Category Archives: Snowboarding

Mix Nuts Bowl Session at Rusutsu Resort

Reblog from my posting on japansnowboarding.com from March 4th

 

Japan is full of surprises. Did you know they have an event at Rusutsu Resort called “Mixed Nuts Bowl”? Neither did we. Ever heard of the Holy Bowly? Mixed Nuts was like that; a whole course of snow shaped like a set of downhill skatepark bowls, hips and a transfer or two.

Our friend Yuki at Negula pulled one of us aside Thursday night and showed us an edit from last year’s Mixed Nuts Bowl. It turned out to be at a resort not far from where we were staying and happening the next day. Snow had been a bit lacking for us lately, so we were all excited to have the chance to get out and ride in something.

We loaded our five-person car with six people plus all of our snowboard/photo/film gear (it was cozy) and drove off towards Rusutsu. After hanging out in a closed amusement park-

Colby found an octupus to surprise.
Colby found an octupus to surprise. Photo- Jenna Kuklinski

-we made our way over to the resort. As per the usual, we didn’t really know what we were supposed to do once we got there, so we asked a couple kids in a lift line. As soon as they realized we needed help finding where to sign up for the event, they unstrapped from their boards, jumped out of line, grabbed a flyer from a liftee and walked us the 100 yards or so over to the tent where we could sign up. Once we’d gotten things sorted and waivers signed the two kids strapped back in and rode off. They weren’t even doing the event themselves. People here are really too nice.

The event itself was super fun; as Madison Ellsworth put it, “It’s like skating a bowl but I’m on a snowboard and actually good at it.”

A rider starts carving down the course at Rusutsu's Mixed Nuts Bowl Photo- Jenna Kuklinski
A rider starts carving down the course at Rusutsu’s Mixed Nuts Bowl Photo- Jenna Kuklinski
Jenna Kuklinski Hiking the Course
Jenna hiking the course. So nice of them to think to add steps. Photo- Jeremy Dubs

The riding was one thing and then the announcer for the event was another. This dude was something else; at first he merely called out tricks people were doing, most of them in english. Then; and I don’t know if people switched off here or if it was the same guy, but the person on the mic was suddenly rapping for a good solid hour and a half. It was mostly in Japanese, but every now and then he’d get on a kick of just shouting, “Mix Nuts Bowl! Mix nuts! Mix Nuts! Ride, ride, ride, ride! Mix nuts! Ya! Ride! Microphone! 1, 2, 3! group 247 we here! Mix Nuts! Mix Nuts Bowl!”; it was amazing.

You can just tell he's staring at the camera thinking of new ways to remix "Mix Nuts" on the mic. Photo- Jeremy Dubs
You can just tell he’s staring at the camera thinking of new ways to remix “Mix Nuts” on the mic. Photo- Jeremy Dubs

Towards the end of the night we still didn’t know if the event was a contest or something they were just doing for fun; but we didn’t really care either way. We’d gotten out on our boards and just rode in a group full of Japanese shredders. Watching those guys on their surfy carving boards fly around the banks was a reminder of how tricks aren’t everything; if you have great style anything you do, down to simply carving, will look unique.

We walked back to the car, loaded everything up again and headed back to Niseko Negula, our home away from home. There was more riding to be done tomorrow.

Good Times all around; Colby hanging out with Yuki, Keita, Yasue and Nimo on the side of the bowls. Photo-Jenna Kuklinski
Good Times all around; Colby hanging out with Yuki, Keita, Yasue and Nimo on the side of the bowls. Photo- Jenna Kuklinski
Mixed Nuts Rusutsu Flyer
Mixed Nuts Rusutsu Flyer
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Hiking Mt. Yotei

Repost from my entry on japansnowboarding.com; Feb 27th. Enjoy!

We tried to get up early, we really did. As with most things such as this, it just wasn’t early enough. Even so, our day of hiking and filming on Mt. Yotei near Niseko was nothing short of phenomenal.

We were up around 6:30 and out the door maybe an hour later. A quick stop at Seico mart for snacks and then another jaunt down the road and we found ourselves at the base of this stunning volcano.

Nimo the Inu found Yotei. Photo by Masato Aihara
Nimo the Inu found Yotei. Photo by Masato Aihara

Snowshoes were passed out, bags were packed, cameras started clicking and then we were off! We had one fantastic and diverse group heading out all together; Keita Nakamura again, Masato Aihara; a chef at Niseko Negula, Ryu Okawa; a friend of mine I’d met in Alaska and found out he was in the Niseko area, Wataru Miyazaki; the owner of the place we’ve been staying at- Niseko Negula, Darryl Naidu; an Aussie staying at Niseko Negula as well, and Mori-Mori; a determined guy who hiked the whole way snowshoeing in his ski boots.

We all trudged the mile or so to the base of the mountain together where we’d finally start our ascent. Getting in to the woods at the base of Yotei was exciting and bit intimidating at the same time. The volcano loomed up huge in front of us all, looking almost too steep for anyone short of seasoned mountaineers to summit. Keita and a few others said they’d all done it before though, so we had to believe it could be done and hike on.

Andy with the traditional peace-sign shot. Photo by Jenna Kuklinski
Andy with the traditional peace-sign shot. Photo by Jenna Kuklinski

As we clomped and slid (two people had skins on some planks) further up the side of the mountain the place grew more and more still. Earlier we’d stopped in a wide-open field to film a few talking pieces and get everyone’s first impression of the mountain. Our friend and mountain guide, Keita, had said during his short inquisition that he loved how quiet things got when you were high on the side of a mammoth mountain. I was beginning to see what he meant.

Jenna and Colby starting the hike up Yotei. Photo by Andy Stern
Jenna and Colby starting the hike up Yotei. Photo by Andy Stern

Japan is different, in almost every single way. It’s not just that we don’t share the same language. It’s the fact that they have things like necklace name-tags on their milk jug, just to let you know it is in fact milk. They drive on the left side of the road. You get carded for cigarettes but anyone can pick up a beer and be drinking while walking down the street (smoking, however, must happen in indoor designated areas unless you’re outside of town). Toilet seats are all heated and no one tells you how many group baths you’ll take with strangers, scrubbing next to them on low stools.

Not to compare soaping up next to a stranger with hiking a volcano in snowshoes; what I’m trying to get at here is that even the hiking is different. We were in an area that was easily accessed from town; the hiking was steep in places for sure, but not too bad. If this were a place in the states we would have seen at least one or two other groups out there. Instead, the only living thing we saw outside of our company was a giant white rabbit that ran across the snow and scared Dubs. It was empty, but not desolate. The terrain here is breathtaking, it can’t be describe in any other way. Andy commented at one point that he was getting chills down his spine. Later, our friend Ryu admitted to feeling the same. That’s how Japan is.

After hiking for about four hours Madison spied something in the trees he really wanted to hit and right after he sent it we found another gully that was begging us to ride through it. We then had to pause and debate for a minute; if we stopped there and filmed everyone going through the area then we wouldn’t be able to summit. If we pushed on to summit then we would have gathered very little footage from a whole day of hiking. After a bit we decided that we should forgo summitting for the day and instead get clips of riding in the trees.

Dubs checking his camera while Masato does the same behind him. Photo by Jenna Kuklinski
Dubs checking his camera while Masato does the same behind him. Photo by Jenna Kuklinski

Though getting to the top of the cratered volcano would have been amazing, we were all just as stoked to be riding through the trees and finding super fun natural features. There are so many stumps, gullys, sun-splotched clearnings of untouched snow and fantastic backdrops on the side of Yotei that we rode until we could ride no more and were still talking about how we could probably spend our whole trip on the slopes of Yotei.

Ryu Okawa hikes and skis fast. Photo by Masato Aihara
Ryu Okawa hikes and skis fast. Photo by Masato Aihara
Keita Nakamura goes deep into the chute at Yotei. Photo by Masato Aihara
Keita Nakamura goes deep into the chute at Yotei. Photo by Masato Aihara

Madison Ellsworth lays out a slash 2. Photo by Masato Aihara

Masato Aihara has some great surfer style. Photo by Keita Nakamura
Keita Nakamura has some great surfer style. Photo by Masato Aihara
Keita Nakamura getting chased by his inu Nimo. Photo by Masato Aihara
Keita Nakamura getting chased by his inu Nimo. Photo by Masato Aihara

When we were spent we packed up all of our hiking gear and strapped back in to our boards. Riding down through the trees was just as fun as hiking features and though I can’t speak for everyone, I know I had a perma-grin plastered on my face the entire way down.

At the bottom we were greeted by the other half of our group with running high-fives, tons of laughter and more mad grins. We hadn’t accomplished our original goal for the day, but what we had done was just as amazing. If this is how things are going with week-old snow, I can’t wait to see how it is when we finally get a real snow storm to blow through.

Oh, and after all of this we went to another Onsen to scrub clean on stools next to naked strangers. It was fantastic.

The crew stoked for a day hiking Mt Yotei. Photo by Masato Aihara
The crew stoked from a day at Mt Yotei. Photo by Masato Aihara

Ohayo

A lady about my age sat down in the window seat next to mine on the tiny jet that was flying from SLC to LAX. She was dressed up, make-uped, in a skirt and carrying a giant fluffy pillow and tan jangly hand bag. A really friendly person, we started chatting about where we were each headed. She was a Mormon girl from Arizona on her Mission, going from Temple Square to a place in california for about four months. I told her I was headed to Sapporo, Japan to snowboard.

“I love snowboarding! But, isn’t Japan kind of far to go to snowboard?”

Sometimes I forget that not everyone in the world is living the same lifestyle as myself and my friends. When I told people I know that I was getting to snowboard in Japan they usually responded with, “Dream Trip!”, “I’m so jealous!”, “Go slash some Japan Pow, you’re so lucky!” (“take a radiation suit”).That’s the same kind of mindset we’re all in. We know Japan has amazing snow, we all believe it’s a crazy fun place to visit and we all love to travel for the sake of traveling. What we forget (like I did) is that there is a whole other world (er, worlds, rather) that think we are, basically, a little crazy.

I’m ok with that.

Going from having this trip be a possible notion, to purchasing my ticket, to waking up at 3am this morning with my sister Rachel and Tyler to drive to the SLC airport to waiting here in LAX to board a plane to Tokyo… it’s kind of a whirlwind. It still hasn’t settled in. Though I keep getting reminded of where I’m about to dive into by all the people speaking Japanese around me in the terminal. The only thing I can really understand out of what they’re saying is, “Thank you”. I guess that’s not a bad phrase to know. I could just thank everyone I met in Japan. I’m going to be this American running around with a giant snowboard bag shouting, “Thank You! Thank You!” at everyone for no particular reason. I think it’ll go really well. I may have trouble actually getting  help with anything but at least they’ll find me polite.

Right now I’m a mix of excited and nervous. This is going to be my first international flight, and I have to sit relatively still for 11 1/2 hours in a middle chair of economy seating. I’m really hoping by some miracle they just HAVE to upgrade me to business or first class, though that does seem a little unlikely.

I’ll be posting as often as possible on here and everywhere else I can while I’m over there. I’ve been told the wifi is plentiful in Japan.

And now, for the next two and half hours before my flight I believe I may go find a place that serves mimosas and prepare myself to (inevitably) find I’ve been seated in the middle chair between two overly-large individuals and they’ll both fall asleep and drool/snore on me as I try to learn a few more words of japanese before I land in Tokyo.

Arigato!

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4×4 Chains or Traction Tires Required

The warning on the flashing yellow sign was supposedly only speaking to Commercial Vehicles (giant 18-wheeler trucks) but I guess I should’ve known they were talking to me and my little Mazda as well.

Driving out to SIA was an adventure in itself. Before we even got to Denver we’d already had ourselves a crazy sleepless night where people got drunk, people got lost, someone got sick, we got to hang out in a hot tub and the police showed up (not necessarily in that order).

What we all learned: Everyone needs a bathrobe.
What we all learned: Everyone needs a bathrobe.

I knew that we were supposed to get a little snow for the drive out to SIA in Denver, CO. I didn’t know that meant we’d be driving through a snow storm. At 4:00am Thursday morning the 30th of January, my car stopped moving uphill on the Vail pass four miles from the summit during this ‘dusting’ of a storm. Four miles isn’t all that far when you’re driving on the highway, but when you’re pushing a car uphill in a blizzard those four miles turn into a VERY long distance.

This was pre-blizzard; Amanda having a gay ol' time in the Mazda.
This was pre-blizzard; Amanda having a gay ol’ time in the Mazda.

Luckily, Eli’s beast of a Volvo was still cruising up the pass. With Kevin and Eli pushing the Mazda through the snow and Tyler driving the Volvo we finally were making some uphill progress. Then, even, traction! I broke away from the Volvo and was cruising up the pass a good mile or so before we got stuck again and Amanda and I had to wait for Tyler to meet up with us. Then we got a call from Tyler saying he’d been reversing down the freeway for 15 minutes and had seen no sign of either Kevin or Eli. Oh Shit. It is now 4:30am, the blizzard is still blizzarding, 18-wheeler trucker trucks are flying up around and past us and we don’t know where the hell two of our friends just ended up out there.

Then Amanda got a message from an officer. He was on his way to find us, and had Kevin and Tyler in his car with us. We were so hyped that our friends weren’t plowed and mangled in a snowbank somewhere on the side of the pass!

When we told Tyler he was relieved, then freaked out because, “Amanda I can’t be driving this car when the officer gets here, I’m _____.” (You can fill in the blank here. I’m gonna just leave it at that).

Amanda gets into Eli’s car, the officer gets up to us in his car, I’m still hanging out in my car and we’re all reunited. The officer apparently picked our two friends up, then spun out for about 20minutes in his rear-wheel drive charger somewhere along the pass before making his way up to us. He then offered to try and push us with his car, but after he almost spun out into the guardrail we just thanked him and went back to pushing the Mazda with the Volvo all the way to the crest of the pass.

Planking
Planking

By the time we reached Amanda’s parent’s house it was 6am and none of us had slept at all. So we decided it’d be best if we just skipped the sleep and jumped straight into the hot tub. Once we got suited up in swim wear and bathrobes, we booked it back out into the storm and splashed into the glorious outdoor tub. Sitting there, cracked out from no sleep and our ridiculous adventure on the pass we laughed and joked and froze our ears off watching the sky lighten around us. Giant flakes whipped around the little alcove of the hot tub while we kept laughing and realizing how much you can really get done when you just don’t sleep.

SIA was it’s own adventure and half, with more talking and schmoozing than actual time spent checking out vendor’s booths. I met people, met up with people, ran around, drank, got lost and had one hell of a time. I also linked up with my friends Jeremy Dubs and Andy Stern, and officially got invited along for their trip to Japan. Two weeks later, I’m just as stoked from all of this and I have my plane ticket booked to leave the 19th to fly to Sapporo. Life is amazing, hilarious and one swell adventure. I can’t wait to keep getting after this thing (whatever it is) cause it’s real fun.

Here’s a little photo gallery of all the fun that was had-

Transworld's Riders Poll Awards with Marie-France Roy, Jean-Marie and Chelsea. We drank a lot of flavor whiskey that night
Transworld’s Riders Poll Awards with Marie-France Roy, Jean-Marie and Chelsea. We drank a lot of flavor whiskey that night
Yep. A lot of Blackberry Whiskeys.
Yep. A lot of Blackberry Whiskeys.
Before
Before
After (Hint- this wasn't Tyler's doing)
After
(Hint- this wasn’t Tyler’s doing)
R1-03736-0016
Everybody needs a buddy
Group shot
Group shot
We're going to Japan! Sugoi!
We’re going to Japan! Sugoi!
Oh yeah, there was product too. I really liked these graphics.
Oh yeah, there was product too. I really liked these graphics.
Kevin starting the day off right
Kevin starting the day off right
Spotted! A set of Smartwools on my friend's feet.
Spotted! A set of Smartwools on my friend’s feet.

 

 

 

My roomates for the duration of this trip.
My roomates for the entirety of SIA. Don’t they look great?
Burton hosted one mean game of Stump.
Burton hosted one mean game of Stump.
This guy in the background flipped me off after I took this photo.
This guy in the background flipped me off after I took this photo.
And there you have it, one hell of a time at SIA Denver 2014. (rolling four-deep in the backseat to get from Denver to Silverthorne and back to my car that was still parked there)
And there you have it, one hell of a time at SIA Denver 2014. (rolling four-deep in the backseat to get from Denver to Silverthorne and back to my car that was still parked there)

Dear Winter, Where are you? – Sincerely Concerned, Alaska.

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After forgoing my dream of moving to a ski town in the lower 48 post college graduation in favor of gaining experience backcountry skiing, I was certain that my decision to stay at home in Alaska for the winter was bound to be a good one. This was the winter that I would spend every day off touring and taking in the beauty of the mountains in my backyard. This also happens to be the year that it just isn’t snowing, as in we haven’t got a dump since sometime in December.

I have been working two jobs lately in order to afford all the gear I need, as well as to save for unforeseen future adventures, so needless to say haven’t had much time to play, which can be very frustrating for an avid adventure seeker like myself. It has only been bearable due to the lack of fresh snow. My friend and I had set aside a specific weekend to do a backcountry trip to a hut in the Talkeetna’s. We had planned the trip three weeks out, which gave us plenty of time to prepare, and I was stoked! The weekend finally rolls around and Houston, we have a problem. For the past three weeks while everywhere else in America is dealing with a crazy cold spell “the Poler vortex”, we are having a heat wave! And by heat wave I mean 45 degrees and raining, in January!

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Alaska’s climate, January is often the coldest month, temps barley get above freezing. The warm spell that we are experiencing has made the mountains a mess, super unstable snowpack, avalanche’s going off all over the place, which is some really scary stuff considering how many people we’ve already lost this year.

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So while I had accepted the fact that our backcountry trip wasn’t happening, nevertheless I still needed to get the hell out of the city. I felt like it was crucial for me to do something outside or else I was going to lose my mind. The problem arose as my friend and I were completely stumped as to what to do. Ice climbing, ice skating, cross-country skiing were all thrown out, as it was just too damn warm all the snow was melting! After going back and forth bitching about the weather, talking about all the things we couldn’t do, just being negative Nancy’s, I had an idea, Hiking! We can go hiking and turn it into a photo mission, it was just about the only thing that seemed to make sense. So we gathered some gear, made huge breakfast burritos and hit the road. We drove about three hours from the city to arrive at the Matanuska Glacier. There is a little hill/mountain called Lion’s Head (see photo below), which overlooks the glacier. I would argue that although to summit (during summer) takes barely over an hour, it is one of the most magnificent views I have seen in my lifetime.

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Having no idea what to expect with all the crazy weather, we decided on hiking in our Sorels with trekking poles. The snow ended up being a lot deeper than we had anticipated, and we were losing daylight fast. After a lot of post-holing, and following moose tracks up the hill we realized reaching the summit wasn’t going to happen. The problem is that the trail starts on the backside, and snakes around, so in order to see the view of the glacier, you have to go up and over. We ended up posting up in a spot that at some point has been a moose’s bed, cracked some beers and enjoyed the view. What we could see was not the active glacier, but the beautiful valley that had been carved out from the days of old, which to me was almost just as beautiful.  Although I wasn’t able to shred deep pow lines, stay the night in a mountain hut and while my frustration with this strange season persists, it still felt incredible to get out and enjoy the beauty of the wilderness.

– Sarah

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Please Pray for Snow in Alaska! (we really need it)

This Shit is Bananas

I can now say I’ve had the best pow day so far this season. It’s been snowing since tuesday night and Brighton has gotten 22″ so far in the last 48 hours. Originally, I had been planning on working at a coffee shop for the morning and going up to work the desk for the afternoon, but then Chelsea W. stopped by and I was in her car driving up to the mountain. It was the right thing to do.

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The snow was so deep! I don’t think I can sufficiently convey to you the feeling of how awesome riding was unless I had a way to take you up and you could experience it for yourself. It wasn’t too cold, it wasn’t wet and we had a threesome of ladies tearing up Great Western lift. In addition to having the best time ever, Chelsea learned what it meant to surf snow on a pow board, Grace got us all to hit the Johnny Tsunami log under the lift, and I got face shot after face shot just from carving down a main run. It’s days like today that let me know I made the right choice in moving here for the winter. It was the best!

Then, in a sudden though rather comical (But not too comical, because it’s a shitty situation) turn of events, a tidal wave of turd erupted in the basement bathroom of my house and flung feces and varied bits of sewage everywhere. I mean real turd nuggets here. I couldn’t fully comprehend the situation until I got home from work and walked down the stairs to the literal shithole where all of my (and Nirvana and Pop’s) things were. You need to see a photo to really understand what I mean here. It’s a fecal fiesta down there.

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The best we can gather is that the pipes for the whole house are blocked up somewhere down below. When someone tried to do laundry, all of the water from the washer pumped back up through the bathroom pipes instead of down and out into the city sewers. As it stands the land lady is trying to convince us we must have flushed small toys down the toilet bowl and that’s why it’s flooding. I assure you no one in this house owns a child.

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I spent the next two hours packing up my room and moving all of my things out of the war zone, then crashed on Corrine’s couch for the night. I didn’t want any of those poop particles settling on to my bedding, belongings or clothes. Pops definitely got the brunt of the turd attack though; apparently his room was the lowest point so the water flowed from the bathroom and into his room. The way Tyler and Rob describe it is that there was a literal wave of sewage water flowing through the basement from the shower drain and porcelain throne. Nothing is ever for certain, but I’m pretty sure this means we all have to move out. It isn’t just a matter of floors being cleaned up, the sewage soaked carpets need to be replaced and the plumbing system obviously needs to get fixed. The upside is at least we’re all good at moving since we do it so often, the downside is we all move so much it sucks to have to do it again. But living in a personal poop palace would be worse.

All together it’s one more ridiculous thing that happens sometimes. I don’t know exactly where I’ll be living now for the rest of the winter in SLC, but hey, shit happens. It’ll work out.

Y2K Version .14

I just got back from my last trip of 2013 and my first trip of 2014. I didn’t actually realize that until a few moments ago. I also realized that I got to ride on the very last day of 2013 and the very first of 2014 (though the riding Jan 1st was a little more subdued due to the night before). I thought I’d have been more tired afterwards, but so far I’m doing pretty good. Sandra and I work up around 4am Thursday to get me to my shuttle and it is still completely black outside. I don’t think I fell asleep until after midnight.

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Ariel’s amazing Keurig Coffee maker. I don’t know how to pronounce it, but I want one of these things.

This whole Colorado New Year’s trip was super impromtu; one minute I was debating about driving to Steamboat Tuesday after work, the next I was buying a ticket out to Denver for Monday (don’t worry, I bought it almost two days ahead on Saturday). I’m going to blame this mostly on my friends Ariel, Sandra and Terri who talked me into it (it wasn’t that hard).

Monday night I crashed at Ariel’s and Tuesday Terri joined us to ride at Keystone. We lapped some park, found a 50ft pow run through some trees (that may or may not have technically been closed) and then went to the backside of the mountain to weave through some trees and take a couple awkward photos. The trees there are tight.

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We found some foreign guy to take our photo at the top of the lift and he asked for payment in Fireball. I said we’d get him back later.
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Hot Tub. New Year’s Eve. Enough said.

We made some champagne cocktails post-hot tub session while we got ready to head out and then took the free bus into town (New Year’s Eve is no time for anyone to be driving) and met up with Sandra and a few others at coffee shop’s private party. Then we moved on to a renovated (but still haunted) old hotel, (I sucked at pool), took 60+ photos (I didn’t include them all here) and finally finished up at a brewery where we celebrated the new year at midnight and I convinced two guys that they wanted to share nachos with me because the brewery had stopped selling food. Pretty soon we were all ready to get to bed and call it a night, so we trucked back over to Ariel’s where we made a huge pot of popcorn, (unknowingly) tossed it all over her floor, and promptly passed out.

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Our New Year’s toast! Cheers to 2013 and 2014!

New Year’s Day was a slow, lazy food-filled adventure. Ariel had to work, so Sandra and her friend Mikayla picked me up and we went out for a late breakfast (lunch?). When we finally finished that meal we went to Sandra’s and hiked out behind her house to a log jib the was set up back there and hit it a couple times. I tried to get a photo, but at that point it was dark and nothing came out. The snow was so deep though! Mikayla’s dog Nutmeg was dolphin-swimming her way running in the snow back and forth between three of us, and I got in a mini pow run back down to Sandra’s house; super fun.

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That popcorn may have been from the night before, but we ate it all the next morning. Also, Terri doesn’t want anyone to know what she looks like in the morning.

That night we made a fantastic meal of sauted pasta, fresh mozzarella, (shrimp for everyone else but me) and pear and cranberry salad. Not long after we were all ready for bed. As I lay on the couch trying to pass out, I started thinking the thoughts you get when another year goes by. Did I make a good purchase on my new car? Should I be living in Colorado instead of Utah? Can I make every trip happen this winter I’m trying to plan out? I slept for four hours and then jumped on a shuttle and the same thoughts were still stuck in my head. I thought I might have been able to sleep on my way to the airport, but instead I pulled out my laptop and started writing. I wrote down everything from the last year; all my doubts, everything that had been awesome, things I regretted and things that were still hard for me to cope with. It was still black out when I finished and I had about two full pages in front of me. I close my computer, set it away in my backpack, and stared out the window at the lightening dawn. Writing is theraputic for me. When I got back to Salt Lake and my roomate picked me up in my new Mazda I felt like everything fit together. I’ve got an amazing group of friends (everywhere) and I love what I get to do every day and each week. So far, I’ve got high hopes for 2014 (even if it does mean I’m going to be 25 this year…). I think it’s going to be another great one!

Happy New Year!