Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Road Trip Part IV

Entering Yellowstone at the North Gate

After Montana we headed south to Yellowstone National Park. I was eagerly anticipating the four days we had planned for Yellowstone: I had never been and the images that I have seen since I was a young kid made it seem like a very special place. Additionally, the month before our trip the August cover story for National Geographic was on Yellowstone and it's slumbering supervolcano that lies beneath, a sure sign that our road trip was destined for some cool experiences!

The Montana side of things in Gardiner... just as beautiful in the park

Right off the bat when you enter Mammoth Hot Springs you come across tons of elk. Very cool and very strange. I'll admit that being an Alaskan kid you become accustomed to being around a fair amount of moose and their tendencies to be casual towards humans and our habitat, but this is out of the ordinary. I was flabbergasted at how indifferent the elk were towards humans in Mammoth. A perk to this time of year is that it is rutting season and rightly so we spotted a feisty buck and his beautiful rack. But, what actually made it fascinating was not that the buck and his expectantly aggressive nature but rather the stupid tourists that were trying to get close so they could get a great photo. In some demented way I wish we stuck around to surely see that buck chase after some way-too-close touron.

Typical Yellowstone sighting: wildlife being wild and stupid tourists not too far away with their cameras thinking it's a good idea

It's amazing what great photos you can get from the car when an animal steps in front of you (okay, well minus the fact that she's crossing the street and there is a building and vehicles behind her)

Someone is letting us know who's boss...

After our first encounter with the domesticated animals in Mammoth we headed towards the northeast corner of Yellowstone, where it is the most mountainous and least touron packed. We were unable to secure a campsite in the park (be an early bird if you want to grasp a site at one of the good campgrounds!) so we headed out towards Cooke City for the evening. It is absolutely stunning out this way and our campsite was great so it was totally worth it. But alas, if you go be prepared for weather! I have no doubt that no matter what season it is this particular area gets a lot of precipitation. The canyon perfectly funnels everything in. We had multiple lightening storms overhead and I found myself scrambling several times for what I'm not so sure, if the lightning was going to hit me my running somehwhere was going to be too little too late. Fabulous nonetheless!

Driving in the northeast part of Yellowstone, headed towards Icebox Canyon

Camping just outside of the park near Cooke City in Icebox Canyon, we completely understood the reason why this canyon is named Icebox after only camping for one night

Cody using his master boy scout skills getting the campfire lit, I would completely feel safe in the middle of nowhere with this guy. Between his own learned wilderness knowledge and his intense fascination with shows like Surviorman, he's a man of many skills.

Cooking on the fire is very fulfilling: it's fun to think of dishes that are going to be satisfying and delicious. Plus, it's a time for me to eat hot dogs and feel really, really good about it.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Road Trip Part III

Good ol' Montana

Alright, so the last post I did was the big finale of the 2 week road trip that I was on with Cody which found us in Jackson Hole, Wyoming for TGR's world premiere of Re:Session. The post before was the launch of our eastbound travels with our first stop in Utah. It may seem like I started with an amuse bouche, a tasty little mouthful a chef teases his guests with to conjure excitement for the delicious journey s/he is going to take them on, and then I abruptly ended with dessert, which I did, but I couldn't help it. Ski movie premieres are so exciting! And truthfully, the order of our journey is unimportant. What is more exciting is sharing the mouthwatering details that came in between, except it wasn't so much a feast for our lips but rather our eyes... and next up on the list is Montana.

Camping on Cliff Lake in Madison County

This State holds a special place in my heart, which is saying a lot coming from a kid from Alaska. When I was a teen and fortunate with the chance to travel to resorts like Big Mountain (now named Whitefish) and Big Sky for ski racing, I deemed Montana the lower 48's "Alaska". On our trip we were in Montana for only a few days and stuck to the southeast corner of the State, but it was magnificent and I think one can get the gist by the pictures.

Cliff Lake

When we came across this lake Cody and I were astonished. All of the dead trees reminded me of the flattened land and dead trees that you come across in the Turnagain Arm in Alaska as a result of the tsunami of the 1964 earthquake. We discovered that in 1959 an earthquake in the Madison River County Area cause 80 million tons of rock to slide (and you can see in these two pictures how the whole mountainside slid) and dam the Madison River. The National Guard was called to the rescue but the natural disaster caused 28 deaths, millions of dollars in damage to the surrounding highways and forests, and a lake now known as Quake Lake.

Quake Lake in Madison County

More of the lake they call Quake

We were so thrilled to be on this trip that we couldn't hold back on the tourist trap photos... more to come!

The Gallatin River

Fishing on the Yellowstone River near Chico Hot Springs

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Road Trip Part II - TGR World Premiere

It's pretty ridiculous to see this star studded line-up: Sage Cattabriga-Alosa, Ian McIntosh, Callum Petit, Cody Townsend, Dylan Hood, Erik Roner, Todd Ligare, Sammy Carlson, Wiley Miller, Seth Morrison and Dana Flahr

Now that I'm finally back in Santa Cruz after a fun-filled, activity-packed road trip loaded with adventure, I now have the chance to catch up on all that went down. I think it's fitting to pick up with our last stop, the TGR World Premiere in Jackson Hole, because I and everyone else that is chomping at the bit for the ski season to begin is super excited to check out anything that is ski related. Especially ski porn! Cody is a newbie to the TGR crew, so the two of us were really excited to join in on the legendary festivities that surround the premiere in Jackson.

Cody just couldn't contain his excitement for hanging out with one of his heros, Seth Morrison

It may make your hand cramp but it's really exciting to sign posters for fans. Cody enjoying the moment alongside Dylan Hood and Dash Longe.

The Powder Magazine boys, John Stifter and Matt Hansen, getting giddy while waiting to watch the movie

The amount of posters being signed on this evening definitely helps out the paper industry

Hanging with Annika Dahl, Roner's biggest fan and fiance

The sold-out crowd eagerly anticipating the movie

Adam Clark, one of the best ski photographers in the business, alongside Stifter

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Road Trip Part I

Guess where this is..? The scenery doesn't change much for 8 hours so your guess is as good as mine

I have always found September to be one of the best months of the year, and it's not just because it happens to be my birthday month. The weather is still nice, kids have gone back to school, tourists stop touring and it seems to be a time when sports are metamorphosing for the better. Yeah the NFL is starting and baseball is really heating up as the playoffs near, but the sports I'm interested in are either kicking off or getting better. The surf starts to pick up. The fishing starts to turn on in the lower 48. Duck and hunting season opens (okay, I'm not exactly a hunter even though I am Alaskan but I definitely eat the meat my friends pass along). And the best part of it all? Ski movie premieres!

Who doesn't love a good sunset?

Since I don't find myself down in South America gorging myself on powder and Argentinian steak the first half of this September, I'm taking a road trip with Cody through Utah, Montana and Wyoming for some camping, fishing, mountain biking and ski movie watching. A fun adventure for sure! So here is part I starting with the long drive across Nevada and hanging with the Salomon posse. Work meetings may sound like an unexciting way to start off an adventure but when you love skiing as much as I do the business side of it all is actually really invigorating. Hopefully before we know it we'll be skiing the great white fluff.

Flexing my way out of boredom

Salt factories once you hit Utah

Who doesn't start to do silly things once you've been driving for 6 hours?

Salomon BBQ at Jean-Yves Couput's house

Friday, September 4, 2009

Santa Cruz Surfin'

Northern California coastline, near SC

Our buddy Brayton Furlong gettin' some at an undisclosed place

If I didn't have this crazy passion for skiing and the mountains you would find me living at the beach year round. Alas, I just live next to the beach in the off-season, aka Santa Cruz. Living on the East Side in Pleasure Point in Santa Cruz in the summer/fall equates lots of surfing for myself. Surfing is an amazing sport, and I wish I had been doing it my whole life so I would be a heck of a lot better than I am. I guess I have finally found a shortcoming of growing up in Alaska!

Cody making a slasher out at Sewer's

I'm just killing it in the tiny waves! haha!

Taking pleasure in the small stuff

That wave looks nice...

Cody about to be barreled

Bummer Cody! Heavy waves like the one below + shallow water = broken boards

Brayton in the heavy