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