Decisions, Decisions. Winter is Coming!

Way back before Bode was even a thought, Jason and I were pretty avid snowboarders. We were on a mountain somewhere every weekend of the winter. We drove the only 2 wheel drive SUV in the state of California, but it got us there and we loved it. We dreamed of quitting our jobs and becoming lifties. 2 and 2. 1 and 3. 4 singles. We got this.

With a European/African trip as our next main goal, we decided that springtime would be a better launch date than winter. Also, it’s time we stopped crashing at our parents’ houses. What to do in the meantime? Live out our other dream- ski bums.

It won’t be all on the snow, though. We’ll research the ins and outs of vehicle shipping, the Schengen Agreement, carnets, visas, vehicle permits, etc. Heck, we may even write that book.ย  Jason will work. Plus, there is that homeschooling thing.

So, we’ve made the decision on how to spend the next few months (like, tonight). But, the where is a bit overwhelming. Obviously, we want a good mountain and a sweet place to stay. We’d also like to find a cool town. Value is high on the list too – we’ll be looking for opportunities.

Now that the decision has been made, we’re getting pumped up to be back on the snow. We’ve gone a few years without a winter. Jason has been working like crazy to get Red Beard ready. Despite a ton ofย  setbacks, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. We’ll be leaving soon – we just need a destination.

This is where you come in.

Got any suggestions for where we should go? Know of any opportunities? (we’re awesome house-sitters!) As always, any and all advice or suggestions are appreciated!


29 thoughts on “Decisions, Decisions. Winter is Coming!

  • October 27, 2013 at 8:45 PM

    I am a native so it’s easy for me to recommend Oregon. It’s cheaper than California and the mountain options are plentiful. East of the Cascades is Bend in the middle but Sisters is smaller. Portland is to the north with good skiing and many small rural towns (though not any? ski towns). In Eugene Red Beard would become the new mayor but it isn’t close to great mountains. I don’t know if there are ski options near Ashland but I think you would love it there (even though it’s touristy and maybe expensive).

  • October 27, 2013 at 11:47 PM

    Chris – thanks for the tips! I’ve looked at a few Oregon towns (Craigslist) and it looks like slim-pickins for something close to a ski hill. Maybe we’re already too late. I’ll keep looking!

  • October 28, 2013 at 4:28 AM

    The non obvious destination is New England. Lots of snow birds around here possibly looking for reliable sitters and a few excellent mountains. Snow is a little bit heavier but plentiful. It is relatively cheaper than the west coast.

    However, I think Colorado is a destination not to be overlooked. And then there is the north western limits of Montana.

    I would also look into Red Mountain in south eastern British Columbia. Amazing skiing and not too touristy.

    Finally, if you want no tourists at all, look into Prince George, BC and its amazing Powder King mountain. Best mechanical lift mountain I have ever been to in North America.

    Good fun and memories for me this morning trying to think this trough. Thank you for the opportunity.

  • October 28, 2013 at 5:43 AM

    Ghis – thanks for all of the great suggestions! I’ve never even heard of some of these places – now to do the research! Since we’ll almost certainly be dependent on Red Beard, I’m a tad worried about going too far north. Then again, as long as there is some sort of public transport, we’d probably be fine. Regardless of where we end up, you’re invited to come help us carve up the mountain!

  • October 28, 2013 at 7:15 AM

    I have lived in the Roaring Fork Valley for 22 years Aspen/Snomwass has 4 mountains and some of the best skiing on the planet While the town of Aspne is expensive to park it for the winter just down the valley are Basalt and Carbondale Easy 4 lane hwy up to the ski hills Great towns with cool restaurants, music, cycling etc Bonus is that you are 2 hrs from Fruita and amazing year round mt biking and camping Plus we are VW friendly with both factory and private services available We roll a 2001 EVC Good luck and thanks for sharing your travels with Red Bard

  • October 28, 2013 at 7:51 AM

    Raifie – thanks for the suggestion! We’d love to ride Aspen, but the prices in town are sky-high. A single season pass is $2K! It would be very tough to swing unless we could house-sit, or sign some sort of movie-star deal ๐Ÿ˜‰ We’ll look in some of the surrounding the towns you suggested. Colorado has so many options that we’re looking all over the state!

  • October 28, 2013 at 7:54 AM

    Park City, even SLC. Fabulous resorts all with public
    transportation. Deer Valley, Park City Mt, Canyons, Brighton,
    Solitude, Snowbird, Alta and the best snow on earth!

  • October 28, 2013 at 8:08 AM

    Taos. Cheap, good snow some of the time, more hospitable climate for Red Beard than most.

  • October 28, 2013 at 8:09 AM

    Taos is a nice big hill, but a long ride up the mountain from town if I remember correctly. I went when I was a teenager and it was fun. I’ll start researching options…

  • October 28, 2013 at 8:17 AM

    “North” doesn’t mean too much when it comes to snow and cold. Don’t you remember freezing your arses in Ecuador or Peru or where ever that was? Up matters a lot more. (But you knew that ๐Ÿ˜‰ )
    That is, all other things being equal, writing off BC or Montana in favor of places more Southerly doesn’t seem to make much sense.


  • October 28, 2013 at 8:19 AM

    Hmm, how about Coeur d’Alene Idaho? I’ve travelled there a few times for work, the downtown is nice and it’s sort of a low-rent version of Spokane.

    The hills aren’t exactly enormous though, I’m a miserable skiier so can’t say if it would be challenging enough..

  • October 28, 2013 at 8:24 AM

    Mitch – it’s all on the table. Nothing is written off. Still, Powder King mountain is WAAAY up north (for us). At our pace, it would take us half the winter just to get there.

  • October 28, 2013 at 8:47 AM

    Can’t wait to see where this winter’s home is! Lots of house sit opportunities at And I’ve heard Fernie, BC is a charming ski town!

  • October 28, 2013 at 8:48 AM

    Fernie looks awesome! But, lodging looks sparse. It’s definitely on the list and I’ll keep looking!

  • October 28, 2013 at 8:50 AM

    Hey How about Big Bear. It’s close to San Diego and Baja and a lot of other interesting places. Lot’s of high tech opportunities for work in San Diego area.

    Here is a link
    All The Best,

    Big Al… Your Adventure Pal

  • October 28, 2013 at 8:55 AM

    As someone who prefers the Swiss Alps, this will sound a little weird, but I suggest Flagstaff, AZ. Their ski resort is five miles outside of the town, Snowbowl. Decent runs and good back country. Very sunny, and it’s already snowed there. You can get easy powder days, and if you crave more, Durango/Purgatory is not far for the most snow in CO. And, Sedona, AZ is 30 minutes away if you want warm, red rock hiking. Also an airport in Flagstaff for US Airways. And, a “high research” university there if Jason wants to go mad scientist. (NAU) Good luck!

  • October 28, 2013 at 10:04 AM

    Looking forward to when you hit the road again in Africa/ Europe but for my money I’d say Mt Hood or Bachelor would be your best bet for the winter. Bachelor is gorgeous, only 30min from Bend.. a fantastic town, and Mt Hood less than 2hrs from Portland and near the cute little towns of Government camp or Hood River… much less expensive than California or Colorado ski resort towns.

  • October 28, 2013 at 10:12 AM

    i use to work at the Alta’s Rustler Lodge, they give you a season pass, as an canyon employee, so you can ski all of your free time, but Alta is not a snowboard mountain.. you shoud go to snowbird..

  • October 28, 2013 at 10:29 AM

    I would also recommend Bend, OR.
    Great skiing at Mt Bachelor…I you get tired of that Mt Hood is pretty close by.
    Portland is only a couple of hours away.

    Maybe try Hood River, OR too.
    Close to Mt Hood Skiing.
    1 hr from Portland.

  • October 28, 2013 at 10:33 AM

    Katie – never would have considered Arizona for skiing, but now I’ll start looking. Durango was already on my list… thanks!

  • October 28, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    Thanks for all the recommendations! Lots of research to do! Still hoping to stumble upon a big opportunity…

  • October 28, 2013 at 10:51 AM

    Hey guys… I house sat all last winter a few miles from downtown Whitefish on 10 acres and loved it (lemme know if you want a map pin sent to you). They are family friends that go south to Baja every winter for 6 months in their camper and kite surf. They said they’re shuttering their house this winter since we couldn’t help them out this year, but I sent her a note that if they change their mind maybe it would be a good fit for you guys. Gave them a link to this site as well so they can check you out. The SNOWBus is a free shuttle that runs daily from town like every hr so you wouldn’t even have to drive up the mountain ever. Season passes just went up after Sept 30th, but they’re only $895 until Nov 15th, which is free riding after your 13th day. Easy peasy. I’ll keep you posted.

  • October 28, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    um, that could be perfect! finger’s crossed.

  • October 28, 2013 at 11:12 AM

    Drop by 30.306185, -97.731093 on your way North.

  • October 28, 2013 at 12:00 PM

    Dan – for sure! When does the snow start falling? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • October 28, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    I second Doug’s recommendation of Couer d’Alene, Idaho. I was there in the summer, so I’m not sure about the quality of sking, but it was a neat town that was relatively inexpensive. It was near Spokane.

  • October 28, 2013 at 9:32 PM

    I suggest San Antonio. Okay, okay, there’s no snow. And no mountain. But we sure wd love to see you.
    Yr Aunt Kay

  • October 28, 2013 at 10:35 PM

    Courtenay, Vancouver Island! Laid back, ski hill Mt. Washington.
    Not many places one can ski with an ocean view. Very funky rural area and healthy lifestyle. If you like seafood, it’s in the heart of oyster farms. Close by are Gulf Islands.. Denman & Hornby are closest. Many snowbirds live there-sorry don’t have a line on house sitting opportunities! Google Courtenay for some great reading!

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