Written on May 22, 2012
Reflecting on the past two weeks, this has been a trip we will never forget. As I wrote in the last post from Mt. Baker, the end of our Volcano Tour has been bittersweet. We had so much fun with so many great partners on so many peaks that we are now in a strange post-expedition funk where the only remedy is continued activity – yoga, climbing, and running have filled the void here in Seattle. Jess and I have some of our favorite Whole Foods recipes from the trip to share w/ you, and of course, we have some wholehearted thanks to give to everyone who helped make this one of the most fun adventures we have ever had.
First off, here is a summary of the route info and data from the Volcano Tour:
For those of you thinking about a similar goal, we have two recommendations: First, definitely build a couple of rest days into your plan. Climbing / skiing days can be long and your body needs to recover so you can keep up the pace. Sleep is crucial, even if you never seem to get enough. Second, make sure you are getting enough calories, and the right kind of calories, to fuel your adventure. The recipes below are a few of our favorites from the trip and were designed by Healthy Eating Specialist Sarah Morgan at Whole Foods Market.
High Protein Waffles:
- 1 cup rolled oatmeal
- 1 cup cottage cheese
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- Spray oil for griddle
REPEAT RECIPE FOR MORE WAFFLES/PANCAKES. CAN BE FROZEN FOR LATER USE.
Method: Place ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Spray waffle iron or griddle , spoon batter into iron or griddle and cook until golden brown. Serve with maple syrup, nut butter and fresh fruit.
The Hulk Smoothie:
- 1 cup spinach
- 1 cup kale
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 TBSP flax seed
- 1 banana (frozen or fresh)
- 1-2 scoops protein powder of choice
- 1 TBSP Maca Powder
MAKES ONE SMOOTHIE.
Method: Layer blender with orange juice, banana, flaxseed, protein powder, maca powder, spinach, and kale. Blend until smooth and add more orange juice as desired.
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The crew admires another “X” on the back of the Land Yacht. 15 Volcanoes in 14 days.
By: Chris Davenport
Written on May 20, 2012
The end of any great journey or vacation is always bittersweet. On one hand, you have a wonderful collection of memories and experiences, but on the other hand you are left wanting more. Now that we have wrapped up our Volcano Tour with yesterday’s ascent and ski of Mt. Baker, we all find ourselves fulfilled, but at the same time wondering what to do today (?). To me, this is the true measure of the success of an adventure. We succeeded on many levels, yet are now as motivated as ever for more.
Our final volcano mission on Mt. Baker was somewhat fortuitous. We drove many hours north after ourlong one-day ascent of Mt. Rainier on the 17th, and arrived in the Mt. Baker ski area parking lot at midnight. Everyone was truly exhausted. Christy Mahon, who was driving a car with her husband Ted, even pulled over at Chair 1 at Mt. Baker, unable to drive any further. Ted took over and drove the final 100 yards to the parking lot! The next day we had grand plans of doing the long traverse from the ski area to Mt. Baker volcano, but Mother Nature and our own lack of energy stood in the way. We were unable to get out of the Land Yacht before 10 am, and after 4 hours of touring in the clouds on Ptarmigan Ridge with limited views of the volcano, we decided to call it an active rest day and head back to the parking lot to regroup. It’s nice when the weather makes decisions for you (nevermind that this route is super-long and would require a much earlier start).
View of the NW side of Mt. Baker from Ptarmigan Ridge on our five hour “active rest day.”
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The group discussed our options and decided it would be best to attempt Baker the next morning from Glacier Creek, a road / drainage on the north side of the mountain. We headed down that afternoon to scout the road and found a sweet, abandoned RV park right at the base of Glacier Creek road to park the Land Yacht. The proprietor was there and we paid him ten bucks and plugged into his power and water. That afternoon provided a wonderful opportunity for a BBQ so we grilled up some fresh fish tacos with slow marinated Tilapia we had picked up at Whole Foods Market in Portland. The mood was easy as the group (Ted, Christy, Ian, Grant, Jess and myself) along with friends Tim (from Snowtroopers.com), Andy (a Baker patroller), and Holly Walker and her friend from Whistler (who were finishing some training before heading to Denali), enjoyed some cold beers and great stories of recent adventures.
Getting ready for a good night’s sleep inside the cavernous Spyder Land Yacht.
Everyone needed to catch up on sleep so it was lights out at 9pm and a 4:15am wake up. The new dawn was clear and blue. Mother Nature was at it again, blessing our team with a perfect day. Up the road to the summer trailhead we climbed, feeling our engines warm up as the sun crested the ridges to the east.
On the morning approach up the glacier to Mt. Baker. We would ski the glacier inside of the right skyline.
Mt Baker is big and beautiful. The vertical relief is large – nearing 8,000’ from where we started – but after a string of huge days on our project we don’t bat an eye at numbers like that anymore . The group made fast progress up the Coleman-Denning route and climbed on firm, frozen corn snow onto the glacier. We ran into various friends along the way, skiers we had met over the years and in various parts of the world. It’s always cool to be reminded how small this wonderful ski community really is. We also ran into someone we had met on the summit of Mt. St. Helens, and I even ran into an old high-school classmate near the summit (Matt Schonwald, who runs BC Adventure Guides out of Seattle).
Ian Fohrman and Ted Mahon on the summit cone.
Christy Mahon climbing towards the summit. Photo Ian Fohrman
Christy climbs the final Roman Headwall to the summit. Photo Ted Mahon
On top of Mt. Baker there was ample celebration, but as always it was tempered by the fact that as a rule we never talk it up or call it done until we are safely back at the car. Regardless, the weather up there was incredible – relatively warm with little wind and views from Canada to the great North Cascades (and even the ocean way out to the west). As many of you know I have had incredible luck with the weather throughout my career as a skier. But this run of stable, blue-sky days was almost too good to be true. We all discussed how it could be that we were able to stand on fifteen summits under perfect conditions in just fourteen days. What have I done in my life to deserve this? Well, Mother Nature, your blessings don’t go without deep thanks and gratitude (and a big shout out to our Meteorologist Joel Gratz fromFindOpenSnow.com for his accurate forecasts).
The crew on top with our young-gun friend Andrew in green. We swear – there was no discussion of color coordination.
As is somewhat typical of these volcanoes the top is still frozen, the middle section absolutely perfect, and the lower slopes a little sticky. Baker was no different. We slid down the loud, frozen snow off the summit cone and into a cool, steep serac-ridden face that made for a fun little side adventure from the main route. Although the skiing wasn’t anything special, it’s always fun to safely negotiate interesting terrain high on a steep glacier. Ian, Jess, and I skied out right while Ted and Christy came around to the left to ski the smoother slopes of the main climbing line and shoot some pictures from below.
Chris skiing the upper glacier. Photo Ted Mahon.
Ian Fohrman on firm snow in a “no-fall” zone.
Once we finally entered the perfect corn-snow zone it was game-on! High speed Super-G turns that went on and on and on. Tim from SnowTroopers.com was filming and we were all hooting and hollering, enjoying the incredible reward that we all get as ski-mountaineers – put in the hard work going up and then enjoy the spoils on the way down.
Chris enjoying great snow and high-speed turns on the descent. Photo: Ian Fohrman.
Chris, Jess, and Ian ready to rock the perfect corn snow on the descent.
Chris in fine form in the ideal spring snow. Photo Ted Mahon.
Back at the cars it was finally time for some serious hugs of thanks all around. We had done it! We achieved our goal of skiing as many volcanoes as we could during this great weather window, and having done it safely, we could be proud of all the planning and hard work we put into it. Fifteen volcanoes in fourteen days with old friends and many new one as well. This trip has been one of the best road trips I’ve ever done in my life. All I can say is “thanks” to everyone involved.
I will summarize the Volcano Tour along with details from each volcano and a plentitude of thanks to everyone involved in the next blog post tomorrow.
In the meantime, we are hosting a photo contest on Instagram right now. This will be really cool and we have some amazing prizes for the coolest summit photo. Read below for details.
We are also hosting a party at Sturtevant’s Ski Shop in Bellevue, WA on Tuesday 3-6 pm and everyone is invited. I hope to see many of you there!
Until then, thanks for reading.
Team #VolcanoTour’s Mt. Baker Route.
By: Chris Davenport
Written on May 18, 2012.
I’m gonna keep this one short as we’re currently in position to climb Mt. Baker and have very poor internet service. Yesterday was an amazing day on Mt. Rainier. As the highest volcano in the Lower 48, and fifth highest summit in the Lower 48, it presented a fun challenge for the Volcano Tour team. Both Ted and I had climbed and skied it before, and I have been on Rainier with Chris Pondella, but those trips were ‘over-nighters.’ The first time I skied Rainier with Ted, I ran into Sky Sjue, who was skiing it in a single day. From that point on I had wanted to give it a go in a single day as well. So here we were, fit (although tired) after already hiking and skiing thirteen volcanoes in eleven days – parked at the base of Rainier ready to go. There was a little discussion about our options – to camp or not to camp – but everyone agreed it would be much classier and a prouder achievement to send it in a single day. The Volcano Tour has been blessed with so many friends joining us for the peaks. For Rainier, the team was Ted and Christy Mahon, Jess McMillan, Ian Fohrman, Jim Morrison, Christian Pondella, and myself.
Washington’s Mt. Rainier (14,411’), in all of her glory. Photo: Ian Fohrman
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We were up at 3am brewing coffee and making Hulk Smoothies (our Whole Foods Market favorite). A couple of bags of Bear Naked Granola were ripped through with blueberries and coconut milk. As the team powered through breakfast there was a knock on the door, and to everyone’s surprise, Christian Pondella and Jim Morrison stepped through into the Land Yacht. This has to be one of the greatest moves of all time to come join a crew for a ski descent … Jim flew his plane from Truckee to Mammoth, picked Christian up, and they flew to Seattle, landing at 11pm the night before. They rented a car and drove straight to Paradise on Rainier, arriving at 3:30am the morning of. With absolutely no sleep at all, Jim and Chris were about to climb 9,000 vertical feet and ski Mt. Rainier. Christian has been one of my main partners over the years in the big mountains, and is also one of the world’s premier mountain photographers. Jim and I also go way back and he has already skied Shasta, Jefferson, and Hood with us on this tour.
Christian and Jim deliriously happy below the Fuhrer Finger route.
We started up in the dark at 4:20am and made quick work up the mountain. The Nisqually Glacier was well covered, with just a few major crevasses to navigate. By 9am we were up through the classic Fuhrer Finger Couloir, and powered toward the summit. The temps were cold, and with a stiff breeze, the day was one of the coldest we have experienced on this trip.
Christian navigates a crevasse.
Climbing mid-way up the Fuhrer Finger couloir.
Jess McMillan and the team high above the couloir moving onto the upper mountain.
Ian Fohrman on his first Rainier ascent.
The final thousand feet of Rainier is a killer, especially after having already climbing 8,000 vertical feet already that day, and 60,000 already in the last ten days. We were tired, we were cold, but we were so fired up to be on top of this magnificent mountain in a fast time, and on an awesome route. I broke out myBernese Down Jacket (part of the White Spyder Collection) for the first time on this trip, and even added some hand warmers to my gloves. We tried to sit out of the wind, where it was slightly warmer, but after a few minutes everyone agreed it was time to keep moving. We skied off the top and down the frozen upper mountain, wondering when things would soften up.
The team climbs the upper ridge 1,000’ below the summit.
Jess and Jim high on Rainier.
We didn’t shoot a ton of ski images on the way down. The skiing was marginal until we were through the Finger, where the corn really got good. But at that point, we had skied into the clouds so the visibility wasn’t so great. In any case, we made it down to Paradise and back to the Land Yacht in just over eleven hours. It was a great achievement for the team: getting all seven members up and down in a good time and on a really fun route, with no issues whatsoever. Although one-day ski descents have been done on Rainier, it certainly doesn’t happen very often; and I’m really curious if anyone out there knows of any woman who has done it in a single day as Jess has now done.
We quickly packed up the rig and headed north for a long drive to Mt. Baker. Baker may well be our final volcano of the tour, as there is some pretty significant weather moving in later in the weekend and our time is getting tight. But what a string of amazing weather we’ve encountered!
So, Chris Davenport signing off for now. Thanks for following us everyone. Stay tuned for more updates. And, once again, congrats to Christian and Jim for making such an amazing effort to join us.
Team #VolcanoTour’s Mt. Rainier route.
Professional Skier Asit Rathod skis Mt. Hood’s northeast face in the buff on May 13, 2012 after having a ‘McConkey moment of clarity.’
By: Asit Rathod (@presidentofpow)
Written on May 13, 2012
Hey hey All!!
Guest blogger Asit Rathod checking in from the ‘Ring of Fire’ Volcano Tour and Mount Hood; and what a day it was my friends!
Quote of the day award goes to Jess McMillan during brunch in Hood River…”I’m really happy about being drunk right now” (ed. note: let’s face it everyone, she’s earned it). It’s funny but as we grow older and the years keep adding we start realizing how much life changes but good friends still stay the same.
So I got an email a few weeks back from my old friend Chris Davenport that his merry band of crazies were going to ski the Pacific Northwest ‘Ring of Fire.’ I read the itinerary and thought they’d have a better chance of winning the lottery than staying true to the dates. Well son of a gun, I should have bought that lottery ticket.
We all rendezvoused around 10pm in the parking lot of Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood last night and it was as if time had never passed since our days together almost two decades ago. Yes we are that old. Then out of nowhere, I see a smile that made me smile from within as if I had just seen the Easter Bunny and Santa Clause kung fu fighting each other. Mr. Jim Morrison gave me a hug and that signature smile that was exactly as I remembered it 15+ years ago. I knew a whole lot of awesomeness was about to happen but we had to get some zzzzzz’s. So a big hug, HI-5’s, and ‘sleep well’s’ was all that two old friends could give each other.
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The alarm at 3:37am hit me like an angry ex-girlfriend asking me why I was such a big !$?. We had a crew of thirteen skiers, snowboarders, and photographers ready to start the day at 4am with two objectives: ski from the 11,239’ summit of Mount Hood and have fun – having fun being the number one objective. True to tradition, my cardio (or lack thereof) allowed me to bring up the rear. Too many Perdomo cigars and Jameson are to thank for that, and I joined the group on the summit around 8am. Lots of HI-5’s, hugs, photos, and a name ceremony for my Brother and super badass Dave Watson’s new daughter, Amaya Kula Watson, ensued. Within an hour all thirteen of us were ready to drop in and have an amazing ski down Cooper Spur on the northeast face of Mount Hood. Cooper Spur has about 1500 ft. of relief with a fair bit of consequence. Basically it means ‘don’t fall or mom on Mother’s Day will not be happy.’
Getting ready to drop in fully clothed, my brain kept repeating in Shane McConkey’s stupid pitched voice, ‘Do it! Do it Indian guy, just ski it naked.” … “Carlos could you put my pants in your bag?” … and the next thing I knew I was naked and ready to ride. Skiing naked has always been about one simple fact: we enjoy a sport with serious consequences, but we need not take ourselves too seriously. My close friend, hell every skier’s close friend, Shane McConkey is the guy that reminded all of us that no matter how cool or badass you think you are, it doesn’t matter if you’re not having fun. Take your dreams and passions seriously but never take yourself too seriously.
The beauty of the great state of Oregon lies in the fact we were back in the parking lot by 10am drinking Jameson and in Hood River having brunch with the line we just skied as our backdrop at Divots Golf Course by noon.
I have always wondered why I have had such luck in my life with all the great friends I seem to have and continue to gain. Today I realized it’s not luck, but rather the mountains. Friendships are built on years of experiences together which are hard to find as we grow older. The mountains possess a magic that accelerates friendships and bonds that last a lifetime. While I haven’t been privy to the ‘Ring of Fire’ Volcano Tour before today, nor will I be joining moving forward, I can tell you it was pretty awesome reconnecting with old friends and making new friends. Thank you Chris, Jess, and crew!
Aerial photo of Mt. Jefferson showing our ski line, the beautiful Southwest Face. Photo by Jim Morrison
By: Chris Davenport
Written on May 12, 2012
As I sit here in the Spyder Land Yacht driving north towards tomorrow’s objective, Mt. Hood, I can’t help but reflect on the last eight days and the ten peaks we’ve skied. Both Jess and I have mentioned in our blog posts how cool it is each day to look south and see the mountains we have skied, and then to turn north and see our future. We’re tired – really tired – with tens of thousands of vertical feet in our legs and only one rest day … yet somehow the stoke meter stays pinned.
This trip has been a dream on many levels, but perhaps the greatest gifts have been from Mother Nature herself. The weather has been perfect the entire time, and the corn-snow cycle as good as it gets on these big Cascade volcanoes. What we did in our lives to arrive at this place and be blessed with such gifts is beyond me. I’m just grateful to share these experiences with such amazing people.
I think I have heard Jess say “today was my favorite volcano” at least five or six times so far, and it was loud and clear today on Mt. Jefferson. This massive mountain has no easy access this time of year and was the lowest starting point we have had so far (around 3,100’) so we were looking at a huge day.
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We have been loving all the recipes the Whole Foods Market healthy eating specialist Sarah has put together for us, but we decided to create our own delicacy today, (or maybe we should call it a culinary experiment). Jess cut a ton of veggies and dropped a dozen eggs and some cheese and cream into the crock pot last night, and we turned it on at 1:30am.
When we woke up at 4:20am the aroma in the Land Yacht was heavenly. She had created the world first Volcano Frittata. We welcomed newly arrived friends Jim (who skied Shasta with us) Glen, and Sarah into the RV for a hearty breakfast.
The team hit the trail at 5:20am and made quick work up through the massive timbers of the forest to the snowline. We had a hard freeze last night and were able to crampon all the way from around 5,000’ to the summit at 10,300’
Jefferson’s steep summit was guarded on all sides by cliffs covered with rime ice, but we found a way through and stepped on top at 11am after climbing over 7,000’ vertical on great snow. Now it was time to wait for the snow on the south-west face to soften up.
By the time we made two raps back down the steep rime we knew it was going to be good. I’ve skied some perfect corn in my time but today was as good as I’ve ever had it. Over 4,000’ of the perfect velvet-soft corn snow we all dream about. You could ski fast, I mean really fast, and with total control, as gravity swept your body down the fall line.
The amount of G-force you can generate going fast in perfect corn is insane, and it can push your skis and boots to the limit. Luckily I’ve got the finest setup from Kästle (the TX97) and Garmont (The new Cosmos) so I can let these products do the work for me.
The vert blew past us and the smiles were huge by the time we reached the dirt and our running shoes. The descent back through the forest elicited feelings of psychedelia – the trees are so huge and green and the smell of the forest is palpable. We were all waiting for an Ewok or a Sasquatch to pop out!
What can I say… the Volcano Tour rolls on in fine form. We are psyched to welcome close friends Ted and Christy Mahon from Aspen to the team for the next week and to meet our friends Mike Arzt and Ian Fohrman who drove all night from Colorado tonight at Timberline. Tomorrow is Mt. Hood, a volcano I first skied on in 1986 as a scrawny teen.
(The east side of North Sister under a half-moon.)
By Chris Davenport
Written on May 11, 2012
Yesterday was our biggest day of the trip so far in terms of distance covered, vertical climbed & skied, and pure effort exerted. Luckily for us we had some great local knowledge. We hooked up with local skier and owner of Three Sisters Backcountry huts Jonas Tarlen through our friend David Marchi; Jonas took us on a grand adventure. Jess and I were ready for a big day, but when it was all over we were definitely whooped!
Aside from losing an hour trying to summit North Sister in icy conditions, we moved quickly all day and finished the almost 18 mi. traverse of over 10,000’ vertical in just under 12 hours. One of the coolest and perhaps most surprising aspects of this day was that during a perfect weather window, and in ideal snow conditions, we didn’t see another soul out there in Central Oregon’s biggest mountains.
Three Sisters Vital stats: The Three Sisters Traverse is comprised of three separate summits: North Sister (10,085’), Middle Sister (10,047’), and South Sister (10,358’).
We skied Mt. Washington this morning (our 9th volcano in 6 days) and are headed to the trailhead for tomorrow’s big day on Mt. Jefferson. Our internet connection has been quite slow during this part of the trip, so I’m going to let the photos (below) tell the story on this one. I think you’ll enjoy…
But not without a final shout-out to Shane, Jonas’ partner at ThreeSistersBackcountry who picked us up on the road in his snow-machine, complete with chocolate milk and beer! Thanks Shane!
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more from Washington and Jefferson.
«You’ll find a bunch of awesome photos of our Three Sisters Odyssey after the jump»
Jonas Tarlen, owner of the Three Sister Backcountry huts, on the early morning approach to North Sister.
Chris Davenport and Jess McMillan approaching the east side of North Sister from Pole Creek.
Jess McMillan making the traverse over the Camel’s Hump towards the summit block of North Sister. South Sister’s North Face can be seen on the right and Mt. Bachelor can be seen to the left. The climbing on this ridge was spectacular.
Jonas and Jess attempting the very steep and icy traverse to gain the summit couloir on North Sister. The team turned around from the summit do to falling ice and challenging conditions. With two axes and technical crampons and maybe even a rope we could have made the summit, but still would have had to down-climb back to where we skied from.
Jess get’s ready to drop in off of North Sister for the ski over to Middle Sister.
Jess McMillan enjoying perfect spring corn-snow conditions on the South Face of North Sister
Jonas, Jess, and Chris on the summit of Middle Sister – with North on the right.
Jess skiing of the summit of Middle Sister
Looking south at the grand North Face of South Sister. Our ascent route follows the shallow ridge inside of the right skyline. This face reminded me slightly of the Gibraltar Ledges zone on Rainier.
Jonas and Jess work their way up the north side of South Sister. We skied the South Face of North Sister on the far right and then the South Face of Middle Sister – just right off the summit. This last climb up was a real grind. Everyone was out of water (3 liters each) by the time we reached the summit. I ate two Clif Bars, two Shot Bloks, and two Shots as well as my super-secret Volcano sandwich during the day. Jess had a sandwich as well but it was liberated from her backpack by an airborne marauder – a raven – during our climb towards the summit of North Sister. This little criminal even unzipped her backpack with it’s beak to access the goods.
A tighter shot of where we had skied up to this point. Middle Sister on the left and North sister on the right. Doing the traverse from North to South made perfect sense as we hit great corn on the south face ski descents and had firmer snow to climb on the north sides. Mt. Jefferson makes an appearance in the distance. (We will ski that on Saturday, May 12th.)
A grand view of the Oregon Cascades! Jonas and Jess approach the summit of South sister after a 10 hour traverse up to this point.
The team may be tired but we’re never too tired to be stoked on this trip! Jonas, Chris, and Jess enjoy the summit of South Sister.
Jess still in good form skiing the classic South Ridge of South Sister.
A GPS / Google Earth depiction of our Three Sisters route. Burly!
By: “Captain” Grant Burrow
Ping…Ping…Clank…Ping…Clank. This is what I hear every morning around 4:30am on the ‘Ring of Fire’ Volcano Tour. My eyes slowly open; I can smell the coffee brewing and sense the stoked atmosphere inside the Spyder Land Yacht from Team Volcano Tour as they prepare to climb and ski yet another volcano.
This is a volcano tour – an attempt to ski seventeen volcanoes throughout the Pacific Northwest during the month of May. But this is much more then a ski trip – it truly is a journey (and a mostly unscripted journey at that). Beyond the team’s stated priorities of meeting local skiers and mountaineers, partaking in local activities, and, well, climbing and skiing a ton of vertical feet, it’s an open book.
For those of you who have been following our blog, you know about the team’s experiences on the mountain. As the ‘Captain’ of the Land Yacht, I have a unique perspective of this journey. As ‘Captain’ – and we’re going to use a more expansive definition than a mere driver here – I spend my days holding down the fort as the cleaning crew, the cook, the jester, the DJ, the maintenance tech, and as the navigator. I’m a one-man army up in here.
My day starts when the team rises (no soundproof walls in the Land Yacht). After a quick bite to eat, I watch them exit the rig and then disappear into the woods or up a trail. Then what? I turn into the cleaning machine. For me, a clean home is a happy home! I tie up my apron, put on my rubber gloves, and get to work. I vacuum, do the dishes, set out our “outdoor patio” (artificial grass and lawn chairs – yep, as hilarious as it sounds), and then prep food items for brunch for when the team returns.
We’ve interacted with a ton of locals on this tour. Sure – the team has encountered many like-minded locals on their ascents, but I on the other hand, have had the opportunity to meet the very unique. I walked an Indian family through the RV whom have their eyes on something similar United States. I also gave a tour to a woman wearing a full leopard print leotard with a matching eye patch on a motorcycle at a gas station in Mt. Shasta.
As you all can imagine, hiking 4,000+ feet per day to reach a summit makes a human’s body get hot and sweaty. Do you know what a hockey bag smells like? Or soccer shoes after the season ends? I do, and that is exactly what the team smells like! For the Mt. McLoughlin climb, we were stationed at a very nice campground called Lake of the Woods. The campsite was on the side of a beautiful lake with a great view of the volcano. When the team returned, it was time for a quick bath! Although the water was only 50 degrees Fahrenheit, I refused to depart for our next destination until all three took a dive. Thank you Lake of the Woods!
We are trying to take in the local flavor as well. While we were in Bend, OR, we went to a new microbrewery called GoodLife. As you all know, this is a small world. When we walked in, one of the brewery partners named Pratt came up and started talking with Dav. Turns out he recognized Dav from Aspen where he used to live. I can’t go anywhere with Team Volcano Tour without someone recognizing them – wish I were that popular!
We then headed over to Great Outdoors by Altrec.com for a little employee appreciation BBQ. We cooked up hotdogs and served GoodLife’s Mountain Rescue Pale Ale. A father and his two young kids were infatuated with the Land Yacht. Davenport told them that we had an elevator and the kids’ eyes lit up. He took them for a ride on the back gate (hydraulic lift into the back garage). After a hotdog, Spyder stickers, and signatures from the team, the family left happier then when we arrived.
This trip has been quite an experience … one I’ll never forget. I’ve had the opportunity to see a beautiful and expansive swath of the Pacific Northwest – maybe through a different lens than the team, but this isn’t a popularity contest.
-Grant Burrow a.k.a. THE CAPTAIN