The Awesome – DAY 30 – FINALE!.
The Awesome. Is over.
Well, the blogging about Awesome for the year anyway. Please do not worry, I will continue to be as Awesome as possible throughout my existence. I owe it to you all.
But for day 30, the Awesomeest of Awesome went down on Mount Hood. I got to shred with two of the most Awesome girls I know. Lesley Betts and Jessica Werner. You may or may not know them from my many blog posts thus far.
Anyway, we got our shred on and it was great. Pretty much the best way to end our 30 days as the reason we all met in the first place is because of our respective careers that surround the ski and snowboard world.
It was a beautiful day. Full of sunshine and hangovers. No better way to end the Awesome adventure than doing what got us all into it in the first place.
So thank you all for following my exploits. I hope along the way you were inspired to get out and be Awesome as well. Stay tuned to 30daysofawesome.com for info on next year’s journey.
The Awesome – Day 29 : BIRTHDAY!.
Yup. July 8th, 1982. I was born. Also, yup, that makes me old.
The good news? Keri was born August 16, 1982, so she feels my pain. And also almost as proficient as I am about lying about it. So it was only fitting that she was willing to kick it with me all day to celebrate by day of birth.
She biked over to pick me up at 10:00 AM and we went to the Brightwood Beach. A sandy spot on the bank of the Salmon River with roaring currents and rocks to jump off of. We drank Tecates, and Rainers (had to get the annual Viatmin R intake), flipped and dove off rocks, got super tan and had a GREAT time. Thanks, Keri!
We stayed at the beach until about 5:00, went to camp, kicked it, twisted at the Ark and peaced to Skyway for a necessary helping of the amazing macaroni and cheese. Scotty, Justin, Tanner, Spriggs, Dania, Bishop and others met us there for dinner and drinks and we ended the night at Justin’s house making s’mores and being drunk. Oh! And Dania got up on stage, played the piano and sang me happy birthday. Awesome!
Bishop drove me back to Scotty’s and I slept on the floor. Happy birthday to me.
The Awesome – Day 28 : Olympics. Better late than never.
Being in Vancouver and Whistler the past few days. I thought I’d give myself a tour of some of the locations they still had available with some left over Olympic spirit.
I’ve never been to the Olympics and would love to go. I’m thinking maybe Russia. Can’t wait to try their vodka.
Anyway, the Whistler Village still has some statues up of the rings, the Inukshuk statue and various photos and statues littered around. Also touching was the memorial set up for the luge athlete Nodar Kumaritashvili from Georgia who passed away during a training run at the games when he flew over the side of the track. Tons of people from all over the country still leave mementos, write him notes in a notebook and pay tribute to his athleticism and country when they visit.
One thing that kept repeating in my tour is the Inukshuk statues. These are statues of stone, made by humans of native descent taht were used for navigation. It is now serves as an Inuit cultural symbol. They are pretty cool structures that are steeped in historic tradition.
Also all over the place were the three mascots of the Olympics: Quatchi, a sasquatch; Miga, a young sea bear (part bear part killer whale) who loves to snowboard; and Sumi, the animal spirit who can transform. Not sure who came up with these mascots but I’m sure they were on acid.
Enjoy some photos, then go check out more awesomeness at 30daysofawesome.com.
The Awesome – Day 27 : Hangovers, water ramps and sun, oh my!.
What can I tell you about yesterday… It was Awsome.
Technically, yesterday started at midnight, and I rolled into yesterday in a heightened state of Awesome thanks to multiple factors including Whistler, Sake Margaritas and Sarah Burke.
What started as a mellow dinner at Earls with Steve rolled into an all-out bash in Whistler Village. From Earls, we went to Momentum staff dinner at Sushi Village which was highlighted by rounds of the boys singing Warren Zevon, taking their shirts off, slapping each other silly and Rory hiding their shirts in a tree.
From there, a mass exodus made their way to Garfinkles for a rap battle. It sucked. It’s Canada. Not much more can be said. I went to find the adults at Amsterdam per Sarah’s beckoning and was instantly treated to more double blueberry vodka sodas than one would deem healthy. Some shit talking, more drinking, shots and drunkeness later, Sarah, Elsa, Jess, Steve, Alex and more made our way to Moe Joes, ran out, went to a hotel party at Alex’s room (no gold medal, but lots of vodka) got progressively more drunk, Sarah donned bike shorts from someone in the room, stole a bike, rode it around the village for a while, ditched it in the trees and ran home.
It was right about this point that I ran into Luke VanValin, Chug, Schmuck, filmer Drew, Kyle from Salomon, AJ, Meg and who knows who else. Chug picked me up, carried me around much to my dismay and then dropped me on the ground, much to my greater dismay and the health of my elbow. Once recovered, a CATASTROPHE presented itself. My travel wallet had been stolen. Yes, big-time rookie mistake, I had taken everything out with me. Mind you, I had anticipated a mere dinner at Earls and my drivers license had recently been purloined by the Man. So, my passport was my only form of ID.
Someone said they saw whodunit, and we were in hot pursuit. I love my friends. More accurately, acquaintances who turn out to be friends in the most hairy of situations. Drew, Schmuck, Kyle, AJ and Steve would not rest until my wallet had been rescued, even if that meant beating the shit out of the dude who had it. After said dude sent us on a 20-minute wild goose chase (claiming he “knew who had it, it’s right over there.”) the boys came through and it was back in my possession. Holy wave of relief.
The only thing missing? My room key. fach.
AJ And Kyle patiently waited with me in the hallway until maintenance was able to come to the rescue. We all passed out promptly… around 5:00 am, after AJ had called everyone in my phone directory whom he knew, about 30 people. That will cost me about $100. No big deal. Still love that kid.
So, awesome night, but, to top off the day, we went to Splashdown. The first annual waterramp event hosted by Momentum, sponsored by Freeskier that had a KILLER turnout. Very stoked on the outcome.
The Whistler water ramps are where some of the first freeride tricks went down by the New Canadian Airforce including the D-Spin and the mute grab. Mike Douglas and JP Auclair were even here today to witness the further progression which included a 1620 double flat spin by Riddle and a triple front flip by Mike Henitiuk.
The boys crushed the water ramps, the sun was out, Luke was in short shorts and we all got a sun burn. Very Awesome. Check out the full story on freeskier.com.
I kicked it with the female campers and Corey while Steve crushed the coverage. Super proud of the new guy. Good work, buddy.
The Awesome – Day 26 : Air bag jumping.
Okay, on this day, Day 26 of Awesome, I really figured out what 30daysofawesome is all about. I mean, I had been pretty much there on a few other days, but Day 26 really solidified it for me.
I have been at numerous events and facilities in the course of my life, mostly due to my job, and been presented with multiple opportunities to try something new. More often than not, I decline these opportunities under the guise of not wanting to get injured, not being skillful enough, etc…
I could have proceeded with this mentality out on the glacier the other day when some of the folks at Momentum Ski Camps were sessioning the air bag. Let me explain the air bag quickly. It is placed on snow to simulate the landing of a jump and is there for athletes and campers to try new tricks without fear of landing on snow and getting hurt. It’s a great invention and Trennon, head coach at Momentum, has it set up so there is a big air type jump and a pipe hit simulation as well.
My good friend Kristi was hitting the air bag and I was hanging out, taking photos, and being “media”, not an athlete.
But after some encouraging from her, Sarah and Roz, I decided to step up, be Awesome and hit the airbag. Something I would not have done had it not been for the idea in the back of my head that this could be my Awesome for the day, and it was something new I knew I could do. Basically, Awesome provided the last bit of motivation to get up there and do it.
The jump itself is rather intimidating. It is more like a very poppy BMX jump than your traditional terrain park hit. In that regard, you are BOOSTED into the air and provided with enough time to learn new tricks. But when approaching it, it looks like a wall of snow that is going to kick you straight into the stratosphere.
As it were, I did it. With a couple 180 warm ups and a 360 to finish the session, I completed the goal, got Awesome and had a great time doing it.
Big thanks to Kristi and Roz for taking photos and Sarah and Kristi for coaching me through it and providing a non-intimidating atmosphere. I had a GREAT time at camp and can’t wait to go back again next year.
Maybe Jess, Lesley and Tawnya will come next year too to get even more Awesome.
The Awesome – Day 25 : Girls night to the max.
Yesterday, the four female Momentum coaches and myself took 20 girls to one little nail salon for everyone to get manicures.
I can, with conviction, say I have never had a manicure before. Not once. It has never been an appealing activity to me. But I couldn’t say no and off we marched. Buddy system in tact.
It was a teenage movie in its entirety. Trashy celebrity magazines, gossiping about boys and arguments about who got to choose which color.
Our nail technicians were mildly drunk, not that I blame them, but it proved to be hilarious.
Me to the two mid-40 (50?) ish women: “How long have you two been friends?”
Lady 1: “Too fucking long.”
Lady 2: “In dog years or human years?”
Meg and I: “(silence paired with deer-in-headlights stare.)”
Mind you, the coaches went last, so we had been in the salon a couple of hours at this point and seen more than one bottle of wine go down.
Lady 1 to Sarah: “Oh that’s a nice ring. Let me see that thing. Are there thorns growing out of it yet?”
Sarah: “(nervous giggle)”
Lady 2: “There will be you know. And he’ll turn into your ball and chain before you know it.”
Me: “Easy ladies. It’s a rather recent addition to her finger.”
Lady 1: “Well she needs to learn. They all become ball and chains soon enough.”
Meg, Sarah, Roz, Chelsea and I: “(silence paired with deer-in-headlights stare.)”
All in all, it was a hilarious and Awesome time. Female bonding at his finest, I think…
I bond with Jess, Lesley and Tawnya as females all the time. I think…
The Awesome – Day 24 : The hippiness of the PNW.
I’ve been told Boulder has one of the best Farmer’s Markets going. I’ve also been told Whistler has the best.
I’ve long been a patron of the Boulder spectacle and all the hippiness the middle America has to offer. And when presented with the opportunity to check out the Whistler counterpart, I had to see for myself just who held the title of the Highest Order of Organic Hippidom.
While the Whistler fair might trump the one in Boulder for homemade crafts, the one in my current home town has far more in the way of edible, home grown delights. I couldn’t find a tomato to save my life in the Whistler tent village. But being able to see someone spin wool into yarn and having more tie-dye selections than Jerry Garcia’s closet is a pretty nice selling feature of the Canadian fair option. Not only that, but the setting — the plush greenery of the base of Blackcomb — in my mind trumps the hot desert like downtown Boulder. But, I’m jaded.
So, truth be told, one isn’t better than the other. They both beat the shit out of the Niwot Farmer’s Market, that’s for sure. I tried going there for day 16 of Awesome and there was no justifying it in any way.
But both Boulder and Whistler go full boar with the Farmer’s Market idea and the opportunity for local artisans and growers to peddle their wares is one to be traditioned.
Check out the local talent at the Whistler Farmer’s Market below.
Oh, and I know they have already posted day 24, but check out Tawnya, Lesley and Jess.
The Awesome – Day 23 : Make up a life day.
We’ve all done it. Some of us more than others, perhaps. And me… maybe more than them.
Here’s the scenario: You’re sitting at a bar in a random airport and you’re flying solo. Two gentlemen of mid age come in, sit down, start talking about riding bikes and laying pipe up in Wyoming. They’re from Oklahoma, one just got divorced and the other is on marriage number three, five kids, four adopted.
The next thing you know, they’re buying you crown and waters and you’re spilling your life story. About how you’re from the middle of Illinois, grew up milking cows and shucking corn with seven older brothers who all played football at the University of Illinois.
Oh wait, that has nothing to do with your real life. Exactly. It’s called making shit up. And it’s fun. And I do it all the time when traveling.
I’m not entirely sure Randy and Tony — the two mid-age gentlemen from Oklahoma — bought it hook line and sinker, but hey, no harm no foul.
This “make-shit-up” day was particularly Awesome because I got drunk and documented my new friends with a photo. Oh, and because I told them my name was Emma Lou. And my momma is totally going to look them up at Sturgis.
Even when I make shit up, though, I still talk about my three beezies, Lesley, Jess and Tawnya.
Tony, Emma Lou, and Randy.
The Awesome – Day 22 : Oh, Canadia!.
I sometimes consider myself an honorary Canadian. Not too sure why. I mean, I’m from Michigan, I have an accent similar to that of Canadians and I love hockey. But, I have never fully celebrated the birth of Canada in the way I have celebrated the beginning of America for the past 27 years. Yesterday, I decided to remedy that.
Thanks to my buddy, @harvitronix, I was able to wear a Canadian flag pinned to my shirt all day. I was a little wary of the jankiness of the plan, but Harvey assured me the “ghettoer the better.” Being the only true Canadian I had to ask at that moment, I took his word for it.
The makeshift patriotism was good and all, but to truly celebrate Canadianism, I had to go further. And what screams Canada more than Poutine. So I concocted a batch for my co-workers. Harvey questioned the authenticity of it, but cheese curds are hard to find in Colorado. So, I did the best I could.
To go with this lovely french fry, gravy and cheese concoction, I had to invest in a case of Molson. How do you say “duh” in Canadian?
Thanks to the SMP crew for participating in Canadian Day with me. Since I’ll actually be in Canada for the 4th of July, my patriotic identity is bound to be in question soon, so stay tuned.
These chicks are not Canadian, but they are Awesome: Jess, Lesley and Tawnya.
The Awesome – Day 21 : They called me Cupcake...
It’s true. My nickname when I lived in Winter Park was Cupcake. How embarrassing. But I suppose it’s better than “Spawn of Satan” which was a favorite of some of my high school classmates for a couple of months for reasons I will not bore you with here (Leeann — known for breaking hearts — was “Satan”, Cari and I as her best friends were coined “Spawn of Satan”. We’ll leave it at that.)
Back to Cupcake… The kids I taught skiing to love calling me that, some inadvertently changed it to Muffin here and there, but since then, I have always had an affinity for cupcakes in all forms. So when I found a store in Denver called The Shoppe that served up amazing homemade cupcakes, I had to suss it out.
Welcome to The Shoppe. 3103 East Colfax.
I looked it up on the internet and then it was like, Ka-Blow! Not only did they have some seriously good looking cupcakes, they served cereal with any toppings you could dream up. That’s right folks, a CEREAL BAR. Think Baskin Robbins and all of their 31 flavors and copious amounts of toppings, but instead of ice cream, you were shown a buffet of Honey Nut Cheerios, Chex and Trix. They’re not just for kids anymore, suckas!
Once your cereal of choice is determined, you are able to load it up with all the fixin’s. Like fresh fruit, chocolate chips, caramel, whip cream, etc…
Who doesn't think that sounds amazing? I pity the fool.
I opted for the cereal concoction of the day… Strawberry Special K with fresh strawberries and white chocolate chips, complete with fat-free milk. Holy Awesomeness in a bowl, Batman.
Words can not explain how excited I am at this moment.
Of course I also had to get a cupcake as well. I went with Carrot and Zach opted for chocolate peanut butter. Real healthy little meal we have happening here. Thank goodness for the milk.
Amazing Awesomeness on a tray.
This place had many other assortments of fun and creativity including coloring contests, local artwork, an enviable collection of board games and racks of clothes from local designers. All Awesome things.
Also Awesome are Jess, Lesley and Tawnya.
How cool is that cupcake thing?
You sunk my battleship! Operation! Do not pass go!
Artwork created for the Shoppe.
The artwork of Matt Novak created for The Shoppe.