Posted on January 20, 2014 by angela
The clear day was deceptively windy and the tubing hill was deceptively steep.
There was a moment of sheer terror before tipping over the edge and flying downhill on the icy slope. This is a FAST hill.
We chose the ‘historic’ slope this time, as we had been told that the newer, fancier tubing hill was trying to run this guy out of business.
The motorized system that pulled our tubes up the steep hill seemed perfectly modern.
Still, the Broncos-colored warming hut/ snack bar was right out of 1978 – complete with Whatchamacallits. This is definitely our spot.
Posted on January 10, 2014 by angela
We spent a very fun week with my mom and niece. We finally had a good reason to forgo a few days on the mountain (it was very crowded) and try out some of the other winter activities. Oh, and lots of Bowl Games.
We had a fun New Year’s eve, eating out at a local brewery and hitting the sledding hill in town. We missed the fireworks, but we did manage to get Grammy on the sled.
We also hit the snowmobiles. This was a scenic trip up to the continental divide for sunset. Add snowmobile to Bode’s wishlist.
Ladies’ night included a moonlit gondola ride up to the lodge on the mountain for fondue. Unfortunately, this was all during one of our worst storms, and wind gusts of up to 60mph blew us around on the way up there. A dinner way more exciting than I had intended.
Posted on January 6, 2014 by angela
Dog sledding has always been something I’ve wanted to do. I used a visit from my mom and niece, Caroline, as an excuse to fulfill this dream.
Scheduled way ahead of time, our trip was the morning after a huge storm with a winter weather advisory still in effect.
A native Texan, my mom’s never seen more than a couple inches of snow at a time. This was as good a time as any to set her an inch off of the white stuff and let her slide around at 25 mph.
All bundled up, we were weighed and placed in our sleds while the mushers chose the dogs that would lead us and attached them to harnesses. There are 85 dogs here, though some are still puppies and don’t pull yet, and some are retired (and available for adoption). Based on personality, intelligence and fitness, the dogs can run sleds between 1 and 3 times a day. So, 60 or so dogs tied up waiting to run, and barking incessantly.
Once bridled and commanded, the dogs took off into a snowy meadow with a instant jerk to the sled. Within seconds, it was near silence. Just the quiet sounds of dog footsteps on thick powdery snow. The ride was about 45 minutes through clearings and forest. The scenery was beautiful, but the smell was pretty strong. Every time we stopped the dogs peed, and every time we went, the dogs pooped on the run.
Afterwards, we were able to pet the dogs who pulled us. Bode and my mom knew the name and backstory of every one of their dogs. This included a blind dog whose brother was his guide, and a dog that had run the Iditarod in Alaska. The dogs were amazing, and there was definitely a wildness to them that most indoor pet dogs don’t show. These dogs really seemed to love to run and roll around in the snow, even on one of the coldest days we’ve had.
Now, Bode wants a team. I’m just not sure we can fit them in the bus – maybe we could just tie them up front to pull?
Posted on December 24, 2013 by angela
It’s been a while since we’ve had a Christmas tree. Living on the road and owning the absolute minimum of stuff doesn’t really lend itself to celebrating a big ‘traditional’ holiday.
This year, we’ve got an actual place and it came complete with a lighted Christmas tree. One of those that you just pull out of the box and the spring-loaded branches pop out with pre-wired lights. It took 20 seconds to set up. I now see the allure of these things.
It even came with ornaments – our landlord’s family Christmas ornaments. Photos of their family dog, their kid’s school projects, their vacation souvenirs, etc. These went right back into the box. So, we were on our own. There was no way were were going to buy anything – especially since we’ll be back in the bus in April.
A pile of ornaments aren’t coming with us, so everything will likely go right into the trash or fireplace when the tree comes down. It was time to get creative.
Everything we were about to recycle or throw away became a source of potential inspiration. For the past few weeks, when inspiration struck (usually in the form of a toilet paper roll), we’d cut and glue and glitter.
Toilet Paper Penguins showed up. A Stormtrooper Snowflake made an appearance. Popsicle stick elves? Why not.
A few wine cork reindeers visited. Their toilet-paper roll brethren also came.
A snowflake that’s actually a molecular model of a virus can be surprisingly decorative. So can an abominable snowman.
If you look at him in just the right way, that guy on the Pringles can has a major resemblance to a nutcracker. And, his mini-toiler paper roll nephew.
And, toilet paper roll owls. Lot’s of them.
Through this family bonding experience I learned two things. 1) We use A LOT of toilet paper and 2) I am a terrible artist, but my work is a great source of laughter to the boys.
Posted on October 27, 2013 by angela
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. 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 of 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 it.
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!
Posted on September 30, 2013 by angela
…From our friends at GoWesty!
Somewhere on the northern Brazilian coast when the constant heat and rain turned the inside of the bus into a petri dish, a kind reader suggested we get a mold-resistant pop-top tent. What a great idea! Where can we pick one up on the Amazon river? We couldn’t, of course, but the guys at GoWesty offered to help us out with a new one. At the time, we figured we’d be back in the U.S. eventually and really had no desire to install a pop-top tent in the rainforest. So, we balked until a more convenient time.
We are thrilled to announce that the fine folks at GoWesty have agreed to help us get Red Beard back in business. GoWesty has been a big supporter of our trip from the beginning – they’ve helped promote us, encouraged us and given us some great advice. Now, they’ve upped the ante and have generously supplied us with a bunch of great stuff.
After multiple friendly emails and a constantly expanding parts list, we had ourselves a contract with a burrito clause (we knew we had partnered with the right folks). Last week, big heavy boxes started arriving in the mail. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Jason so happy. So, a huge thanks to everyone at GoWesty for helping us prepare for the next phase of journey. We’re happy to be part of the family!
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