Day 6/7: Calgary to Sun Valley Ski Resort, Idaho
After being back on the road for about a half-hour after leaving Sunshine, a short team meeting came up with a new plan…instead of driving to Lake Tahoe we would shave approx 1000kms off the trip by driving through Montana, Idaho and Utah to get down to Las Vegas, Nevada. This change of plan was particularly good for Ezza, who was meeting us in Vegas, since for sure we would never have made it there to meet him in time. However, the new plan would still require driving through the night to get to an exceptional ski resort in Idaho called Sun Valley.
After the horror story we were expecting at the US border, the process was really pretty easy, with only 2 members of the van being fined $5 each for looking like stupid Aussies.
Boon made a strong claim for both the David Clarence Award and the Bon Scott Award by drinking 24 beers in the next 24 hours. He started this by driving through until midnight, then handing off the responsibility to Maddog to drink with Popie in the backseat until 3am, then drinking and dribbling shit with Maddog in the passenger seat til 6.30am at which time he woke the rest of the van members up with a need to get more beer. Luckily there was some Clamato (tomato juice with clam juice) in the van to combine with the beer as breakfast for the team. The spectacular scenery and breakfast provided the inspiration for lyrical gems such as “I’d a ‘ho in Idaho”.
Craters of the moon, Idaho at sunrise.
Boon and Popie in Vangina, Idaho just after sunrise with breakfast beers. Boons 10th beer of the day.
A very excited Dan illegally jumped in the drivers seat to take the team the final few hours into Sun valley, passing through spectacular scenery such as the world renowned Craters of the Moon National Park. The craters were covered in snow, but to beer fuddled brains at 7am it was spectacular all the same.
Boon completed beer number 12 and under a crisp blue-bell sky sometime around mid-morning we finally rocked up to Sun Valley. There the team found a veritable paradise of hot springs and untracked backcountry snow. Popey on his 3rd day boarding completed his first major jump, puling a backside-180 off with style and precision. Unfortunately in the next attempt he landed head-side.
Warm springs, Sun Valley, Idaho.
Boons’ effort continued throughout the day, and by 10pm, he had completed his 24 beers in 24 hours. He went missing a short time later but was later found passed out in the hotel room spooning with Popie and 9.
Day 8: Sun Valley Idaho to Salt Lake City, Utah.
As the day dawned bright and sunny in Idaho the team woke to the smell of Boon having clogged the toilet overnight, and the sight of a trashed hotel room. Sun Valley is famous for two things – having the first chairlift at a ski resort in the world (they haven’t upgraded) and being the final resting place of Ernest Hemmingway (he committed suicide there). Luckily the snow and runs were of excellent quality with much fun had by all. Number 9 and Boon made an awesome display of boarding all the runs without turning once all day, while it was Maddogs’ turn to give the mountain a body-pounding.
We salute you in Sun Valley, Idaho. (Dan, Scott, Boon and 9).
Day 9: Salt Lake City to Vegas
While Utah might have crap drinking laws (spawning the inspired comment ”I can’t believe the state I’m in, in the state I’m in”) it does happen to have some spectacular parks and this day we explored Bryce Canyon and Zion Nat Park. Since most of the van was made up of geos and geo engineers much of the time was spent drooling over the incredible rock formations, to the slight frustration of some other members of the Van, although towards the end of the day even Dan was considering a career move.
The team (minus Ez and Wez) at Bryce Canyon.
Popie taking Boon down.
Day 10: Vegas
Well there’s not much to say about the Vegas part of the trip except we got drunk and lost most of our money. A common story. Somehow, miraculously Ezz and Wez were both able to find the rest of the group after no plans were really made to meet. Boony and Popie were nearly married on an all night bender but then remembered that they weren’t homosexual, and we took a roller coaster ride on top of the highest building in Vegas. The team was all pretty sick of the place by the 2nd night – lucky we had driven all the way down there for the journey, not the destination.
The happy couple.