Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas re-cap...

Well another Christmas is over. Melissa and I had a wonderful holiday. Christmas eve we hit the slopes at Welch for what turned out to be one of the best days of Minnesota skiing ever. We had gotten about 5” the night before so I figured the conditions would be good, but we had no idea how good it would be. The snow was deep in areas and was so nice and soft, it was amazing. Melissa and I had a blast! It was so nice to have real snow to ski on, instead of manmade stuff and ice…
For Christmas Eve dinner I made a shrimp and pasta dish that I found the recipe for in a Cooking Light magazine. It was really good. But I was a little sad to say that for the first time in 39 years I didn’t have Lasagna for dinner. That was a tradition my mom started and I carried on after she died. I decided it was time to start a new tradition so Melissa and I decided that we are going to make a new fancy dinner from a recipe every Christmas Eve. I think that will be really fun. The Shrimp Pasta turned out to be excellent and will go into our rotation for dinners. It was a pretty simple dinner and it can easily be altered into a few different variations. We are going to try making it next using chicken instead of shrimp. I am thinking it will be really good.

Christmas day we got up and opened presents, luckily Santa Claus stopped by the house so there were a few things under the tree. I think Melissa really liked her gifts. I got her a few small things that I knew she would like; her “big” gift was a necklace from Tiffany’s. It was a great surprise and she really liked it so I was happy. I got some fun stuff as well. I got a Flip video camera, which I really wanted, a couple Moleskine journals, some cologne and a calendar for desk at work. After presents we went snowshoeing over at Lebanon Hills park, that was a blast. We hiked about 1.5 miles, the snow was perfect and it was great back in the woods. It was awesome, I can’t wait till we go again. Christmas night we had some friends over for a very casual dinner. It turned out to be a really fun night.

Sunday Melissa and I went to the Wild game; we had to leave early sadly because Melissa had a gallbladder attack that turned out to be really bad. She went to the doctor on Monday and then had an ultrasound Tuesday to see if it needs to come out. We are waiting for the results. So this week might turn out to be interesting.
Overall the weekend was great, we had a great time doing stuff that we love, we had some good food and a lot of laughs. Life is good.

Christmas always makes me sad, I miss my parents a lot during this time of year. It is always hard since Melissa and I don’t really have anyone except each other which is great but I miss the “family” stuff. But it always makes me remember all of the good times we had when I was little which is good…

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Although we are finally having a true Minnesota winter it is numbers like these that make me sad inside

Last 48 Hours:

Alta 47"
Snowbird 37"
Mammoth 102"

I can't even imagine what skiing in that kind of snow would be like. I wonder if I could even do it... Well, at least we are finally getting some snow around here. Last night we got another 5" or so and it looks like we are getting some more later this week, which will be cool, Melissa and I are planning on skiing Friday and maybe Saturday mornings. I am looking forward to getting out there again. Melissa and I went skiing at Welch for a bit on Sunday and sadly it sucked. It was so icy and crappy that it was just no fun. I hate to admit but I might becoming a snow snob, which is really going to suck if that is the case. *sigh*

I am really looking forward to Christmas. I love Christmas and all of the stuff that comes along with it. Melissa and I spend Christmas together which is so awesome, we usually make a couple fun dinners and just relax. This year on Christmas I am going to open a bottle of 1998 Dom Perignon, I am really looking forward to it, we will have a champagne brunch with Eggs Benedict, Melissa and I try to do that once a year, it is always really nice and we have a lot of fun.

I am glad my classes are done, I am now waiting for grades so that should be interesting. I am hoping for the best but my A&P class was the hardest class I have ever taken. Hopefully it won't kill my GPA to badly.

Think more snow!

Monday, December 13, 2010


So I basically did the most awesome and the dumbest thing ever this weekend. Melissa and I ventured down to Welch to go skiing right in the middle of the biggest and dangerous snowstorm Minnesota has seen in almost 20 years. The storm ending up bringing just a little over 20” of snow to most of the Twin Cities area, besides the heavy snow the wind was blowing about 20 miles an hour so basically the entire drive from our house to Welch was done with about 10 feet of visibility. Awesome, it was a little scary. The roads were in fairly decent shape, mostly because the wind was blowing the snow off them, but you could see the drifts forming on the sides of the road. It took as only an hour to get from our house to the Welch parking lot. We got there and I was surprised to see we weren’t the only people that decided to take advantage of what turned out to be the biggest snowfall Minnesota has seen in 20 years. We found a great parking spot and got dressed and headed up the lifts. I have never seen it snow so hard, you could maybe see 3 chairs ahead. It was crazy. We got off the chair and started down, Wild Finale. The snow was deep and it was pretty soft which was pretty dang nice. Melissa and I both brought our powder skis. She was trying out her new Volkl KiKu’s and I had my Volkl Mantra’s. It was amazing to be skiing that kind of powder here in Minnesota. We found the best snow on Dan’s Dive and Bakkelyka they were a little protected from the wind so the snow was just piling up, we lapped those runs a few times and had fresh tracks every time it was snowing so hard. In fact I experienced snow blindness for the first time ever it was weird. We skied hard for about 2 hours and watched the weather get worse and worse, we decided to head out. I am glad we did. The drive home was so crazy. The drifts on 50 were about 2-3’ high and when I would hit them they would go over my car. Visibility was about 5-10’ the road was closed just outside of Mielsville so we had to take a detour through Hasting which turned out to be better, 61 was in good shape as was Hastings. The drive from Hastings down 55 to 42 turned out to be a breeze. So that was really nice. We got home and found 4’ drifts in our drive way, so we had to shovel a path so I could get my car in the garage. I have never seen so much snow in my life; I think it was because of the wind more than anything. The snowstorm in 91 brought way more snow but didn’t have the winds so the drifts weren’t as big. We got in the garage and started to laugh about how stupid it was to actually head out skiing in that weather. We were so glad that we did go though, it was epic! I was glad Melissa got to try here new skis in some real snow before heading west with them. She was a little nervous about skiing them because they are so fat and a little longer than her old powder skis.

The rest of the weekend seemed uneventful after Saturday’s adventure. We ended up running a couple errands and I wrote a paper for one of my classes, which I am happy to say will be done this week. It will be nice to take a break from school for a bit. My next 2 classes start up again in March so I have a couple months off. I am hoping to get a lot of skiing in. Life is good. 60 days till Big Sky.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Random Thoughts...

My co-worker left for a month vacation in Vietnam yesterday. I like him will miss him while he is gone. His wife is from Vietnam so they return every few years to visit her family and travel around the country. It is fun to listen to him talk about his past adventures over there. Sounds like a very interesting place. I have asked him to bring me back a small carved Buddha. I am hoping that he will find something interesting for me.

My other co-worker left the day after Thanksgiving for a year of service in Afghanistan. He is in the Army and this will be his second time over there. I was sad to see him leave as well. I sent some small plastic toy dinosaurs along with him. I gave him instructions to send me pictures of the toys in different places during his tour. I appreicate his humor, so it will be interesting to see what kind of photos I get back from him. I have also instructed him to return the toys to me when he returns to work in 13 months...

I will miss my friends while they are gone, I wish them both safe travels.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Long weekends rule!

So what a weekend. Thanksgiving turned out to be really fun. My dinner was mostly good, but for the first time ever my Turkey didn’t turn out. I was bummed. It was tough and frankly kind of gross. I am not sure what I did wrong. I have always had good luck with turkeys in the past, but this one honestly sucked. Boooo. But the rest of the meal was really good. My stuffing was awesome, I make a really good stuffing. Anyway Melissa and I had a wonderful day together. We basically relaxed all day and hung out. We played a game of Monopoly which was really fun and then watched a movie. It was a great day. Friday we went to the Wild game which was also fun, it was a 1pm start so it fun having an afternoon game to go to. After the game which the Wild won by the way we met friends at a Chinese place in Bloomington for dinner. My buddy Scott and his wife go there often and said it was good. So 6 of us met there and had dinner. After diner we went to the Happy Gnome for a drink and all hung out. It turned out to be a really fun night. Saturday was a homework day and most of Sunday was as well. But Sunday night we met friends at the Roller-dome for some roller blading and then went out for dinner the 4 of us. We went to a place called Brasa, it was over in Northeast and was pretty good, but a little on the expensive side. Oh well.

I am really into single malt scotches right now so I have been trying them whenever I can. Might need a new hobby though single malts are really expensive.

I finished one of my classes on Saturday. My medical terminology class is now complete which I am happy about. This class load is killing me and I am looking forward to it being done so I can start skiing. I have a little over 2 weeks left in my classes so hopefully by then all of the runs at the area ski hills will be open and ready. At least that is my hope.

Today is Melissa’s birthday, I am bummed she has to work until midnight tonight so we will not be able to do much for her birthday on her birthday. But I gave her, her present last night so that was good.

I am really looking forward to Christmas. I love Christmas. I am hoping for lots and lots of snow for Christmas.

Only 73 days till our ski trip!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Trip Booked

Ok, so I booked our ski trip on Friday. SWEET! We are heading out Feb 10th. The goal is to be in Bozeman Montana on Friday the 11th for my birthday. I want to have my birthday dinner at the Pita Pit. I love the Pita Pit and it would be a great place for me to have my dinner. After a couple days in Bozeman we will head down to Big Sky and start skiing Feb 13th. The goal is to ski Moonlight Basin on Sunday, Big Sky Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday we have an open day. We are either going to rest or head back to Bozeman and ski at Bridger Bowl, or depending on the snow we might just stay and ski Big Sky. Thursday as part of our hotel package we have a Biggest Skiing and America pass so that means we can ski Moonlight and Big Sky on one ticket. So we will go out with a bang on Thursday. Then Friday we are going to start back and depending on weather and snow conditions we are hoping to stop and ski at Red Lodge and spend a night or 2. I have been to Red Lodge during the summer but never the winter so I am hoping it works out. On Sunday then we will drive the rest of the way home. Monday will be a rest day. I am hoping for 6 skis. It is going to be awesome. I have begun the countdown. 88 days. Word!

So it snowed this weekend. It was crappy heavy wet gross snow. But it was snow and it was nice to see it back. Not sure if you know this but I love snow. Winter is the best season and I say the more snow the better. I do not like it when it is 20 below zero, that completely sucks but huge snow storms and temps in the teens or 20’s is ok with me. So I say bring on the dumpage. The more the better I think. I want to ski powder this year, whether here or there it does not matter. We are going to give the up of Michigan a go this winter. We have talked to a few people that said to give Indianhead and Big Powderhorn a try. So I think we are going to give it a go. It will be fun to try somewhere new. It looks like it is about the same distance from our house to that area of Michigan so it should be good.

I have 4 weeks of classes left. This semester has been both a total pain in the ass and incredibly rewarding. I did discover however that human anatomy and physiology is not something to take online. It is incredibly difficult. And trying to do it on your own is really tough. I think I am doing ok in it though so that is good.
Thanksgiving is next week and I am looking forward to a nice long weekend. Melissa and I are going to hang out and cook a nice dinner and relax. Friday we have a Wild game which should be fun. Life is good.

Think Snow!

Monday, November 8, 2010


So I bought a snowboard. I didn’t get a really expensive one; I just got an inexpensive beginner one. It is a good brand though so I think it will work nicely. I really want to give snowboarding a try, and figured that with my Welch season pass it would be cheaper to buy a board instead of renting one every time I wanted to give it a try. I am really looking forward to giving it a go. I still skateboard a little bit and used to skateboard a ton when I was in high school. So I have the basic movements down and I understand that they carry over fairly well from skating to snowboarding. Hopefully I will be able to pick it up fairly quickly; it would be super fun to give it a go out west this winter. Melissa got a new pair of skis this weekend as well. She got a pair of Volkl Kiku powder boards. They are nice and fat and should be awesome in Montana powder. I also have a pair of Volkl powder skis, mine are Volkl Mantras but I love them. They are just an awesome ski, I have skied them all over Lone Mountain and Bridger Bowl and they were perfect. Snow fields, trees, and some of the steeper terrain I have done. I am guessing Melissa’s skis are going to behave the same way. I am excited for her to give them a try. I can’t wait for the snow to fly. I am getting so excited to get going.

Melissa and I have decided to return to Big Sky once again this year. I love it there; it is hard to go anywhere else. I know that is silly because there are a lot of great ski resorts in the US, but it is hard to beat Montana. Snow is perfect and there are no people. And there are a couple more runs that I want to do at Big Sky before moving somewhere new. This year, I want to ski either Lenin or Marx bowls on the south face of Lone Mountain, they are a step up from Liberty Bowl, they are huge snow fields that come down from the summit. I also would love to ski in the Dakota Territory which is below Liberty Bowl on the south west face. The Dakota Territory is all tree and steeper terrain way on the other side of the mountain. I think I have to talk Melissa into that one, but hopefully she will make her way over with me. I also want to ski the left side of Wardance, which is named Mine Shaft. I have been studying that line for a while now and I think it is for sure going to be on the list.

Melissa and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary this past weekend in Duluth. We had a nice room at the South Pier Inn. I love that hotel it is right on the Duluth Canal, so you can sit in your room and watch the ships go by. It is pretty dang cool. We both took Friday off last week and headed up early, made it to Duluth at about 1130. Went to Fitger’s right away for lunch and to have our beer growlers filled. Lunch was good, I really like that place for lunch. After lunch we went back and checked into our room. After that we took off and walked across the lift bridge and went and looked at all of the little shops that we like. We had a nice dinner. Saturday we got up and headed up to Gooseberry Falls and went for a nice hike. It was a beautiful weekend up north. We had a great time.

We are in the beginning stages of putting together a Christmas open house party. We have always talked about throwing a party. I think we are going to do it this year. We basically planned it on the drive up to Duluth on Friday. I am hoping we actually do it, because I think it would be a blast. More on that later.

Classes are killing me, so fricking busy. I just registered for spring semester 2 classes. After that I will have 3 classes left. SWEET! It will be so nice to be done. It has been a long road, but I am proud of myself for doing it.

We are not going to Chicago this year over Thanksgiving like we normally do. I am a little bummed but I think it will be ok. I am going to make a huge Thanksgiving dinner. Then we have a Wild game on Friday so I think the weekend will be fun. But I am guessing Chicago might creep in, it usually does.

Life is good.

Monday, October 25, 2010


It has been awhile I know and a lot has gone on since I last posted. Let’s recap shall we. The Twins are done playing baseball, booooo. School is going fairly well, I took three classes this semester and 3 is turning out to be to many, but in the long run it is turning out to be a good thing. Yeah that didn’t make any sense at all, but after this semester is done I will have 5 or so classes left which will be so nice. I love school but… My best friend got married this past weekend, so Melissa and I were busy doing wedding stuff. I was in the wedding so that was pretty fun. I have never been in a wedding besides my own so it was good to be up there and see the event from the front row. The wedding turned out to be a blast. I had so much fun. Lots of laughs with Chris and his brother Scott. I have known these guys for 34 years so it was good times. It is funny how time flies, seems like just yesterday we were little kids running around the neighborhood with little in the way of cares. But I am happy for him; he has found someone to spend his life with.

Melissa and I celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary on Oct 21st. Our anniversary got a little screwed up with all wedding stuff going on, so we are headed out of town in early November to celebrate officially, I am really looking forward to that as well.

In other news the 2010/2011 Rockies ski season officially started yesterday, Loveland ski resort in Colorado opened with 1000 vertical feet of skiing. YES! But they were not the first to open this year, Sunday River resort in Maine opened on Friday Oct. 22nd. Awesome! My snowstorm watching begins now. Melissa and I are starting to think about a place to go this year and once again all signs are pointed to a Montana week of skiing. We are thinking about Whitefish again, but I have a few more goals for Big Sky, so I am guessing we are going to end up there. Anyone who reads my blog knows that I have a love affair with Montana. I love skiing there, the place is beautiful, the people are friendly and the snow is amazing and perfect. All signs right now are predicting a good winter for snow so I am hoping we can luck out and score lots and lots of fresh powder to play in.

This year if we do go back to Big Sky, I am going to ski the south face of Lone Mountain, whether it is the run Castro or Lenin it will not matter, but I am going to do one of them, I have been eyeing them for about 2 years and now is the time to make the jump. I have to start training now. They are steep and will be filled with powder so they will be leg killers, sadly I can’t build up the quads skiing around here as I would like, but every little bit will help. I am actually going to start running again. Yikes. There is a running group here in the Twin Cities that opens the dome up to running 2 nights a week starting in Late November and I figure if I run to nights a week, and try to get back to 8-10 miles I will be ready for Montana. I want to be ready in case we get pounded with snow while we are out there.
In other skiing related news, I am about 99% sure I am going to buy a snowboard this year. I really want to give it a try. I would like to be able to do it a bit and have another option for around here. Melissa and I have season passes for Welch Village this year so I am hoping to get a lot of skiing in. The beauty of the season pass is we can head down in the morning, ski for a few hours and then leave when it starts to get busy and not be out much at all.

Life is good, busy but good. Halloween is just around the corner and with that comes the Great Pumpkin. I am with Linus and wait every year for the Great Pumpkin. I am hoping he show this year. We always watch The Shining and have a pizza for Halloween, so that is really fun. I am looking forward to another fun night.

Friday, September 17, 2010


So it is almost the weekend, thank god. It has been a long really crappy week. I am ready for some R&R. Hmmm do people even still say that? Anyway, this should be a good weekend, besides a Cultural Anthropology exam that I have to take tonight, the rest of the weekend should be pretty low key. Melissa and I are hitting the Twins game Saturday and then running a few errands in preparation for my Notre Dame football watching party I am hosting, Melissa is the only person I invited but it should be a fun party. I am going to have lots of snacks and beverages. Go Irish! Then I plan on doing absolutely nothing on Sunday. Awesome!

The week has been busy, work is crazy. I am doing a huge server upgrade and it has just been a ton of work, luckily there have been very few problems, so that is good. But the stress level is high and Eric is crabby. So I will be glad to be done with work at 4pm today.

The weather has really turned, man it is chilly outside. Typical Minnesota went from hot too cold without much warning. But the good thing is, snow is right around the corner. I am looking forward to skiing this year. It always makes me happy. Bring on the powder.

My classes are going well, they are busy. Lots of reading, lots of reading! Luckily I have no papers to write this semester so over all it should be a good semester. I am taking 3 on-line classes which I think I have mentioned 5 or six times. (sorry) It is the most on-line classes I have taken at once. I love online classes a lot; they keep my organizational skills keen. I have a lot of planning and calendaring to do daily so it keeps me on my toes. The cool thing about all of this is I am starting to see the goal ahead of me. At least I think I do, I am 80% sure I know what I am going to do with all of this, but it is the 20% uncertainty that keeps throwing me off.

The really exciting news is the fall session of Mini-Medical School is 3 weeks away!!! Sweet! I am so excited. I can’t wait for it to start up for this session. I love Mini-Med School and can’t wait to get back at it. I signed up right away after getting my registration information and then count down began.

I wish you all a wonderful weekend. I wonder if anyone exactly reads my blog…

Monday, September 13, 2010


I have a feeling this is going to be a busy week. Things at work are really picking up. I am doing a lot of cool stuff and the days are going really fast which is nice. The past weekend was good, mostly a quiet weekend, but nice none the less. Saturday Melissa had to work so I stayed home and relaxed, did some homework, took an exam and watched a little college football. So overall it was a nice relaxing day. Sunday I got up and did a few things around the house, and then it was off to the Wayzata Yacht Club for a little sailing action out on Lake Minnetonka. It was a perfect day, nice and windy. I got to the dock just a bit after noon and helped Steve set up the boat. After the whole crew was there we set off and headed for the race area. The race went pretty good, we had a few problems but it was a fun day out on the lake. Sailing season is nearing the end, and even though it will be nice to take a break, I know that I will miss it once it is gone.

I have become a bit of a voracious reader in the past few years; I have been reading a lot of stuff. Novels, magazines and blogs. I have discovered a couple of great blogs that I read fairly religiously, some are just for fun others pertain to my job. Currently I am reading a book called Med School Confidential ( It is a great read so far and I am really enjoying it. It is meant as a guide to walk you through the process of preparing, applying and what to except during your time in Medical School. I am a little more than half way through it and I am finding it very interesting. It is fun for me to wonder if I really could have done it. The information that I am reading make me wonder if I would have been smart enough to even attempt Medical School. Wow, what a process. If you have any interest in such things I highly recommend this book. I bought the digital version for my Barnes and Noble Nook book reader so I can’t loan it out but for $13 at Amazon it is an interesting read. I love my Nook by the way. It is a little different to get use to but once you do it is a great device.

It is amazing how fast time is going, September is basically half over and I noticed yesterday there is a little fall chill in the air. It is getting close to that time when I start to dream of snow and also start to think about planning our winter ski trip. I think we are planning on taking one, we are just not sure to where. Right now the leader of the pack is Utah. So we would have a week skiing, Deer Valley, Alta and Snowbird. I have been reading early weather predictions and it is look favorable for big snows in the west. I know some areas have already gotten snow this year. Jackson Hole, Whistler and even some spots in Utah. I think I am mostly ready for snow. Summer was good, but the weather wasn’t the best so, it went fast and I just don’t feel like I did much. Any thoughts on where we should go?

Self Pity

I never saw a wild thing
sorry for itself.
A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough
without ever having felt sorry for itself.

-D. H. Lawrence

Friday, September 10, 2010

Another Week

Another week has pasted. Things are good; I have had time to reflect on the Dakota 50. While I made it only 22 miles and had to quit the race, I am proud of myself for trying. While I was out there busting my ass other people were at home sitting on a couch watching TV. So from that stand point I am happy that I at least gave it a try. Still a little disappointed with myself for not training better and finishing but live and learn I guess. Next time maybe.

You how they say that things in your life happen for a reason? I am wondering how that could possibly be true. I have been reflecting a lot on my past lately and wondering why certain things happened. Like why did both my parents die? What possible good came of that? Nothing… Why did I go away once instead of going back to what I knew was the right choice? I wonder what good came of that decision. Life sure is funny.

Some memories that I have seem so vivid. But yet some seem like they never truly happened and the ones that I want to remember and hold on to seem to be slipping away. I am in a strange funk right now. Things are really good with me, but things keep popping up that are reminding me of other times, other happiness and sadness. I am confused. I will always try to remember.

My classes are going great, I really like my medical terminology class and my cultural anthropology class is really interesting so far so that is good. I am ordering my lab pack for my human anatomy and physiology class either today or tomorrow so I can get that here. My A&P class starts in 2 weeks so I will be at 3 classes. The most I have taking at one time. I am doing everything online so it is really interesting. I really have to keep up with stuff and make sure that I am managing my time well. So far so good. That will get easier as the fall moves on and it starts to get colder and darker outside. I am already starting to think about classes for spring. Right now I am planning on a math class and possibly a history class of some kind to wipe that requirement out. There is a history of the Vietnam war that I really want to take and sometimes it is not offered in the spring, so I am hoping to get lucky and it will be. Otherwise I have a few backup ideas.

It should be a quiet weekend; at least I hope it will be. I know Saturday Melissa has to work, so I am going to do school stuff for a good portion of the day. Then Sunday I think I am sailing. I guess the weather is supposed to be really nice on Sunday so it will be a nice day out on the lake. Sailing has been a blast this year, but it will be nice to take a break from it.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way
than this: where I do not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Those are the letters that no person in a “race” or time event of any kind wants to see after their name. DNF – Did Not Finish… I was humbled in South Dakota this weekend. I went in there thinking that this ride was going to be tough but that I would be able to finish. I knew I wouldn’t be able to compete, but I really wanted to finish the ride. The Dakota 50 is in its 10th year of existence and is a very popular ride in the western Black Hills, in the Spearfish area. Melissa and I signed up to give it a try after we talked to a few friends of ours that do it and said that it was just a great event, tough but great. We went into the event feeling great. I normally get really nervous before events and that is why I do not do them anymore, my stupid nervous stomach makes them no fun for me. But this event was different I had a great night sleep, I got up Sunday morning at about 5:20AM, got my things ready to go and got to the event site, excited, feeling great and ready to ride. Melissa was the same, she was ready to go. She doesn’t have the same nervous issues I do so that stuff is easier for her. Anyway the race/ride started at 730am and Melissa and I started in back because our plan was just to ride the event and not race, therefore we didn’t want to be in anyone’s way, we headed out of town and made our way through the streets of Spearfish to the first climb which was a dirt road leading up to the start of the single track trail that we would be on for the next 45 miles or so. UGH, first climb to the single track was a bear and I started to question my abilities. And the sad thing was, we were only about 2 miles in. Holy Crap, 48 miles left. Was it going to be like this the whole time was it going to get any easier? I knew that we made the wrong decision to ride our single speeds for the ride instantly and should have brought our full suspension bikes, the outcome may not have been different but it might have been a bit easier. We made it into the single track and it was a tough, lots of sand and loose rock. I was a little ahead of Melissa and slowed down every once and a while to wait for her. We finally met up at mile 6, when I heard, “Crap, my pedal fell off!” I went over and looked at her bike and it wasn’t just her pedal, but she broke her non-drive side crank arm off. What now?!?! I looked at her and could tell she was bummed. This was a show stopper and something I could not fix on the trail. I brought some tools and things, but never thought in a million years I would have to fix a crank arm. We talked for a few minutes and she told me to keep going and to finish. I felt really guilty because I didn’t want to leave her alone and I had no idea how long it was going to take me to finish. But after a little back and forth I pressed on. The next 4 miles were tough for me, I felt bad about her day ending so quickly and that we weren’t going to be able to do this together.

I made it to the first rest stop at 10 miles and refilled my water and Gatorade drink, had a little rest and pressed on. The next stop was 12 miles away. The first 2 miles after the 10 mile stop gave me a little more energy, a little better trail to ride on and a little more downhill to rest my legs. I made good time for the next 2 miles. I got to mile 13 and the climbing started again. My legs were already shot. I kept thinking, why am I trying this on my single speed for the first time. Why didn’t I bring my Yeti and ride my good bike. This is a bear. I am not cut out for this kind of climbing; I am not a real biker. Thoughts like that kept going through my head over and over. My legs were cramping up at about mile 16 and I knew I was doomed. There was no way I was going to make it the whole way. I was starting to have to walk up almost all of the hills and was riding all of the flat portions and downhills, which were few and far between. I thought to myself, make it to rest stop #2 and call it a day. Go back and spend the rest of the day with your beautiful wife and enjoy that beautiful country out there. At mile 21.75 I called it a race for me and headed back. I was picked up by another rider and his support person that gave up at the same point. I was so disappointed, so bummed and so humbled. I have no ego about things like this but it sucks when you realize you can’t do something that you really want to do. I just wasn’t in good enough shape and have never ridden those kinds of climbs, they were very brutal… Now the thought about next year goes into my brain… Should I try again next year? Should I figure out a way to train for this ride and give it a go? I think Melissa is out no matter what, but would I like to give it a try again, or am I just not cut out to ride that kind of ride? I did make it 21.75 miles of the hardest terrain that I have ever ridden and I did it on a fully rigid single speed 29’er, so looking back I am pretty happy with that. Well sort of. *sigh*

Besides the race our trip was amazing. We had so much fun out there. I love the Black Hills area of SD. And I think Melissa loves it as well, I spent a lot of time out there as a kid and I have tried to show Melissa everything that I love about the hills in the two times we have been out there. This time we did a few other things that we hadn’t done the first time, the highlights were Devils Tower and Bear Butte. I have this life list of things I dream of doing before I die, some are silly things and some are cool things, well at least to me they are. I was able to cross 2 more things off my list on this little trip of ours. 1 was doing a watercolor of Devils Tower while at Devils Tower, I did that, I screwed it up but I did it none the less. I give it another try from the photos I took of the tower soon. The other thing was summiting Bear Butte. Melissa and I did that on Friday, it was amazing. Bear Butte is a “mountain” right outside of Sturgis that is considered a holy area to the Native American’s. It is big hill that rises 1,434’ above the prairie floor and is out in the middle of nowhere so it just looks cool when you drive up to it. There is a great and very challenging hike to the summit. It is short 3.5 miles round trip, but it travels up some steep and narrow slopes, across huge fields of scree and up some very sketchy terrain. The hike was amazing; there are Indian prayer bundles and prayer flags hanging everywhere, they were just beautiful and so cool to see, it is what I picture the Buddhist prayer flags looking like in the Himalayas. We made it to the top and really enjoyed the views. I was so happy to share my hike with Melissa and be able to say that I did another thing on my life list with her. Other than that it was a beautiful long week in the Black Hills the weather was perfect. We were able to enjoy our time together out there, reflect on our year, make a few plans for upcoming adventures and think about life in a quiet beautiful place…

Monday, August 30, 2010

Short Week

I have a nice short week of work this week. Then Melissa and I are heading out to Spearfish South Dakota for a few days of fun and the Dakota 50 mountain bike race/tour. We are looking forward to the ride. It is techincally a race but we are just going to ride it and enjoy the scenery, I love that area of South Dakota so am I looking forward to going. I think the ride will be challenging but I think it will be a great ride. The ride is Sunday the 5th and we will be out the Thursday so we have a few extra days to hang out, which will be nice. I am hoping to go out to Devils Tower in Wyoming for the day to do some hiking. I love Devils Tower it is so cool. But right now all of the extra day plans are still be worked out. I know for sure that it will be fun. So much to do before we go. The next few days will be busy.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Finally Not Last

So last night was another Thursday night race at good old Wayzata Yacht Club. The only difference was a shortened course with the move of the race into Wayzata Bay from the main lake. The wind was blowing well and the crew was ready. It was looking to be a great night. We had a great start and sailed a pretty good first leg. It is crazy when you get 100+ boats into a relatively small area, when the wind is blowing it turns out to be pretty exciting. Last night provide to be that. We rounded the turn and made our way downwind with a good spinnaker set. We sailed excellent legs for the entire race, truly making only one mistake, which sadly cost the 8th place finish in our class. It is the little victories that matter. Last night was the first time we haven’t finished last; it was a big deal to us. We truly worked as a team last night which was really fun. There are a couple people on the boat that are newer to sailing and as the summer has gone on we have been getting better and better. Last night really seemed to be a turning point. Everyone did their jobs and it was great. It is really fun when the team flows. It was fun last night. Next race is Saturday and that is going to be a fun one as well; it is a mixed club race. Wazata Yacht Club will be racing with the Minnetonka Yacht Club which could be interesting because the MYC is mostly scows, and scows are really fast. It will be fun to watch the sail. It is supposed to be windy on Saturday so it is going to be interesting.

First week of class is done and so far so good. I wrote 2 short papers already and have done a little reading. My Human A&P class starts in a few weeks. So I am looking forward to that.

We are trying to decide if we are going to go to the fair this weekend. Sunday is the only day that we can go. Melissa and I are headed out of town next weekend so Sunday will be our only option for the fair. I doubt we will go, but you never know. Melissa hates the fair and I mostly still like it so it is always a little bit of a struggle. I want to go she doesn’t really care about it. So we will see…

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


So my class(es) have started once again. I am taking 2 classes this semester; they are cultural anthropology and human anatomy and physiology. My Anthropology class started on Monday and my Human A&P classes starts in a few weeks. I am a little bummed that the Anatomy class is shorten, but it sounds like it is a going to be a great class and extremely interesting.

As I am getting older I am really regretting not doing better in high school and finding my love for learning earlier in my life. In fact you have no idea how much I am regretting it. While I am truly enjoying "college" now it is certainly not the same as it would have been 20 years ago. Holy shit that was hard to say... 20 years is gone since high school. Ugh! Where did all of that time go? I am guessing I am not the only person that askes that question. In fact I know I am not but, seriously where does the time go. I think I am starting to think about growing old and the change of life that will bring. Sorry for the downer thoughts there, anyway: While I really enjoy my job I could have and should have done so much more with my life. I really should have been a physician. I would have made a great doc. I love science and the mysteries of the human body and what makes it tick, so I am really reeling from not doing all of this much sooner in life. I really am not trying to come off as, "woe is me" Believe me I am a happy person and mostly happy with my decisions, but I know that I could have been so much more in life and as I am getting older I am realizing it. And unfortunately that kind of makes me sad and wish for other things.

I am almost to that point of a decision to be made, do I just finish the 2 year degree which I am very close to, or do I transfer it all and go for the 4 year? I am leaning toward the 4 year. I have been excepted at Metro State which I know is a pretty lame school, but it seems to work well with my schedule and seems to cater more or less to the adult learner. They have lots of evening and weekend classes and a good many of them available on-line. I have done all of my credits thus far on-line through Lake Superior College in Duluth and it is working out well for me. I have enjoyed all of my classes and I like the fact that LSC is a MNSCU (Minnesota state colleges and universities) school so all of my credits will transfer to any other MNSCU school and I will not lose any, and that is a good thing. I just don’t have a lot of patience to make up credits that do not transfer.

Right now my thoughts are to transfer to Metro State and try for a biology major. I really like biology and I was looking at the curriculum for the biology major at Metro and it looks like a pretty decision set of classes.

But overall, I am happy to just be able to take some classes and have the experience of learning. One thing I will say is that I appreciate it all a lot more now than I may have back then. Part of me is glad that I waited, but I wish I would not have waited so long.

In other news Melissa and I are leaving for Spearfish South Dakota next Wednesday night for 5 nights in the Black Hills. We are riding the Dakota 50 on Sunday September 5th. The Dakota 50 is a 50 mile mountain bike race/ride through Spearfish canyon and up into the hills. I am really looking forward to it. I love that area and have spent a lot of time out there so I think it will be good. Tough but good. Lots of giant hills to ride up, but at the same time when you go up a giant hill you have to be able to come down that giant hill and I am thinking that is going to be a lot of fun. Melissa and I are hoping to just have a lot of fun. We are hoping for great weather. We are riding our single speeds so it is going to be interesting…

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Summer Life

Melissa and I just got back from our first summer vacation. We went out to Seattle for a few days to see the city and visit friends. It was great. Seattle is a pretty cool city, not my favorite but a nice place to visit. I was shocked how expensive it was there. Everything seemed really pricey, parking, food, drinks everything. Oh well. After a few days in Seattle we headed up to Whistler for a few days of hiking, and mountain biking. In my "life to do list" I had biking at Whistler on my list. I can now cross that off my list. Holy crap riding there was amazing. It was incredible in everyway, so much fun. I love the lift served riding, so easy and so fun. The trails were amazing and a lot of fun to ride. Whistler it's self was incredible, wow what a beautiful place. Surrounded by mountains, lots of snow left in the high country and I was happy the whole time. I can't wait to maybe head back there some day. I would love to ski there someday, but I really what to ride there again...

Life is good.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

To Long

I am sorry I haven't updated in a long time. I have been really busy, I am just not sure what I have been up too. Well I guess that isn't completely true. I have been going to a lot of Twins games and I have been doing a lot of sailing with my buddy Steve. That has been a great time and a lot of fun. I am having a great summer. We are getting ready to head out on our summer vacation. I am really looking forward to it. We are headed out to Seattle for a week and also headed to Whistler for a few days to hike and mountain bike. I can't wait, biking at Whistler it is on my life to do list. I am finishing my summer class this week, and life is really good. I miss blogging so hopefully I will be better.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Target Field

Melissa and I went to the Twins home opener on Monday. Holy Crap! What a fun time. I love baseball, always have and always will, but now that the Twins are playing in their new stadium the season is going to be better then ever. The new stadium is amazing. It is beautiful and is a great place to watch a game. Our seats are incredible and I am very happy with them. Anyway, the home opener was incredible, besides the Twins winning the game we got to see the first home run at the park. Luckily it was a Twin that hit it so that was great. Jason Kubel took a 2-2 pitch over the right field fence. It was a great moment in team history and it was fun to be a part of it.

This is going to be a really fun season of baseball. We have a 20 game package which will turn into about 23 games this season. I bought an couple extra games and Melissa and I were invited to a game with our financial advisor. We can't wait for that. Whats better then a baseball game? A free baseball game.

Like I said the stadium is amazing and the Twins did it right. Everything really is top notch. It is fun to be kind of the center of the baseball universe for now. Everyone is talking about the Twins and that is pretty cool. I can't remember a time when there has been this much buzz around Minnesota baseball.

In other news I signed up to play on my companies golf league. I am really looking forward to getting out there again. I haven't played much golf in the past year or so and I am really looking forward to playing a bit this summer. I started playing golf when I was about 9 with my dad and played a lot growing up. I sort of quit playing about 4 years ago when other things came up, but I have decided that I really miss it and like I said I am looking forward to getting back out there...

Life is good, I am looking forward to summer. I have been out biking a few times already and it is fun again. Last year I didn't have much fun biking so I didn't do it much which I think was smart for me. It made me miss biking and want to get back on my bike and ride this year. Life is good...

Friday, March 26, 2010

NCAA Hockey

I am at the western division 1 hockey finals at the Xcel Energy Center. I bought these tickets a long time ago. There are 2 games tonight, and I am hoping they are good. I really don't care who wins. I am just interested in watching some good college hockey. First game is St. Cloud State vs. Northern Michigan. The second game is Vermont vs. Wisconsin. I guess they should both be pretty good. I am guessing.

Baseball season is now a week away and I am really excited. Melissa and I went on a tour of Target Field last weekend and let me say the place is perfect, they did an excellent job on it. We sat in our seats and we have a great view and I am really happy with my choice. I can't wait for the season to start... I am hoping for a good Twins season, at least I hope they do good. It would be nice if they would make a run for the World Series. Time will tell I guess on that.

Spring is here, I am looking forward to getting out my bike, so I am hoping the trails dry fast.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Mini-Medical School

I am happy, mini-medical school starts in about 40 minutes. I am here at Coffman Union at the U and I am patiently waiting for "class" to start. Mini-med school is a 6 week lecture coarse put on by the University of Minnesota Medical School. It is put on twice a year fall and spring. This is my 3rd time and I love it, it is really interesting and very well done. The topic of this series of lecture is Healthy Kids, Healthy Communties, it should be interesting.

Snow is gone.... Boooooo. Oh well bring on biking I guess.

Monday, March 15, 2010

snow is gone

The snow disappeared in record time. Wow it is gone. I am mourning the death of Minnesota ski season, a few of the hills are still open but there is no way that the remaining snow is any good at all...

I am a little bummed. Oh well I am actually looking forward to biking this spring and summer so that will be fun when that gets rolling.

But for now, I already miss the snow.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Still Raining

I can't believe it, but it has been raining here pretty steadily for 6 days. Ugh... The snow is pretty gone which is a huge bummer. Ski season ended in a huge hurry which really sucks. Seems like I hardly got out this year.

In other news Twins season is right around the corner. Sweet! Our season tickets came in the mail the other day. So we are ready to go. I am really looking forward to the new season in the new park. We got tickets for the open house next Sunday so that will be awesome. We are looking forward to baseball season to get going.

Wow what a blah day...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Sadly thr Minnesota ski season is quickly fading. The snow is melting really fast due to some unseasonly warm weather and rain. Bummer, is all I have to say. I guess skiing just wasn't to be this season. I got out a lot but, not as much as I wanted. My trip was awesome so I am glad to have those memories to carry me into the spring and summer...

Not much else going on, I am thinking it is going to be a quiet uneventful spring.

We are starting to think about our summer trip, which is beginning to look like it will be awesome. More on that later.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Last Days

Well, the last few days in Big Sky were awesome. Wednesday was a short day of skiing. Due to my broken windshield we had to make it back to Bozeman to have it fixed. We skied at Moonlight Basin for about 3 hours. We did a few of our favorite runs and just took it easy and enjoyed just being there. It was really nice. After that we left and headed to Bozeman for my appointment at the windshield place. We got the car there at about 230 and they got it right in, told us it would take about 2.5 hours to complete. We walked down main street while my car was being repaired and looked in the shops and had a pizza at McKenzie River. Even though it sucked to have a broken windshield it was nice to take a break from skiing and get back to Bozeman for the day. We headed back to the shop and found that my car was done, everything looked great and we headed back to our hotel in Big Sky. We got back got to our room had some snacks and that is when it started to snow. We spent the rest of the evening watching the large fluffy flakes coming down and thinking that our last ski was going to be awesome.

Thursday we got up to about 4 inches of new snow at the base, which meant much more higher on the mountain. We headed to the lifts and headed straight to the bowl. Yup, it was perfect, finally Montana powder in all of its glory. So nice and soft. It was awesome, craving turns in that perfect snow always brings a smile to my face. We lapped the bowl a couple times. It was heavenly. I really wanted to head up the tram, but the line was the longest I have ever seen and I over heard someone say that the line was about an hour wait. Melissa and I decided that we did not want to piss away that much skiing time so we passed and continued on skiing untracked powder the rest of the morning. We skied fresh lines on Gun Mount which is a new run for us this year. Lots of fun. When it got to be about lunch time, I told Melissa before lunch I wanted to ski the Country Club off of Challenger Lift, so said OK and she said that she was going to pass, she wasn't feeling it for Challenger, I was bummed but better to pass on something if you don't feel comfortable with it. So I headed up alone. The ride up was amazing, so beautiful, you get a whole another vantage point of Big Sky and Moonlight Basin. It was awesome. During my ride up I was studying the run back down and picking my line. It was great, I had the whole line in my head as I got off the lift and started down. I made the traverse over to the starting area of Country Club, it was awesome and huge black diamond snow field. Lots of powder. It was such a fun run. I was so glad that I did it. It was steep but so fun. After I got down Country Club I made the entry into Freeway and made my way through what seemed like Volkswagen sized moguls! They were huge and deep with lots of good snow around them. It was so fun. The entire time I was making my way down these two runs, I kept thinking how much I loved to ski, how besides scuba diving it has got to be the most beautiful sport of all time. Being in the mountains is always just so perfect and so much fun. Anyway I exited Freeway and headed back to the base to meet Melissa, I radioed her first after getting to the bottom to tell her I made it and also to find out where she was. We met back up for lunch and talked about our day so far and enjoyed each others company.

After lunch we decided to go up to Andesite and ski Elk Park Meadows, which is a huge glade that usually holds some great snow and is mostly over looked by the skiers skiing the groomed run of Elk Park Ridge which goes right along side the glade. Anyway the glade was awesome, lots of good snow made for lots of really fun turns. We got back in the lift line and I noticed a patroller making his way back from the exit of Wardance, which is a run I was hoping to ski, but there was a sign up at the entrance that said that the coverage was a little thin, so to that point we had skipped it. We ended up riding up with the patroller and I asked him if he had skied Wardance, he said yes and told us the snow was good and soft in there. I skied Wardance last year for the first time and Melissa I think wanted to give it a try. When we got off the lift I asked her if she wanted to do it and she said yes. I was stoked. Awesome! We made our way to the entrance on headed through the gate and on to the run. the patroller was right, good snow, it was deep in spots and so far Wardance was awesome. Melissa was doing great as well. Wardance is a narrow glade that funnels into a very steep even narrower glade. Melissa is a great skier, but lately her confidence has been down a little bit on the steeper terrain, so I was glad to see her give Wardance a try. I was a little bit ahead of her and would stop every so often and make sure that she was doing OK. And try to help her down, since I could see the lines really good being a bit below her. She did awesome, she made it down and I think she had fun on the run. Wardance is probably the most technically difficult run we did all week and she slayed it. I was happy for her. After Wardance we headed back to the base and had a rest. We did a few more crusiers and finished our final ski day. Our trip was awesome. Another great week in Montana. We skied some new terrian, a new moutain and had some new experiences with the yurt dinner.

Thursday night we had a great dinner at Whiskey Jacks and reflected on our vacation and thought about the up coming drive home. We started to talk about next years ski trip and I think we decided that we would try somewhere new. Even though we love Big Sky and I mean love it, we are going to give another resort a try and right now Utah is at the top of the list.

We left bright and early Friday morning, the weather was perfect! Not a cloud in the sky. We made the 16 hour drive home. 1055 miles. It was a long but very nice drive home. No problems. We arrive safely home, we had safe skiing. The only problem we had was the broken windshield and even that turned out to be a nice destraction. I am already starting to look forward to next years ski trip, for the time we get back to the mountians, as I already miss them...

Thanks again Big Sky see you soon...

Saturday, February 27, 2010


After 1055 miles and 16 hours in the car we made it home at exactly midnight last night. It was a long but good drive home. I was sad to see the miles tick away as we got further and further away from Big Sky. But most importantly we had a safe vacation skiing and a safe drive home. I will recap our last ski day soon. I have a lot of stuff to put away...

Thanks Big Sky for being so fricking awesome! Once again you provided us with a great vacation, many smiles, and lots of laughs...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Big Sky Day 2

Well yesterday started with 4 warm up runs on our favorite green runs on Andesite. They turned out to be smooth and fast. It was another blue bird day here, not a cloud in the sky. The views were amazing to say the least. After our 4 warm up runs, Melissa want to take a break and have some coffee so we headed back to the base for a coffee break. Our legs are getting a little more tried then usual due to the hard conditions. We really need some snow to soften everything up... After our break we decided to give the bowl a try in hopes of finding some soft snow, especially after Monday when the wind was blowing the snow around in there all day and it was closed due to high avalanche danger. So anyway we headed up Swift Current and then up the Lone Peak triple. I was watching the a few people coming down in the bowl and it was looking good. Lots of powder flying off their turns. Finally we were at the top and made our way across Turkey Traverse and dropped in. Yup! Soft snow, awesome Montana snow, our turns were soft and creamy and it was heaven. We both had smiles on our faces the whole way down and we were finally giving our powder skis a workout. We got to the bottom and headed back up for another lap. Awesome. After that lap we headed back to the village for lunch at Whiskey Jacks. They have a great food and we had a nice lunch together. Once lunch was done we headed back up to the bowl for another go. After that run we decided to head back over to Andesite and do one last run over there for the day. We had a great day skiing, we finished the day sitting in the base area watching the last of the skiers and enjoying the really warm sunshine. It was heavenly.

Last night was our backcountry yurt dinner. We met over at the Summit hotel, checked in and boarded the snowcats for the 20 minute trip up to the yurt. You could either ride inside the cat or up on the roof. We decided not to ride in the warm comfort of the inside and climbed the ladder to the top of the cat where there were cushions and blankets waiting for us, yeah that was the right decision. Oh my god what a fricking blast. We made our way up the cat trail to the yurt. It was a perfect night, chilly but not to cold and a clear sky to see the stars. Once we arrived we went into the yurt where there was a nice hot bowl of french onion soup waiting for all of us, I think I counted about 30 people. Once inside the yurt we got our seating assignments and sat down, met our table mates and enjoyed the soup. We were sitting with some great people from Texas, a doctor and his wife, they were awesome. A lot of fun. We finished our soup and headed out and went sledding, they had a lantern lit sledding hill, Melissa and I did three runs on the sleds. It was great, we laughed the whole way down, it was so fun. And before we knew it the dinner bell rang and we returned to our table for, garlic mashed potatoes, veggies and the best beef tenderloin I seriously have ever had. Melissa went for the salmon, but I shared my steak with her and I think she was a little bummed she didn't go for the steak. Seriously you did not need a knife to cut this meat, it was tender and awesome! After dinner we enjoyed the company of our table mates, had chocolate fondue for dessert. Then sadly it was time to return. We talked our new friends from Texas to join us on the roof of the cat for the return trip, we laughed the whole way back. What an amazing experience. My god it was so fun. The dinner was awesome and it was just a cool experience. I highly recommend it if you ever come this way.

We finished the evening with a little TV and hit the rack... Another awesome day in Montana.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Big Sky

Well today was a fun day, we got a fairly early start. We got up had a nice breakfast and headed across the street to the lifts. We got tickets and heard a nice loud explosion! Avy work? hmmmm... What is going on, it was snowing but not very hard, the peak was in the clouds. Was it dumping up there? Interesting. We made our way over to Swift Current lift and headed up with a goal of heading straight to the Tram and making our way down Liberty Bowl to start the day. We got about half way up and heard another explosion, ski patrol is trying to get something to slide. I wonder where they are working? We unloaded and headed down toward the Lone Peak triple lift... It was closed, we also learned that Shedhorn, Dakota and Challenger lifts were also closed. The wind had really picked up it was blowing out of the north and the visibility in the bowl was zero. While we stood there we heard another explosion. Wow... I really wish I could see what was happening. But no luck and we had skiing to do. We made our way down Crazy Horse, the wind had taken it's toll on that run, it was hard and had very little powder left on it so it was a challenge to say the least.

We decided to head up Ramcharger lift and check out the runs on Andesite. Good choice, we skied: Deep South which is my favorite green run at Big Sky, it runs right along the Yellowstone Club and it is really fun to look in and see the beautiful homes in there. After Deep South we head to Big Horn which is a huge blue and turned out to be great. We also did Silver Knife which was also a fun run. We took a break and then headed back up Swift Current to see if the Tram was open. It was! So we headed up the Lone Peak triple and made our way to the Tram. We asked a ski patroller how Liberty Bowl was skiing with all of the wind and he said it was good, a lot of snow had blown over there and had started to fill back in the dumps, so he said there would be so areas of good powder. We got to the Tram and there was no line so we got on the first Tram and made our way to the summit. Holy crap it was windy up there, a little spooky with the gusty winds and the snow blowing, it was hard to see. But we got started down Liberty Bowl and the patroller was right on the money I found good pockets of ankle deep powder and it was nice and soft. Liberty Bowl was skiing awesome! We made our way down slowly but at a good pace. It was a blast. That run is so amazing! It is huge, steep and the views are incredible in every direction. We exited the bowl and enter the run Screaming Left and made our way to Middle Road. About 1 hour later we had skied 6.5 miles and about 4000' vertical feet. My legs were burning and I had to sit down for a bit, so we took a break had a little something to eat and reflected on our run for the summit. So awesome!

We did discover what was going on with the avy work, the big bowl was closed because the snow in the gullies above the bowl was very unstable and we saw evidence of at least 3 slides into the bowl which was pretty freaky to see that. Not sure if they were ski patrol induced or natural but they were slides none the less.

We finished with a few more runs on the front side of the mountain. What a great day.

We went down to the village and went through our favorite stores. I found a cool beanie and then we went to Bucks T4 for dinner. We both had Buffalo burgers which were excellent. Now we are sitting in our hotel room talking about the day and planning another ski day at Big Sky for tomorrow...

I am thinking we are going to sleep well tonight.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Moonlight Basin

Wow, what a day... We made the short drive from Bozeman down to Big Sky, it is 39 miles and it is an amazing drive, really pretty. We arrived at the Moonlight Basin base area at about 930, we got a great parking spot and got ready to roll. We headed right straight up Six Shooter lift, it was a perfect blue bird day, not a damn cloud in the sky! When we got to the top we decided to take our favorite green cruiser from the top for a nice warm up run. It was incredible, the views were amazing and so beautiful. I love this area of Montana, I love the mountains here they are awesome in everyway. Anyway, after our warm up run we headed back up Six Shooter, we had decided that we were going to head up to the upper portion of the mountain and check out our favorite tree run. After getting off Six Shooter we headed into Stillwater Bowl Traverse and down to Lone Tree lift. We took that up to Horseshoe Bowl and made our way to Lookout Ridge with the idea of heading into Single Jack, which is our favorite tree run. We were hoping to find some soft snow to ski in. They have not had any new snow in a few days so things are pretty firm. We dropped into Single jack and found some good snow along the whole run, it was pretty fun. It is so fun skiing the tree out here, they all seem to be perfectly spaced. We exited Single Jack and finished off on Lookout Ridge before heading back to the Six Shooter lift. We headed back up and took another nice long green cruiser back to the base area to have lunch and rest. It was pretty chilly here today and we need a break to rest and warm up a bit.

After a 30-45 minute rest we headed back up and went over to the South side of the resort where Big Sky and Moonlight come together, it was really cool, I poached a few turns on the Big Sky side and then came back to Moonlight Basin, in all of times that we have been here we have never seen that area of the resort so that was really neat. As always we had a great time cruising and making our way around the mountain. It is an amazing place. The skiing is always good and the people are so friendly, I think that is what makes it fun.

We finished our day with the longest run here at Moonlight, a run called Horseshoe which is 3 miles long so awesome.

We packed up for the day and headed over to our hotel to check in. We have a great room with a nice view of the mountains. It is going to be a great week.

Tomorrow we will be skiing at Big Sky... Finally!

Moonlight Basin bound

Just a short blog this morning, we are packing up the car in prep for our 39 mile drive down to Big Sky... We are going to spend the day skiing at Moonlight Basin which is on the north side of Lone Peak. I can't wait to get down there. More later.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Bridger Bowl

What a great day. We got up after a pretty good night sleep and went and had breakfast. The hotel that we are staying at here has a nice breakfast included with the room. We fulled up and got ready to had out. Bridger Bowl is about 15 miles from our hotel. We had a nice drive down to the resort and found a place to park. The parking lot was already pretty full when we got there at about 915. We got our list tickets studied the trail map for a few minutes and head up. We decided that we were going to do a quick warm up run before heading up to the upper mountain. We went up Virginia City lift and came down a nice green cruiser The snow was soft and it had begun to snow. It was already looking like a great day. After our warm up run we headed back up but this time we went up Powder Park lift and then went up yet another lift called Alpine Lift to the upper part of the mountain, my god it was so beautiful up there. There was a free ride competition going on today so on our ride up Alpine lift we were able to watch a little of the competition. It was really awesome to see the competitors coming down from the ridge line. From Alpine lift we skied down Three Bears bowl which was steep and holding so great snow. We were able to find so untracked lines so we had out first powder run of the day going. Once we exited the bowl we took a nice green cruiser back to the base area. We decided that since the lifts on the right side of the resort were pretty busy that we would go up on the left side and try to get away from the crowds. We headed back up Virginia City lift and then made our way to Pierre's Knob lift. We stayed over on the left side of resort for the rest of the day. It was awesome over there we skied some great lines. Off Pierre's Knob we skied South Bowl to Thunder Road which was a great run. The Best snow we found was on Southbound which was a nice steep black that ran right along side Slushman's Ravine which is an uncontrolled avalanche area that requires you to have a transceiver, probe and shovel, we peaked and it looked pretty intense in that zone. But we were very happy with our runs off Pierre's Knob lift, we found some excellent untracked snow on every run over there so it was just awesome. I love skiing here. It is always just so amazing and so much fun. The people here are so friendly and are so chatty and glad to share a conversion about skiing.

We called it a day about 2pm because we wanted to hit the shops in downtown Bozeman and have an early dinner. We had a great time browsing around and having dinner at Montana Ale Works. Awesome place, we enjoyed a couple beers and I had a Kobe Beef Burger and Melissa had Fish Taco's which she said were really good. My burger was amazing. We were happy with our dinner choice.

We did have a minor issue, when we got back in the car after skiing I noticed a 6-7 inch crack in my windshield! Bummer. So we went and found an auto glass place to ask their opinion on whether or not I should get it fixed ASAP. They looked at it and said yes. So Wednesday I am going to drive back to Bozeman from Big Sky and have my windshield replaced. I made a 4pm appointment so we will still get a full day of skiing in. Oh well, I am not going to let it put a damper on the vacation.

Tomorrow we are leaving here at about 830 and making the 39 mile drive down to Big Sky. We are skiing at Moonlight Basin tomorrow and I can't wait. It is going to be awesome. Moonlight is amazing and so beautiful...

I love it here.

Skiing today

We are getting ready to go have some breakfast and then make the 15 mile drive up to Bridger Bowl. It sounds like they got 5 inches of snow over night so the conditions should be excellent. I am really looking forward to hitting the slopes. Also as a bonus they are having a free ride competition at Bridger today so it will be fun to check that out as well.

Friday, February 19, 2010

What a day...

We just got back from dinner at MacKenzie River Pizza, man was it good. We had a really fun server so we had a lot of laughs with her. Good food and a lot of laughs.

The blue light is flashing in downtown Bozeman which means that Bridger has gotten at least 2 inches today. I can't wait to get there tomorrow.


Got up early and hit the road... We made it to Bozeman in good time and got a hotel room. We went through a lot of snow showers on the way here. Nice big flakes. After checking in we went downtown Bozeman and had lunch at the Pita Pit which has the best pita's on earth and then hit the shops. We had a great time downtown. I love this town, it is just such an awesome place. The vibe here is just so excellent. People are so friendly and every where you look off in the distance you see the mountains. It just makes me happy.

Tonight we are going to MacKenzie River Pizza which is a Montana pizza place, there are about 5 of them all around Montana, we found it in Whitefish when we were there 2 years ago and the food is awesome. I am really looking forward to going tonight.

Saturday we are hitting Bridger Bowl for our first day of skiing, I am so excited. To get on the snow here... More later...

Feb 19, 2010 1:44:27 PM

At the Pita Pit for lunch, Bozeman MT.

Feb 19, 2010 1:06:15 PM


Melissa is cracking me up this morning. She got up at 6am and has been jumping around and acting silly for about 32 minutes.... I think she is looking forward to getting on the road and heading for Bozeman which I think secretly is her favorite city on Earth. She loves it there, all of the fun little shops and cool places to eat. I am also looking forward to getting there. I looked outside and the cars are covered in a dusting of Montana powder. It is starting out perfect...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Phase 1 of Vacation

Well it all started 133 days ago when I started the countdown which would lead to today...

I had a hlaf day at work today which was nice, I was busy so the 4 hours I was there went very fast which was nice. I left there at about 11 and was home at 1125, we loaded up the car and were on the road by noon. I had a goal of making it to Dickinson North Dakota, which would have been a great day 554 miles from home over half way. We made it to Fargo in exactly 4 hours. We got gas and had something to eat and hit the room. We got to Bismarck in what seemed like no time at all, the roads were perfect which was so nice. I knew we were going to make it to Dickinson with no problems at all. I asked Melissa when we were done getting gas in Bismarck if she was tired and she said no. I asked if she wanted to go a little further since everything was going so smoothly, road conditions and all. She said yes. Well we made it to Glendive Montana in exactly 10 hours... I couldn't be more pleased. It will make our day tomorrow so easy. We have an easy day of 364 miles to Bozeman tomorrow so I am very happy. We will get there early and have the whole day to bum around...

So far all is well...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Andriod blogging app..

I am just testing an app for my Driod. My goal is to blog daily while I am on vacation. I just want to see if this one is working...

Friday, February 12, 2010

Powder Day in Minnesota

Well the snow arrived this week and it arrived with vigor... We got about 10-12" between Sunday and Tuesday. I went out on Tuesday just as the storm had ended and left behind a fresh playground for me. I ditched out of work 30 minutes early and headed to Welch Village. My god it turned out to be amazing. the place was pretty much dead and there were fresh lines all over the hill. The entire hill was skiing great. I only found one spot that was icy. It was on the run Chicken which is the steepest run there and gets skied out pretty quickly. But otherwise there was fresh powder everywhere. There was awesome snow on Dan's Dive and Wild Finale, I was getting knee shots on Dan's which is unheard of for here in Minnesota. The snow was soft and a joy to ski in. I skied till just before close and then headed home thinking about how much I love to ski powder, even Minnesota powder.

Skiing on Tuesday night really just amped my excitement for Big Sky which is now under a week away. I cannot wait to get out there. I am really looking forward to it and have been watching the weather forecast more closely now for about 2 weeks trying to see patterns and estimate how our week out there is going to play out. I am hoping for dumpage all six days we are skiing. I am hoping the weather cooperates for our 2 days drive and then it can snow all it wants. We are hoping to get a ski day in at Bridger Bowl as well. So if everything goes as planned this will be the ski schedule:

Saturday - Bridger Bowl
Sunday - Moonlight Basin
Monday - Big Sky
Tuesday - Big Sky
Wednesday - Moonlight Basin
Thursday - Big Sky

Then we will start home on Friday... Booooooo

I just have a few things left to do and then I am ready to roll.

I think I am going to get one more run down to Welch in before we leave. I have Monday off so I think I am going to go down in the morning and ski the fabled Welch Back Bowl till it is ski out and then head home and finish packing for Montana...

I am going to try to blog dialy while I am out there so check back if you are interested.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Getting Ready

Well once again it is that time of year when I start to think, "Head west young man" I am now 14 days away from leaving for my ski vacation. So much to do so little time. I have to put a nice fresh coat of wax on our powder skis. Decide which out of my 10 skis jackets I want to bring. Clean my goggles. Pack up my ski pack with the essentials, Tibetan prayer flags, my picture of his holiness the Dalai Lama, my avy shovel and probe, lifesavers candies, Advil, bandaids and Cliff bars. Busy busy... But mostly my mind is starting to drift to the powder stashes on Lone Mountain and the awesome vibe that ones gets skiing in Montana. This needless to say is my favorite time of year. I have goals once again for this year as I do every year I head west, This year I want to ski Marx bowl and ski in the Dakota Territory. Those will be 2 new areas for me. I can't wait to get out there. Big Sky is getting snow and a lot of it. I am hoping Ullr will be kind to us once again this year.

Life is quiet, which I think is good. My head is always thinking of new things to do and new things to try. Work has been busy these last few days, so my brain is focused on the soft Montana powder and getting there. The time is going fast, I started my vacation countdown at 142 days and now I am down to 14... I know I am a dork, but that is how I roll.

Even though I am not religious this is pretty damn awesome:

Upon our skis, Lord, You bless us.
When we ponder the splendor of the mountains
and the glaciers sparkling with snow,
Upon our skis, Lord, You bless us.
When we ski, filled with joy,
in brilliantly white powder,
Upon our skis, Lord, You bless us.
When, through the cold blueness of dawn,
we track the snow-covered slopes,
Upon our skis, Lord, You bless us.
Lord, protect your friends the skiers and guide them
across the pistes and fields of snow
until the summit of our love resounds,
in praise and adoration.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Lutsen recap

Lutsen turned out to be bittersweet. We got up there at about 230 on Friday which was nice. We stopped in Duluth at Fitgers Brewhouse and had a nice lunch and picked up a couple growlers of beer. Then we finished the drive up to Lutsen and went straight to the hill to buy our lift tickets. We noticed right away that they had made some changes to the parking areas, which was nice and also and most importantly the new lift is FINALLY open and running! After buying tickets and checking into our hotel we relaxed and got ready for dinner. We had a nice meal at Moguls up at Caribou Highlands, we like that place. They have good food.

Saturday we woke to cloudy and warmer conditions it was about 30 when we got to the mountain and started skiing. The snow turned out to be very snow and it was actually in really nice shape. We took bridge chair up and came down KooKoo for our first run of the day. The snow was perfect on the north face of Eagle Mountain. Sweet. We headed right for the new chair. The new chair is great, it takes you right up to the upper chutes of the expert runs on eagle which is very nice, you no longer have to skate ski up hill to get there. Melissa and I did laps on the new chair for most of the morning. We lapped Cliff, Georges and Chris's Couloir most of the morning before heading over to Moose mountain. The wind was blowing from the East so Moose was very windy, infact to windy. We did a few of our favorite runs on Moose and headed back to the chalet before taking the tram back over to Eagle and Ullr mountains.

The weather was starting to turn about 2pm. A low level fog bank moved in and turned the visibilty to zero. It was to hard to ski so we called it a day. We had a fun day and got some good skiing in so that was all that mattered.

Saturday evening after a nice dinner at the Gunflint tavern in Grand Marais it started to rain! WTF weather. It rained all night and we awoke the next morning to a "wintry" mix that was mostly rain. We were bummed. We just can't check a break with the weather at Lutsen, I just don't understand why it just can't snow when we are there. Someone doesn't want us to ski fresh snow in Lutsen... Oh Well. We headed home. It was a bummer... But at least we had one great ski day.

On a positive note. I am down to one run left at Lutsen to ski and then I have skied every run there. the Plunge is the only one left. I am heading to do it this year, but with the lack of snow it is hard to say if it will even open this year. Ugh... Big Sky in 23 days!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Skiing and Re-do's

So I finally made it out skiing. Yes! And I still liked and was able to do it! I always get a little worried when I go to ski for the first time of the season that I will forget how or something stupid like that. But alas I did not and it was fun. We went down to Welch Village and everything was in good shape and the snow was pretty good, so it was pretty fun. Just made me want to get out to Big Sky right then and there but I have to wait 29 more days. I think I can make it.

Melissa and I are going to try for Lutsen again this weekend. We are going to leave tomorrow and head up. We plan on skiing all day Saturday and most of the day Sunday before heading back. We are staying at our favorite little hotel up there, the Cliff Dweller and we are both really looking forward to getting away for the weekend.

I have been in a real blah mood lately and I am not real sure why. It is kind of frustrating though. I think maybe it has to do with the fact that I haven't been out skiing much yet and that winter is almost over and it doesn't seem like I really have done anything. Christmas came and went and was kind of a non-event this year which made me kind of sad. I like Christmas a lot and this year didn't seem very Christmas-ie at all... I am hoping my funk will leave soon.

I am hoping for a week of fresh powder in Montana, I hear that clears all sorts of said funks. I am hoping so, but if nothing else the Tram ride to Liberty Bowl will be a good diversion...