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

Getting to know BC a little better.

25 Feb

We decided to make our way back to BC with perfect timing, my dad was on his way to Vancouver for work related activities, giving us the opportunity to spend some well needed time with him. The days leading up to his arrival were mostly spent hanging around, having a night session at Mt. Seymour and relaxing after our go go go PNW adventure.

Seymour Afternoon views

Seymour Night Sesh!


We met him at the hotel in Surrey and after a long hug, we ventured out for dinner and shared stories of the last couple months, impossibility trying to remember everything that had happened. He did his best to make sure our bellies were full, jokingly thinking that we’re a bunch of starving travellers, which does hold some truth. The following morning, he was off to meetings, and we took in the ultimate comfort of the soft hotel bed, and warm shower. Later on, we drove across town to the Sheraton Wall Hotel located smack in the middle of downtown Vancouver. As we checked in, the hotel desk employee was wondering how two people like Kayley and I were staying in a nice hotel such as this, on one of the top floors, and when I informed them we were meeting by dad here, it seemed to make a bit more sense haha. The room sat as high as the rest of the large concrete towers in the city, providing surreal views of the encompassing mountain ranges, and even a nice glimpse of Mt Baker where we once were less than a month ago. To us this was a serious treat but to my dad who spends a large chunk of his life in hotel rooms, he was less taken back by it all. We abused the hotel facilities by taking a dip in the hot tub and sauna, watching cable tv and free coffee. That evening, we all strolled around the water front, discussing how nice of city Vancouver is, grabbed grub at a local pub and catched up on more stories. The visit went by fast like most visits do. But, it was refreshing to see a family member. Thanks again Dad for all the awesome hospitality, it was well needed!

Living Large!

Big Pops!


The forecast was showing a new storm on its way for lower BC, and our plan was to get to Nelson before it hit. The drive from Vancouver to Osoyoos was mellow, making our way through many corridors and snow filled mountain tops, eventually arriving in Canada’s only desert. We wanted to spend the next day exploring around but with the storm making landfall the next morning, we knew we had to keep making our way to Nelson before the roads became unbearable. The van and ourselves arrived in Nelson right as the snow started to pick up and luckily found a spot to park up that was close enough for us to walk into town (The spot wasn’t our first choice since our van failed to make it up a steep hill). Waiting for the snow to build up, the next couple days we explore around the town, it was a place I’ve been waiting on coming to for 25 years. My Nana, Papa spent 30 years in this wonderful place and had been telling me about it my whole life, it was easy to see why. Perfectly placed in the middle of four mountains, the town features a small but unique downtown with tons of coffee shops and local restaurants, no shortage of good meals. The people are chill, nice and welcoming.

Hello Nelson

Blanket Covered

Incoming Fresh!


We had a couple buddies visiting from Kelowna while we were there, after riding we met them at their AirBnB on the north side which featured unreal views of town, grabbed a hot tub soak and chatted about our recent adventuring. The snow at this point was building faster than ever and when we awoke Monday morning, our van was completely buried along with the entire town. Locals were saying this was the biggest storm they’ve had in years, which meant Whitewater was going to be pumping!! As we attempted to dig our van out and hopefully make it up to the mountain, a super nice stranger driving by, Rachel, asked if we were headed up to the resort and needed a ride, an offer we couldn’t turn down, since she had a 4WD vehicle haha. As we pulled into the parking lot, people were pouring in, trying to get a taste of the newly blanketed mountain. You could easily feel the stoke of everyone around, it’s hard to not get excited when you’re about to float through the 40cms of new snow.

Hot Tub viewpoint

Covered…


Once we grabbed our lift ticket and threw our gear into a locker, we got into line, awaited the lift to start spinning and when 8:30am rolled around, off we went, with everyone screaming with excitement. The first couple turns have no words to describe it, it was beautiful. With Whitewater still being a family owned resort, the lifts only host two people, providing the old school powder experience. We spent the majority of day on the Silver King lift, it had plenty of runs that dipped and dodged through the trees and more pillow fields than one could deal with in a single day. Whitewater delivered….and it delivered well. So rad to experience a powder mountain on a powder day, it’s days like this when living in a van in the middle of winter makes so much sense. These are the days you live for and chase on the daily.

The Stoke Is HIGH

DAMN!

Ready to Rip!

Dropping into the good stuff!

Yew!!

Happy Roamers!

Pillow Mania!


Per usual, it’s always sad to see such an awesome day end, but exhaustion was setting in. We hopped in the shuttle, headed back to a snow covered van and spent the rest of the fading daylight digging out our buried home. Our sleep that night came easy. The next day we wandered around town, grabbed coffee at Empire Coffee and with the sun out, it gave us the opportunity to see the snowy mountain walls the encompassed Nelson. It’s clear to see why my grandparents chose to live here for so many years, the place is the template mountain town; nice people, good food, and a pristine outdoor playground, I could see us living here in the future.

Beautiful Downtown Nelson!

Where my Nana used to live!


With the roads and weather making a turn for the positive, we got the Yeti rolling towards Revelstoke. A storm was making its way through within the next couple days and we wanted to be back in Revy for deep and steep laps. The drive was as nice as any other mountain corridor with the added ferry ride that connects the highway routes. We pulled into a sunny and hardly recognizable town since it was covered in white precipitation. The last time we were in Revy, the town had green grass and was raining, winter was showing it’s face in every corner of the province. That night, we hung with friends, shared some brews, played Settlers of Catan (if you have never played this, you are blowing it) and got ourselves stoked for the incoming storm.

The Ferry Highway

The Yeti going for a little boat ride!

Very true

Friends and Board Games, the recipe for lost friendships haha.


The following morning, the snow started to pour as we awoke, as the day progressed it only got harder. As we continued with our errands throughout the day, the town proceeded to become completely buried which could only mean the same thing was happening on the mountain. That night we spent it in the Revy Resort parking lot along with the dozens of other campers, hoping to get a good spot in the line in the AM. The Revy lot always has the best vibes, always filled with tons of shredders who are just happy to be outside and enjoying the mountain, no other BS.

Buried in Revy! Woo!

Good looking Morning!


We awoke to 20cms of fresh up top! Got ourselves in line around 7am, chatted with some locals, grabbed the needed caffeine and stretched the muscles. Luckily for us, we got to spend the day with our good friends, Jay and Julien, along with their local friends, Chuck and Brooke who took us around to the spots only the locals know about. Another one of those days that allowed us to appreciate this life we’re living and how luckily we’ve been this winter. It was a day of jumping off cliffs, bootpacking to bowls filled with the goods and hitting side hits with your friends throwing down. We even had Kayley jumping off stuff! Super rad! Thanks again Jay and Julien for always being the ultimate fun havers and tour guides! Chuck and Brooke, you guys are radical humans and make snowboarding look way too easy!

Up and up to find the goods

Scoping the line

Ready to move out.

3,2,1 DROP!

Breakfast views

Locals know what’s up!

Not a bad place to hang!


Kayley unfortunately felt the oncoming symptoms of a cold the subsequent morning, curtailing another day of riding. We decided to make our way to Kelowna and meet up with Mitch for a relaxing Wax party (Our boards were screaming for a wax job!). The ensuing days we relaxed, hung out with Mitch in his apartment (Thanks again bud for letting us abuse your hospitality!), and hiked around. It was time for us to start making our way back to Vancouver, the catalyst being an RCMP officer questioning me as I was making coffee in our usual public-park spot. He framed his concern more as an interest in our camper, but it was clear he was wondering what I was doing cooking outside the vehicle and what we were doing out here from Ontario. After taking down our info and looking inside our van, he moved on and so did we. Just like what happened in Olympia, WA, I understand the concerns people have but I mean what threat do we really pose, the more people start moving towards this lifestyle or form of travel, I wonder how accepted or persecuted it will become, I guess only time will tell.

We arrived in Vancouver at the beginning of a massive rainstorm, meaning we didn’t do much other than sit in coffee shops and watched tv shows. Really we were just killing time until my brother arrived within the next couple days to shred with us in Whistler for a week. When the rain subsided, we drove to Squamish to see a couple buddies of mine who currently reside there. As we pulled into town and stopped off at the local Starbucks to get in touch with them, I luckily ran into one of them (How’s that saying go? It’s a small world or something like that…). Tony recently moved out to Squamish from our hometown of Ajax, Ontario. His intention was to explore around BC for the winter and spring but once arriving in Squamish, quickly realizing it was too beautiful and offered too much of what he wanted to leave. We chatted for a bit, then later making our way to a local watering hole for happy-hour drinks, with our other buddie Matt eventually making his way over. Matt, also from Ajax, maneuvered his way out here from Nova Scotia last year in his camper, now being settled in with a job at a rad Burger joint that overlooks the coastal mountain range while still living the camper lifestyle allowing him to climb whenever he wants! The next day brought sun, giving it the perfect opportunity for them to tour us around the area and it didn’t disappoint. If you are ever in Squamish, I urge you to check out two things, Howe Sound, probably the most Canadian scenery I’ve ever seen and Matt’s restaurant, The Watershed Grill, between the great beer and food, it’s a must. Tony and Matt, keep living your dreams and being awesome people, the world appreciates it!

Sea Treasure! (Jericho Beach, BC)

Bookstore Kitty! 🙂

Back window views (Squamish, BC)

Rad Artwork Downtown Squam.

Howe Sound!

Little Rainbow Dude

Beautiful Squamton


Matt was expected to arrive as we continued the drive to Whistler. I was pretty excited. He had never been this far out west, and had never rode his snowboard on a mountain like Whistler Blackcomb. He arrived and I couldn’t of been happier to see him! (Also, stoked to be in the presence of a hotel room for the next 6 days.) With the weather looking favourable this week, he was amped to see what this place had to offer. Our first day involved just Matt and myself since Kay was taking the day off to completely recover from her cold. It was a stormy one, but still an enjoyable one for us, Matt got his first taste of the big mountain shred, I even took him to the Flute Bowl and got his legs burning a bit. We met up with my buddy Paz where we spent the rest of the day surfing around, trying to find some fresh. With the snow continuing throughout the afternoon and evening, we knew tomorrow was going to be a stellar one.

A very happy Matt

Matt conquered Flute Bowl

Diving in the shallow end.


I checked my phone early the next morning to reports saying the mountain got anywhere between 15-20cms of new snow! I was stoked to give Matt his first real powder experience. With the Symphony Chair not opening due to Avy Control, we took the Peak2Peak and hit up 7th Heaven on the Blackcomb side and it was well worth it. The deep stuff could be found all day and Matt handled it super well for this being his 2nd day out on his board this winter. I had him jumping over and through trees, spraying the pow around and had him smiling, yelling hell yeah!! Although with Pow days come tired legs, that night we stuffed our faces and sat in front of the tv.

Today’s surf stick

Beautiful Morning

Mystic

Peak2Peak

Peak Views

Slashing around

Hello Birdy

Matt getting the tourist experience

Mayhem

Surf’s up in 7th Heaven


We took a day off, giving us a chance to rest the legs and have a day to completely just chill out. We wandered around the village, grabbed drinks and food at Tapley’s, chatted, consumed more television and grabbed rest for the ensuing day. Our 3rd day on the mountain was a blue-bird one, giving Matt the trifecta of mountain conditions. The day was dedicated to exploring the entire mountain, working our way from the far side on Whistler to the far side on Blackcomb. Groomers in the morning was super fun, great day for laying down heel-side turns and gripping with speed. We clocked many miles that day. By the time late afternoon rolled around, the runs were tracked and icy. With my knee burning and their tired legs, it was a sign to call it day and thank the mountain for all the fun.

Hotel Living

Nothing wrong with a sunny groomer day!

Blue-Birdin it!

Groomed for Speed. Yew!


Of course the week went by fast, before I knew it I was hugging him good-bye, time flies as it does when you are having a good time. It was awesome to spend time with Matt, being able to share moments on our snowboards and enjoy each other’s company. Thanks Matt for choosing to donate your week off with us, probably the best week we’ve had this winter! Can’t wait to do it again bud!

This last month was another one for the books, saw my dad which was refreshing, it was a special moment for me to walk around Nelson after hearing about it since I was a child, spending time on the mountain with good friends, and shredding around Whistler with my brother. Hard not to feel grateful.

Shannon Falls, Squamish BC.


Currently, we are sitting in a Starbucks, multitasking our wifi usage, and getting ourselves ready for a big trip below the boarder. We will be making our way to Sun Valley ID, Jackson Hole WY, Snowbird UT, Snowmass CO and Squaw Valley CA. Regardless of the weather we receive or whatever happens along the way, it’ll be a rad adventure I’m sure.

Remember to Get Out There and be a good human!

-Chris