Day 11: Vegas to Arizona Snowbowl
The van loaded for the return leg of the trip, first stop – the concreceous glory of Hoover Dam. Well worth 5 minutes. The plan was to go onto Flagstaff to bed down for the night before heading to the mountains of Telluride, Colorado. After a couple of days in Vegas the team started to get the feeling that Marc Rich had put the CIA onto them, for having way too much fun. Fortunately the van was able to throw the CIA off the trail by changing plans as quickly as they were made.
The magnificence of Hoover Dam.
A large mountain loomed in the distance, which turned out to be a ski hill called ‘Arizona Snowbowl‘. Dan and his “Lets go USA” gave some details on the hill and we called in at the next gas station to find out the conditions. 210″ base, 12″ fresh snow… Dan asked the van “shall we go?”, the van replied “chityeah”. Accommodation was found quick and efficiently and the mandatory dozen beers each was drunk and everyone hit the sack.
Day 12: Snowbowl and Flagstaff hospital
The van sang to the tunes of the fire-up CD up the hill to Snowbowl – Popie and Mick did their best John Bohnem / Moby Dick air drumming routine, everyone screamed how they had never had so much fun and that no-one wanted Joleen to take our man. Little did they know that trouble was brewing. The conditions were as good as they sounded and everyone skied the best snow of the trip so far. Mid-morning saw a sortie up into an off-piste bowl – nice, steep, deep powder.
On the way to the top of the powder-bowl, 9, Boon and Maddog talked about how everything during the trip had fallen into place almost perfectly. That seemed to be a good a reason as any to invent a new word, and so ‘Terminal Harminocity’ was born.
Everyone had a great run down, but as the accident report later noted “I was coming down the slope and went over a ledge, caught my back edge and smashed myself”. Well Boon was on the money with that description, a broken arm, smashed helmet and a black eye. So Maddog headed to the hospital to get Boon repaired.
The accident sequence: 1. A few seconds pre-break, 2. Still turning on the charm 3. Flagstaff Fingertrap.
These two clowns sat around and dished out life advice to anyone who was silly enough to listen, whilst various medical types came in and confirmed that in fact his arm was broken and that something would need to be done. The charm was flowing like wine to any of the young nurses who ventured into the room, but charm can only get you so far when you’re drugged up with a bung-eye.
The final verdict was that the hospital staff would try the old “flagstaff fingertrap” arm mending procedure. Various needles were inserted into the patient, with the nurse asking boon to rate on a scale of 1-10 the pain he was experiencing during the injection. Boon replied in a very calm manner “well it hurts quite a bit, like my wrist has a truck parked on it, I guess that’s an 8.”
Fair enough. With the wrist somewhat numb, the doctors stretched, twisted and manoeuvred the bones back into the correct place and then it was all plastered. Best $US3000 he ever spent.
The rest of the gang had an awesome day carving with about 20 other people on the slopes.
Day 13: Snowbowl and Flagstaff pub
The team decided that it was probably a good idea to hang around for a couple of days while Boons’ arm mended. Everyone (except for Boon) headed back up the mountain for another glorious day. Awesome boarding again - trees, bowls, ( and moguls if they got lost) etc. Boon spent the day wandering about Flagstaff, chatting-up old ladies and anyone else who happened to be around.
Dan met a lovely little woman and was happily going about chatting her up, also.
The crowds at snowbowl.
Day 15: Flagstaff, Arizona to Moab, Utah via the Grand Canyon
Everyone piled back into the Van and headed north to the Grand Canyon and beyond. It was agreed that this was one of the most spectacular drives of the trip…
Boon and Popie rockin.
Day 16: Moab to Jackson Hole
Hippies make the best bagels. There was a collective sigh from everyone’s digestive systems with some wholesome hippie tucker in the morning. Again, more spectacular scenery through Arches National Park. Another winning destination with the geos. Then the long slog to Wyoming. The van almost got stuck in Vernal due to the lack to road signs, but that was hardly going to be enough to slow the team up. It was dumping like crazy when the van pulled into Jackson Hole. Spirits were high, Boon and Maddog engaged in a variation of pool where an ashtray was used instead of the left hand to steady the que. Popie got chatted up by a large woman/man (??) and had to make an impressive escape under the table through the legs of the others and out the back door.
Our shy number 9
Popie taking it all in.
Boons Mexican hat
Day 17: Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Fresh steep, deep powder everywhere. Too much fun for anyone to take any photos. Pure gold.
Day 18-20: Big White
Another long day in the van, ending back in the land of the maple leaf. These 3 days in Big White Ski Resort (near Kelowna, in BC) saw lots of very easy cruising down nice big wide runs. The 11am Caesars (a drink involving the now notorious Clamato juice ie. tomato and clam juice, but otherwise tasting much like a Bloody Mary) became a bit of tradition, really easing the pain of the previous night.
The “lets see who can hit the other on the head the hardest with an oven tray” game.
Soaking it up
In the spirit of things Wez rocked a bit too hard to the fireup CD.
And so ended the journey and the team drifted back to their homes around the world and Vangina was returned to Regina by Paddo with an addittional 11 000 kms but without significant structural damage.
So much fun, so much booze, so much clown.
In the begining there was a bunch of songs, that lived their lives apart without meaning. One day they were brought together onto a CD, the fire-up. The CD got in a van with 9 people from around the world. They sang, they drank, they played pretend instruments, it was the soundtrack their unique philosophy. The songs brought us together and together we rocked. So we say as a group “for those about to rock, we salute you”