.

Goofy looking fella

Not a bad spot for lunch.

Chilli Cheese Fries, the perfect pre-shred food.


Our plan was to be in bed early and up at 4am to get in line. Yes I said that, getting up at 4am to get into the lift time. I had been told by some friends that if you want first tracks, get your ass up early! They weren’t wrong! I was up at 3:45am, super stoked for the day, met my buddie Julien in line to be greeted with beer, some dudes cooking bacon and good vibes. I let Kay get a little bit more sleep haha, she needed a good sleep before experiencing what Revy has to offer. Getting in line early is a tradition at Revy, people set up tents the night before and deal with whatever weather is thrown at them. That morning brought snow which was a good omen for the day ahead, along with the fact that the mountain had received 70cms of snow that week and 20cms the night before. In total, there was 140cms of untouched pow waiting for the masses. The line began to fill as the morning grew older. Mitch, Charles and Winter showed up around 6:30am. we snuck them into our prime spot, and they were thankfully amped to be so close to the front. Fresh, deep powder was in the very near future. Once 8:30am rolled around, the gondola began to spin, the first grouping went up, everyone screamed with pure joy and the race for deep fresh tracks was on!!

Dropping in.

Heaven

Kayley was a loss for words all day.

We made it to Noon Jay!! Guess you have to kiss my feet…


The lines were long, visibility wasn’t the best but it was the by far the best day Kay or myself have ever had on snow, between the endless untouched pow and the super fun terrain. It was one for the books.

Post-shred included meeting the buds at the Revelstoke Rec Centre to ease the joints in the Sauna and packed the stomachs with some stellar Tacos @ The Taco Club. More ready then ever for another day of what had just passed.

Kayley decided to opt out the second day since she had taken a heavy slam the previous afternoon and was still feeling the effects. So I had the homies show me around more of the mountain in search of the good stuff. And we found it.

Morning Fuel.

Video: Mitch and Winter entering the White Room!

Finally getting some sun in the valley.


Riding Revelstoke was a huge highlight for me, I have dreamed of riding Revelstoke for years, and having the chance to ride it on opening day, hanging in-line at 4:30am with awesome locals, and slashing through insanely deep pow with your friends is a dream come true. Essentially everything that happens from here on out is just gravy. If you are ever in the Revelstoke area and/or are thinking about riding interior BC, I highly suggest Revy, the mountain has more terrain than you could ever handle, the town is filled with sweet restaurants and shops, and the locals are the coolest. I know I’ll be back.

O ya, I forgot to mention, we awoke Monday morning to a flat tire, and not only that, the spare tire’s wheel didn’t fit our van’s bolt pattern (Thanks to the asshole Used Car Dealership we bought the van from). Luckily we have CAA, so we got a tow from Revy to Salmon Arm. It was a nice ride and we had the chance to witness our van being transferred from one tow truck to another in the middle of a mountain corridor, so no complaints haha. Canadian Tire found the hole, and patched it up for 25 bucks! From the advice of our tow truck driver, we went to a local Auto Scrap Yard and picked up an old rim that matched our bolt pattern for $30. The following morning, we got the spare switched onto the new rim and headed back to Kelowna. All in all, it was a reason to visit Salmon Arm.

Not the best thing to wake up too…


After recouping from the rad but tiring weekend, we decided to head to Vancouver! The drive along Highway 97 and 5 was beautiful, snow filled valleys and mountain tops, watching all that go by really helps kill a long drive.

Quick Lunch Break


We drove straight for the ocean, Kayley had been talking about seeing the ocean since we left Ontario, so it felt like the appropriate place to go.

Van City


The following morning, Van was to experience what they were calling “Snowmaggedon”. I always forget this city never gets snow, so when they do it’s a huge deal. We thought about heading to Mt.Baker just down in Washington State, but with the storm coming, the drive seemed daunting. The day was instead filled with running errands and playing on a snowy filled beach.

Building a snowman beside the ocean. Something I never thought I’d do.

She thinks she’s actually driving a ship…

Double D’s Pizza was A+


From the advice of my dad, we headed to the Granville Island Public Market! We threw on our rain jackets and made our way through wafts of amazing smelling food booths, it was hard not to buy and eat everything in sight. Also, stopping at the Granville Island Brewery for a couple of Kayley’s favourite brews was needed. All in all, worth the visit.

Ummmm Donutssss

Heaven shaped as a donut.

Couple Granville Island Brews


Stanley Island is a trip. It feels like a rainforest located in the middle of a city, well actually, that’s exactly what it is. Big trees, rad views of the city, ocean and mountain range, it’s the place to get outside and enjoy what nature has to offer.

Kayley’s odd obsession with hollow trees…

Lion’s Gate Bridge

 

Rainy selfie

Beatles Inspired


Since Vancouver had been getting hammered with rain, the mountains were getting hammered with snow. Van has three mountains within an hours drive of the city, Cypress, Grouse and Seymour. All three I’ve heard are rad places to ride but I have wanted to shred at Seymour since I can remember. Throughout the years I’ve watched numerous pros rip around that place in multiple video parts and online edits, it looked like the ultimate playground. We parked the van somewhere in North Van in the hopes of getting a head start on the day and catch some fresh tracks. Seymour has experienced 70-75cms in the last 24hrs which gave troubles to the snow clearing team, leading to a delay on our day and everyone else hoping to ride the fresh. We waited from 8:30am-Noon, but the wait was well worth it. Visibility was low for the first section of the afternoon but the snow was insane and it kept coming down. Seymour is a side hit haven, natural hips and features everywhere, it had a skatepark feel to it. I can see why the locals and pros favour this place.

Lots of snow and zero visibility

Yah for snow!

Chutes everywhere

A happy girl 🙂

Riding into the night.


We spend the following day just cruising around downtown Van, and resting the legs.

Trying to get into the X-Mas Spirit.

Camper Alley (Jericho Beach)


Our original plan for the next couple days was to drive up to Squamish and Whistler to see some friends but with the weather getting extremely cold up there we decided to say in Van for a couple more days where the weather was a bit more mild. We headed to Lynn Canyon to fulfill our exploration bug. Between the suspension bridge, numerous waterfalls, pristine forest, and the snow covered river, it was a stellar afternoon. The hike around the area isn’t super demanding but it for sure gets the heart pumping.

If the Grinch were a tree.


Unfortunately for us colder weather is moving in all over BC and with no snow in the forecast for the next little bit we are just hanging out before heading back to Kelowna to house sit next week, which were both a little excited about. The idea of cooking in a real kitchen is really appealing at the moment!

-Chris