The Trump Land Snowboard Tour Part 2.

2 Apr

We could of easily spent a week at the National Monument but it was time to move on. The upcoming destination was Yuba State Park, smack in the middle of Utah. The trek in whipped through more of the San Rafael Desert. Finding ourselves taken by all the amazing desert landscape. We arrived at an empty Yuba Lake Campground and found a spot right next to the lake. Another peaceful area to call home for the night. The weather was the warmest we had felt in 5 months, so I pulled out my skateboard and ripped around the campground while Kayley threw her feet up to relax. We sat by the fire, had a beer or two, peered out over the moon lit lake and surrounding snow covered hills.

San Rafael Swell, Central Utah.

Ivy Canyon Rest Area

Ivy Canyon

Yuba Lake State Park, Utah

Relaxing….

Hello Skateboard, I missed you.

Another masterpiece of a dinner by Kayley!

Sunset in Utah

Easy on the eyes.


We awoke to the warming sun, and hopped back onto the I-15N towards Salt Lake City. With the windows down we cruised to Nevada. Once out of the city and towards the Utah/Nevada state boarder, the Bonneville Salt Flats made an appearance. An illusion, these flats look more like a forever stretching white lake. It’s not until you dip your foot in do you realize it’s a field filled with mushy, damp salt. Here is where they have many car events, most famously, where people continually try and break the land speed record.

Adventure Mobile/Home/Office.

Getting caught up on the history.

Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah

A weird sight.

She isn’t sure if she is getting her shoes wet or salty.


Can you guess what the first thing was we saw as we pulled through the Nevada boarder?….A casino. This isn’t my first time to Nevada but was Kayley’s first, I had been to Las Vegas years before, so my descriptive image of the state was a wasteland with casinos littered everywhere, I wasn’t expecting much.. In a sense I wasn’t wrong but it was clear after driving through it, there was beauty to the land of gambling.

The northern section of the state featured green fields filled with livestock, zero major cities, snowy mountain tops in every direction and a never ending highway. A real peaceful place.

We arrived at South Fork State Park, about 20 miles south of Elko, on a stellar afternoon. We had the grounds to ourselves, so we both enjoyed long, well needed showers, cooked up a cast-iron meal, aired out the van and gazed upon the South Fork Reservoir (They don’t really have natural lakes around here so they have to make them). The night mirrored the previous evening, a starlit lake with the sun setting behind the mountain range. With no one else around, it gave us a quiet night to rest.

South Fork Recreation State Park, Nevada

Nevada, you are a lot cooler than I thought.

A view I wouldn’t get tired of.


With excitement, we continued to move towards Squaw Valley. The remaining drive through Nevada was as great as the prior day, and just like when we entered, we left with the sight of casinos. Never change Nevada.

As we made our way into the Lake Tahoe area, the insanity of their record breaking winter season was evident, snow piles easily stood 2-3 stories high. No wonder they had to shut this area down for days at a time over the last couple months. We were lucky to be arriving mid-week, this gave us the chance to park for free at the Squaw lot! (They don’t allow parking on the weekends). As much as camping out at different spots is rad, it puts a hole in the pocket.

We arrived at the Lot just as the sun was setting.


Like most of the days this month, day one at Squaw was filled with minimal clouds and tons of sun. If it wasn’t for the wind, we would of been cooking. The snow was slushy immediately since the temps didn’t drop below zero that night. It was clear to say we could chalk this down as another rad spring day. Squaw is super fun, lots of steep runs and with all the snow, it was fair game wherever you decided to take your board. The park and mini pipe were fun to play around on with the super soft snow, we didn’t take many breaks. By the time 2:30 rolled around, we were pooched.

🙂

Good Morning Squaw!

Hello Lake Tahoe.

A ride in Starbucks. For all the lazy folks.

Steep slush lines!

Fair to say it was a solid day.

Beer time!


Friday was filled with much of the same, the sun was back out in full force and no wind allowed that snow to be soft quick. Repeating what we had done the day before, knowing the sweet spots gave us the chance to rip what we wanted before packing it up and moving onto our next destination.

Another rad day of slushy turns.


We wanted to stay longer but with the lots only being available on weekdays and all the local campgrounds are buried in snow which wont melt till July, it was necessary to get outta there. The Tahoe area is somewhere we plan on coming back to in the summer months to experience everything else it has to offer. The Sierra Nevada is clearly a rad place to be.

After being at Squaw, that finished all the resorts on our Mountain Collective Pass we planned on hitting during this tour. At this point I think we had ridden 11 of the 16 days that month. It was fair to say we were feeling a little worn. To rest our bodies and mental state, the coast was our new destination. With it being out of reach from Lake Tahoe, we stopped off at a campground just south of Redding, California. The drive in changed drastically, in 4 hours it went from snow, forest and mountains, to palm trees, lush green fields and flowering plants.

Making our way across California.


The campground that night was nothing to write home about. It was busy, no real privacy between each site, at least it was a safe, and a cheap place to sleep.

Spring has arrived!


Our trek towards the California coast, more specifically the Redwoods left us antsy. We were super excited to get there so our patience wasn’t evident, no to mention a giant rockslide delayed us a good 45mins somewhere along the way. A rockslide that happened maybe a couple hours before…. 

It took out the whole road…


In coastal fashion, we arrived to rain. A real change from the last 2 weeks of pretty much straight sun. Our plan was to see as much of the Redwoods as possible, so we started at the south end of their range. Humboldt State Park located an hour and a half south of Eureka, features a solid starting point for seeing these ginormous plants. The rain continued to pour harder but being in the presence of these trees kind of makes you forget how soaked you are. The park is located along the Avenue of the Giants scenic drive, hugged into the deep end of giant Redwoods. It was cool to see the van parked underneath the canopies. As much as we wanted to spend more of the night outside, the rain didn’t allow it.

Humboldt State Park, California

Cooking in the rain.

Anything for food!

Ya, that is one whole tree trunk.

A thousand year old Redwood.

And it’s only March…


Luckily for us, the rain let up the next morning, allowing us to enjoy the entirety of the Avenue of the Giants drive without rain, we even had breaks of sun that morning. The drive, dipping and dodging through these 300 foot trees is an unreal site, mind bending to think how big they truly are.

Hard to take a steady picture in a moving van.

Parked along the Avenue of the Giants.

Giants in the Lady Grove Park.

Misty Coastal Morning.


Our day ended at Jedediah Campground in Redwoods National Park. Located at the northern section of the park, just south of the Oregon border. The park was one of the nicest I’d ever seen. Each spot encompassed by the greenery, and with the giants all around, you could sit down and stare up for hours. With the rain making its delay, we were able to have a big fire, Kayley cooked up an awesome stew and shared a couple cold ones. It really doesn’t get much better than that.

Jedediah State Park, California.

Chillen….

Kayley cooking up!

Lentil Stew!

Not many words can describe this.


The rain returned the following morning, but since we were headed to Oregon, it seemed appropriate. Our mission was to complete the drive of the Oregon coast with having done the northern half in January. Along the way up we stopped off at the Natural Bridge Viewpoint, Umpqua Lighthouse Park, Coos Bay before arriving at Jesse M. Honeyman State Park located in the Oregon Sand Dunes. The campground reminded us of being back in the Redwoods with the similar, damp, coastal feel. The rain persisted but we decided to explore anyways. Buy a good rain jacket, it’ll prevent you from saying you can’t have fun in the rain. 

Natural Bridge Viewpoint, Oregon.

The picture doesn’t fully encompass this scene.

Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park, Oregon.


A few clicks away from the main campground, rainforest trails lead you out to the land of sand. There were dunes that stood an apartment building tall and yes, we climbed up! Close by featured lots of off-roading tracks, clearly an awesome place to do that, the surrounding area was huge with sights of the ocean in the distance.

Green is in season.

Entrance to the Sand Dunes!

Up we go!

Oregon Sand Dunes.

Coming down was easier.


The wet ground didn’t permit a fire, but the area around us was all we needed to stay outside and enjoy the Oregon beauty. Oregon State Parks are the best, always beautiful sights, clean hot showers and affordable!

Morning Greenery!

Oregon is hard to beat.


The rain continued and we finished off the coastal drive the following morning. Kayley, since our last trip to Oregon, had talked about and hoped to see a whale. Luckily for her, this would be the month to see one since they are currently migrating. We stopped off at a viewpoint just south of Yachats, and just as we step out of the van, a nice woman informs us there are whales moving by. Kayley was astatic. They move quickly, but we were able to see a couple fins, barnacle covered backs and water spouts. An awesome way to wrap up the Oregon tour. Thank you Whales!

Whale Watching somewhere just south of Newport, Oregon.

Kayley scoping for those Whales.


Our pit stop for the night was Portland, and with the previous visit being a little bit more miserable, it was nice to experience the city on a overcast afternoon. We caught some wifi at a local Starbucks, got things in order and relaxed in a familiar area.

A week or so ago I had said to Kayley, if Mt. Hood or Baker is getting snow on the way back to Canada, we are going, no questions asked. As I sit in the Starbucks, I pull open some forecasts and what do I see…Baker is expected to get 30-40cms the following day. I looked up at Kay and said, we are going to Baker tomorrow and without hesitation she said, sounds good! Like I said, no questions asked haha. If someone ever says to you “We are going to Mt. Baker”, don’t ask why, just know it’s for a good reason.

With a quick stop at a Sonic (the best American fast food chain), we arrived at a rainy Glacier, Washington. With rain meant the upper levels had to be getting snow. As we made our way up the 542 Summit Hwy, the rained turned into snow. After checking the van in, the snow grew harder and harder. The stoke for tomorrow was high.

The Yeti in its natural habitat. Mt Baker, Washington.

Sun goes down, the snow picks up.


Us and two other campers awoke to a fully white parking lot, and with a couple inches built up on the side mirrors, it was clear today was going to be a deep day.

If every morning could only be like this.

Our personal pow measuring stick.

Baker Lodge Kitty!

Get it?


As the time grew to 9am, we stood third in line and with barely anyone in the lifeline, the turns were going to be endless! The ride up Chair 8 really proved how much snow they received overnight, we pointed each and every direction figuring out where we wanted to ride first, but once we got to the top, the plan was forgotten and went wherever our boards took us. Kayley and I have had our fair share of pow laps this season and after that ride, we both agreed it was the best of the season. A feeling you cannot describe and a feeling you continually try and chase.

Chair 8 Stoke!

The fresh is evident.

Paddled out to a nice swell.

Yeww!

Snow in every crevasse.

Still so much to be had!

The stoke was the highest it’s ever been.


The remainder of the day kept getting better, we hung around Chair 8 the majority of the day, and with no one around, new, fresh lines were there all morning. By the time noon rolled around, both realizing we had easily lapped 8-10 runs of pure joy. The sun began to show its face and with the warmer temps, the snow started getting heavy. Not wanting to call it a day although everything was tracked and with our legs on fire, it was time to say good-bye to this paradise.

Baker in all its beauty!

Cruising through the Chowda!

Dropping!

See you next winter Mt Baker! You treated us more than well!


Mt. Baker is a special place, it finds itself squeezed between two beautiful mountains, Mt. Shuksan and Mt. Baker. Having yourself positioned up there, looking down at a fresh powder line with complete silence (other than all the happy shredders screaming Yew!!) festers a feeling that only can be describe as sublime. Not to get all emotional about it, but as a snowboarder, this is home. Also, it’s super cool that it’s family owned, hosts the Legendary Banked Slalom and people who ride Baker are grassroots individuals who care about being on a board or skis. We will be back Baker, and I couldn’t be more stoked about it.

The Legendary Baker Banked Slalom.


After taking off our soaking gear and enjoying some lunch, we made our way back to Canada, making it to Vancouver late afternoon. The last month was rad, we saw so much cool shit, met amazing humans, and rode our snowboards at places we had only ever dreamed about riding at. The US hosts some of the best terrain for snowboarding, hiking, skating, surfing, sight seeing and just relaxing. From the mountains, to the desert and the salty coast, there is endless places to enjoy. North America is an amazing continent, and for us there is still so much to see. Sometimes it’s hard for me to understand why so many North Americans travel across each ocean to escape, I’m sure they have their reasons, but for me, I will spend my entire life trying to witness everything it has to offer.

-Chris

From Snow to Salt

7 Feb

Oregon is the state I was looking forward to the most, it features everything I love about being outside, ocean, mountains, tons of snow, desert and pristine fishing rivers. I would move to this state in a heart beat.

Anyways, we arrived at a warm, sunny Mt. Hood after a windy drive along i-85 (Columbia River Gorge), the lingering ice and cold wind deterred us from stopping at all the waterfalls along the way. We pulled into Government Camp, OR to pick up supplies and our parking pass ($12 for 3 days). The Whitefish Sno-Park about 8kms east from town, gave us a great access point to view Mt. Hood and surrounding area. We took in as much of the warm sun as we could, both forgetting what that felt like, it has been weeks!

Pulling into the State Forest

Pretty girl with pretty views

Whitefish Sno-Park

Cooking up some grub

Good eats (Lentil Tacos)

Ending the day at the arcade.


With sun and positive degree temperatures, the following day spawned perfect weather to get on our snowboards. We headed to Mt. Hood Meadows (through the recommendation of Brooke from YoBeat). The mountain was experiencing an inversion (warmer on the summit than on the base), so it was a day of slushy laps and with Meadows having rad sub-alpine terrain, we were like kids at a playground, endless fun. I even messed around on the half-pipe, I was feeling confident, I hadn’t stepped into one of those for a couple years, felt good to scare myself a bit haha. Not one bad lap was had, all the hype of this place was justified. With zero lift lines, we for sure broke personal records for laps in a day.

Today is going to be a good day

Hello Meadows

Good Morning

Sun and Smiles

Alpine views

Meadows had me tweaking!


The next 2 days weren’t as pretty, it rained, a lot…. We hunkered down, listened to podcasts (Joe Rogan Experience, Stuff You Should Know, Monday Morning w/ Bill Burr, Powell Movement), read and watched It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, the usual down day stuff. Relaxed…

Bend, Oregon was the new destination following the storm, first was heading to Tumalo State Park located a couple kms north of Bend, with their warmer weather, we needed to fulfill our itch for a campfire. Our spot was notched into part of the high desert and gave us a sweet spot to be outside, shower, explore the snowy desert and put our legs up by the fire and enjoy a couple beers.

Entering the High Desert

Tumalo State Park

Cast Iron Cooking (Roasted Chicken w/ Veggies)

Walking around the Deschutes River

Looking out for Steelhead

Big desert trees

I’ll be back to fish this in the spring!

Snow couch hangs!

Fire Roasted Brussel Sprouts w/ Sweet Potato Stew!

Kayley trying to get the fire started.


With the Yeti and everything inside doused in the intoxicating aroma of camp smoke, the dirty beast and ourselves headed down the road to Bend to gather the necessary supplies before moving up to Mt. Bachelor for the next couple days.

The decision was to stay in the lot of the resort, and be able to step out our front door and onto the lift getting first tracks like we usually do. The weather from town to the mountain changed drastically, going from dry and sunny to complete whiteout. Although, with a whiteout comes likely pow turns, so despite almost spinning out into oncoming traffic, we were stoked. Once arriving, we parked ourselves in the RV line with a multitude of other shred-mobiles, settled in and got ready for next couple days of sliding sideways. Timing worked out for us, the storm moving in was said to dump more than originally predicted. The plan was to only ride for a single day, but it’s too hard to not want to have another day to utilize what Bachelor had to offer. It was more expensive than we had hoped, especially with our dirt poor Canadian dollar.

A bit of sketchy drive to the mountain

We made it!


The next morning, we awoke to the van covered in a blanket of frozen precipitation, we quickly ate, threw on our gear and rushed to the lift line (even though it was weirdly empty). More excited than ever, we arrived at the top of the main lift and off we went, finding all kinds of the good stuff. Bachelor has been getting more snow than anywhere else this season and it showed, there wasn’t of a lack of snow anywhere, it could be found at every turn. The mountain has a new chair and terrain introduced this year, Cloudchaser, probably my favourite place to ride so far this season (I think I’ve said that every post). For a Sunday, the hill was empty and with the snow pumping, we were finding pillow fields from start to finish of the day.

Hello Snow!

Blasting off

Beautiful day

His and hers

Getting lost with this one with always fun

Kayley slashing

Pillow lines

Turning and burning

Weeee!


The end of the day came before we wanted it to but there was always tomorrow. Other than Bachelor being a mecca of great riding, a huge pull to come up there for me was being able to witness, pro snowboarder, Co-founder of Drink Water and all around rad dude, Austin Smith, and his Fire Truck camper. His plan for the winter is to spend the majority of it at Bachelor, riding everyday and living simply in his camper. He is originally from Bellingham, WA, but his family moved to Bend, OR when he was a young teenager, Bachelor then becoming his local mountain, it’s easy to see how he became such a gifted shredder. Austin has been a hero of mine since I can remember and he’s been a big inspiration for how I live today. I mustered up the courage to knock on his camper door and say hello! He was super welcoming, letting Kayley and I come in and warm up our cold bodies. It was hard not to fan out haha. Being the down to earth guy he is, we was interested in how our trip was going and was whiling to answer any weird question I asked. After chatting for an hour or so, still in our gear, and not wanting to impede on his privacy, we decided to leave and go change. Austin immediately said, go change and come back, dry out your gear and I’ll make some dinner. An offer I couldn’t turn down. We took of our wet gear, and arrived back at his camper (brought him the gift of loose leaf tea-bags since a guest left him loose leaf tea and didn’t have the resources to enjoy it haha), along with becoming his new neighbour, since all the weekenders had left. The rest of the night we discussed how he came about on this camper; originally from Michigan, his brother bought it a couple years back with money he had lent him, and drove it across the country to Bend, mentioning that it cant go more than 30MPH. It sat for a couple years until Austin decided to do something with it. It’s outfitted with a mini wood stove that functions as heat and stove for cooking, a few solar panels to power the couple of lights, laptop and other little electronics. Drawers for woods, gear and other miscellaneous items, his Himalayan North Face suit named ‘Bernie’ and a Yeti cooler filled with food which is usually stuff people drop off for him. The coolest part was his boot drying system, old bindings are strapped to the roof above the stove and he allowed me to throw mine up there for the time being. After years of exploring the world and always being on the move, he wanted a winter to enjoy his home mountain and live simple. I wouldn’t call it private though, since people are always stopping buy to see inside. We continued to chat over soup that a fried dropped off for him. He told us about all his trips, what were his favourites (Alaska is by far the best according to him) and about the snowboarding industry in general. A special moment for sure, surreal to say the least. The hours went by quickly and it was time for us all the hit the hay, another day of riding was in the mix for all of us. It was clear that I went to bed with a massive smile.

Neighbours w/ Austin Smith! Very rad.


The next day was as rad as the last. The snow continued through the early morning and with the lack of wind, alpine opened and with it being closed the last couple days, the snow was deep. The sun peaked it’s head out as we were riding the peak chair and the ride down was insane, surfing steep and deep pow gives you a feeling next to none. The peak unfortunately was tracked out pretty fast since everyone headed up that way to start their day as well. We moved back over to Cloudchaser to enjoy all the pillow fields we had found the day before. To add to my list of seeing pros, Tim and Hannah Eddy, the two behind Do Radical, were in the lift line behind us, and we saw them filming for the day. I was hoping to talk to them but they were busy people and left after their session. After another solid day in the books, we chilled outside the van, cooked, enjoyed a couple beers, hung out with Austin and his buddy, Logan. They checked out our camper, found out Austin loves Canadian Tire and even had the chance to witness him move the Fire Truck to right beside us (it was a struggle). Tired and with the cold air taking over, we all went to bed early. The following morning, it was time for us to move on, we said bye to Austin, thanked him for the hospitality, being the cool guy he is, he gave us some Smartwool socks, and told us his home address to park at for the night in Bend. Thanks again Austin, it was huge highlight in my life. I recommend going to Bachelor, very easy terrain, it’s always snowing and as Austin put it, “Bachelor is the same thing as Baldface, except half the price”.

Kayley gettin’ it!

Yah Babe!

Still some goods to be had!

Tomahawked

 

 

Shred Mobiles


Arriving in Bend, we stretched our legs by hiking Pilot Butte, located in the middle of town, checked out downtown, grabbed groceries, parked up at Austin’s place and had grub at Spork through his recommendation. It was hands down the best food we’ve had in years. A fusion of Thai and Mexican food, the best two cuisines in my option.

Pilot Butte Hike, Bend Oregon

Views of the Three Sisters Mtn Range

Up and up!

Thanks Austin for letting us use your driveway for the night!


Getting tired of the colder weather and with Northern California shut down by a massive storm, we decided to head to the coast and warm up our frozen bones. A long drive through the mountain, we arrived in Newport, OR. Thankfully it was warm, around 8 degrees. With time to kill in the day, and Kayley being highly excited to see the ocean, we checked out Yaquina Lighthouse State Park. It is home to tide pools and an insane view of the ocean. The next couple hours were spent looking at all the marine life, from starfish to seals, Kayley was like a little kid in a toy store. Before night set in, we parked up just outside the park and enjoyed a nice warm van.

Nasty Mountain drives

We made it to the Pacific!

Yaquina State Park

Ocean Views

A newt!

Patrick Star!

Sea Urchin

Tide Pools!

Sea Anemone!

Dead Octopus….

Taking artist photos

Seals, the chillest of the sea mammals

Morning views


The next destination was Cape Lookout State Park, with the camping bug being evident, we needed another night of having a fire and sitting under the stars. Along the way we stopped in Pacific City to take in more ocean views, Devil’s PunchBowl Lookout Area and Depote Bay to watch the raging ocean surge throw up waves off the surrounding coastal rock that were easily 30-40ft high.

Pacific City Beach

Devil’s PunchBowl

Depote Bay wave wall


We arrived at the park early afternoon, it’s located between two capes, and within the rainforest. Finding a rad spot in the greenery of the forest, and with the very warm air we wandered around, starred out at the ocean and enjoyed the fire. Again, it was nice to enjoy a hot shower and cook a cast-iron meal.

Our home for the next day (Cape Lookout State Park)

Checking out the slit lumberjacks made on this old stump 60 years ago.

Chillen!

All set up to relax

Cooking up something good!

Campside Enchiladas

Neighbouring ocean views

Paddle out?

Cape Lookout providing very salty views

One of the Three Capes

Exploring the Old Growth Rainforest

The Three Arches

Beach Cape, WA


We arose to a sunny morning, and continued moving our way up the cost, witnessing more great views, eventually arriving in Olympia, WA, with the hopes of driving alongside Olympic National Park the following day, but at 1:30am that morning, our plans changed. We awoke to loud knocking and lights shining into the van, eventually hearing “It’s the Police, is there anyone in there?” Putting my hands out first through our front curtains, I opened the door up to the officers, asking me who I was? What we were doing? Do you have ID? I stepped out in the street in my boxers and told them we were traveling through and needed some sleep before moving on. They informed me a local called them about a suspicious vehicle. Luckily they were nice American Police, telling me they couldn’t legally tell us to move (It’s legal in Washington State to sleep in your vehicle) but it would be advised to move. I told them we were for sure moving and said sorry for wasting their time. There was no way I was going back to sleep after that, there is something unnerving about standing in the street (in your underwear), with two cops shining lights in your face with a hand on their guns. Kayley hoped up to the driver seat and we made the quick decision to drive back to Canada. We tried to look at the positives and just enjoyed our drive through Washington State in the middle of the night. Thankfully arriving at the Boarder around 5am, the guy was super nice and let us through easily. Finally getting to Vancouver around 6am just as the sun was poking its head out, we laughed and threw our heads into bed. We’ve been on the road now for three months and that is the first time having a problem with our parking spot, pretty good record I’d say.

Our time in the Pacific Northwest was awesome, from insane snow to camping by the ocean to hanging with a legend, it was an experience I’ll never forget. But there is nothing like coming back to Canada after a month in the States. Our crappy dollar, and just feeling a little out of place as a Canadian, it’s always nice to be back in the Great White North.

-Chris