After living in the State of Michigan for nearly 33 years I finally made it to Tahquamenon Falls State Park. Can I finally call myself a Michigander now?
Pictures were taken with my GoPro Hero3+ and iPhone SE.
After living in the State of Michigan for nearly 33 years I finally made it to Tahquamenon Falls State Park. Can I finally call myself a Michigander now?
Pictures were taken with my GoPro Hero3+ and iPhone SE.
Its that time of year again when I head on my annual “Mancation” ski trip with my buddies. This year we will be heading out to Park City, Utah for our rage fest. Its been on the short list of places to go for me and I’m happy to be shredding it this year.
Last year, we had a great time at Mont Tremblant in Canada and are planning on bettering that trip. We are staying a whole week this year which is a new thing for us as we usually only go for 3 nights.
The snow reports are starting to look like it might actually drop a couple inches this year. It better as we seem to bring bad luck where ever we go. Last year it snowed for the first time ever on a trip with a steady snowfall for all 4 days on the slopes. Nothing big but just enough to make it soft.
We found a house to rent two blocks away from downtown the Park City Mountain Resort chair lift. We are renting a mini van so we can check out the other resorts in the area like the The Canyons, Brighton, and Sundance. Hopefully Robert Redford will be at Sundance so we can see him show off some of his ski moves he put so brilliantly together in Downhill Racer.
The goal this year is to shred seven days. To do so I’ve been busting my ass trying to get my cardio up to do it. I’ve done a bunch of different workouts in the past month to hopefully allow me to shred as much gnar as possible during the day, party at night, and repeat the next day.
I’ve been doing more endurance workouts including 4 mile runs followed by a 3/4 mile swim twice a week. It takes me about an hour and a half to do this while only taking a break to change clothes to get into the pool. Every day after doing those I feel sore as hell but good at the same time as every muscle in my body was challenged.
On the other days I’ve been doing a combination of P90X, P90X Plus, and Insanity workouts. The ones in particular I’ve been doing are Insanity Pure Cardio, Insanity Cardio Recovery, P90X Yoga X, P90X Upper Plus, P90X Interval X Plus, P90X Kenpo Cardio Plus, along with the ab workouts like Ab Ripper X and Abs Core Plus.
The mountains (hills) here in Michigan are merely a place to warm up or practice new tricks and I’ve been going once a week to break in some new ski boots I got for Christmas. I’m not into doing tricks so its mainly a time for me to get loosened up and get out of the house. After skiing at places like Vail, Whistler, and Lake Tahoe, the plces in Michigan are kind of a let down.
I should be able to go for it and ski or snowboard every day with the shape I’m in. The first couple runs are going to burn a little but hopefully my conditioning will help me power through and enjoy myself out there. Dave has told me he’s going to shred every day also. I hope he does as I know our other friends who are coming usually burn out after the second day.
Maybe with the extra two days on the slopes Dave will beat his weight loss record from last year when he lost 7 pounds snowboarding. Its an amazing feat as we ate like crap and drank lots of Canadian beer last year. He might lose 10 or more this year.
Holy Crap. I was able to hit my goal of skiing or snowboarding for 7 straight days while on my trip to Park City, Utah. I’ll tell you what, I am exhausted as hell. Riding for 4-5 hours a day straight with small breaks here and there started to catch up to me on the last two days. The conditions could not of been better. We’ve been going on a ski trip every year for the past 7 years and this is the first year that it snowed every day. On 3 of the days it dropped 4 inches while we were skiing or it dropped 2-4 inches over night.
This was our plan.
Monday (2/15/10) – Night skiing at Park City Mountain Resort
Tuesday (2/16/10) – Skiing at Park City Mountain Resort
Wednesday (2/17/10) – Snowboarding at Sundance Resort
Thursday (2/18/10) – Snowblading (Mini Skis) at Brighton Ski Resort
Friday (2/19/10) – Snowboarding at Park City Mountain Resort
Saturday (2/20/10) – Snowboarding at The Canyons
Sunday (2/21/10) – Snowboarding at Snowbird
We got into Salt Lake City on Monday around noon. We headed right to Park City Mountain Resort before we checked into our rental house for some night skiing. They only had a couple runs opened but we did not care. The couple hours we spent on the hill was a great warm up for the next couple of days.
For Tuesday we headed back to PCMR. It snowed over night and there were blue skies all day. We tried to shred as much of PCMR as possible but the place is so big and the lift lines were a little busy as people were celebrating Mardi Gras. It made for a fun day. My legs were getting a great workout on all of the Blue and Black Diamonds I went down. I’ve had a set of Volkl Skis for a couple years now and they worked very well with my new set of Salomon Ski Boots. Besides my feet hurting a little from breaking in the new ski boots it ended up being an awesome day.
On Wednesday we decided to get into our rental car and drive out to Robert Redford’s Sundance. This place had more of a rustic feel to it. The majority of the buildings were wood and much of the attention was focused on the outdoors…as it should be. It started snowing lightly at the peaks but it was near 45 degrees at the base making the snow very soft. I brought out my K2 snowboard for the day. It ended up being a great day as the views were amazing along with the mountain having a wide open but unique feel to it. I did not get to meet Robert Redford though which would of made it the highlight of the trip.
To keep the adventure going we picked Brighton to shred on for Thursday. It snowed all day again making conditions very soft and alot of fun. What I liked most about Brighton was that all of the runs funneled down to the few lifts they had making it easy to not lose each other. Brighton might be my new favorite place as it had a little bit of everything even though it was not as big of a resort as PCMR or The Canyons. I used my Salomon Snowblades which are a lot of fun when going in and out of the trees as they are easy to maneuver. You use different muscles with them compared to normal skis so its a little bit of cross training.
We had some left over discounted lift tickets for PCMR and used them on Friday. Again, it snowed a couple inches during the day making conditions nice and soft for us to snowboard on. Fatigue was starting to set in from the previous couple of days and a little bit of late night partying.
The Canyons were calling us on Saturday. This place is huge. I snowboarded again as I’m trying to get better at it. Plus, its really good cross training as you use a whole different set of leg and core muscles. It snowed all day again. We even hiked to the top of the Expert Only lift. It was a cool site to see as there was 3 feet of fresh powder to ride on. That part was cool. The rest of the run was a little bit above my ability as there were gigantic moguls everywhere. It would have been easier on skis for me. After 45 minutes of falling, taking breaks, and waiting up for a friend who was doing the same we finally made it down.
For our last day in Utah we drove to Snowbird. I wish we would have gone there during the middle of the week as most of the runs are Black Diamonds. The blue runs were challenging too. It was snowing all day again which made visibility bad. It was not a big deal the previous days but this place was moguled out from everybody skiing on it.
There were a couple moments when the nerves jumped up as I did not see a bump until the last second. I even gave myself whiplash when I hit a rut on a catwalk. My snowboard flung me around and I smacked me head. Good thing I was wearing my helmet.
We took the tram up to the top and hung out on the back side bowls known as Mineral Basin. If it was not the seventh day of shredding it probably would have been a lot more fun. My mind and body were in two different places after smacking my head. I was exhausted. The runs were steep and bumpy. If it would of been day 1 on my board I would of done better. Since it was not, I did not get to enjoy Snowbird as much. If I get back to Utah in the future it will definitely be the first place I go to.
So after 7 days of skiing and snowboarding I felt whipped. We would go 4 – 5 hours each day. The afternoon pass is what works for us. We use to try to do the all day passes but we would take our lunch break, drink $40 of beer, and burn ourselves out much faster during the trip. Doing the half day saves $15 – $30 on lift tickets plus we don’t drink $40 of beer saving us lots of money and energy to go all out.
There is no way I would have been able to go as hard as I did for all 7 days without getting myself in shape first. Leading up to my trip I focused most of my workouts on leg and core specific workouts. I mixed in P90X and Insanity workouts like P90X Legs and Back, Plyometrics, Yoga, and Cardio Circuit Training. The soreness didn’t set in until the day after I got home. It was mainly because I have never snowboarded 3 days in a row in my life so those muscles got a much harder workout. My abs feel ripped right now because I was using my toe edge so much the last day on the steeps to make sure I would not fall head over heels and tumble off a 60 foot cliff.
I’m pretty pumped about making it all 7 days knowing that I did not eat all that well and partied all most every night. Its what we do on our trips. From what I’ve read I was probably burning about 500 calories per hour which comes out to almost 2500 calories burned on the slopes. So anything I was drinking or eating was being burned up. The only thing I wish I would have done differently was bring some P90X Recovery Drink packets and P90X Protein Bars.
I didn’t bring either because I like travelling light and there was no more space for those. I always take those after a workout to help me recover faster. They would of helped for sure. Its been two days since I got home and I can’t stop eating. Next time I embark on a 7 day shred fest I will need to eat much more.
If you are big into skiing or snowboarding and really want to get the most out of your ski vacations then take the time to get in shape before you go. Insanity is probably the best workout to do because it uses your body weight as resistance and is a lot of leg and core work. Both of which are used in skiing and snowboarding. After this trip I think I might be done riding for the season. We put in almost 30 hours of shredding the gnar. One things for sure, I’ll be taking the next week off from working out to let my body recover as I’m tired as hell.
Since getting back from my ski trip to Park City Utah 2 days ago I have felt tighter in the ab area. I did not think I could lose weight snowboarding as I’m in good shape already from all of the P90X workouts and Insanity that I do. I guess I was wrong.
My girlfriend said it felt like I had dropped a size when she put her arms around me to give me a hug. I bought a pair of Gap Jeans a week before my trip and put them on today to see how they fit. They were really loose. When I bought them they were comfortable. Not tight, but not loose. Somebody could pants me right now if they wanted to as there would be no hips to grab onto.
I’m not sure on the amount of weight that was lost as I did not weigh myself before I went. What I do know is the pants you see me wearing in the photo did not have a inch gap before I left.
What’s amazing is how I would lose weight or a pant size from what I was eating and drinking. Every morning that week I had scrambled eggs with cheese, bacon, and sausage in them along with a English muffin and banana. This meal would hold me over through lunch and I’d have a Nature Valley Granola Bar on the mountain.
After skiing or snowboarding was over I’d eat a sandwich, chips, and whatever else was laying around our place. From there we would start consuming beer until 1 am. It was the 3.2% weak stuff as that’s Utah’s law. After partying for 4 hours we would head back to our place and cook up frozen pizzas with extra bacon or sausage and eat those while drinking more beer until 2am. This cycle was repeated for 7 days straight including two nights where we went to a brewery and I ate a Hamburger or Reuben with fries and a Double IPA.
I think I know how new military recruits lose so much weight when they go into basic training now. It does not matter what you eat as long as you are constantly moving. We skied or snowboarded almost 5 hours straight each day. I’ll have to eat and drink way more next time!
Wednesday (9/2/09) – Drove To Kentucky – Was heading down to Kentucky with a group of 12 people to do some Houseboating. It will be my first time going on one. The lake we were going down to is called Dale Hollow Lake. Its in Kentucky and Tenessee.
Thursday (9/3/09) – First Day On Houseboat – We picked up the house boat around noon at the Wisdom Resort and it is quite a large boat. The houseboat is 72 foot long. Its funny to think that the place we got it from just gives over the keys and sends you along your way.
It only goes 4 mph so its not like you don’t have time to react. Of course I got sick for the first time in two years this day. My head was just pounding.
Friday (9/4/09) – Second Day On Houseboat – What started out as a great day with doing some swimming, jumping off the back of the boat and water slide turned into being one of the most real situations I have ever been apart of. At around midnight my friend was walking down the side of the boat from the back to the front.
While coming around he said he got bite by something. When he sat down we could see fang marks. It was a snake. His leg instantly started to swell up and he began puking. We had to call the Tennessee River Valley Authority to come pick him up from our boat and rush him to a dock where a ambulance was waiting. None of us had seen something like this before as Michigan does not have snakes like those.
Saturday (9/5/09) – Last Night On Houseboat – I picked up my friend from the hospital in the morning and he was in some pain. He was ok but his leg was a balloon and a little bruised. He decided to come back to the boat and spent the whole day resting.
The rest of us went about our activities and enjoyed the rest of the day or so we thought. Around 9pm at night we were hanging out on the top deck playing a game. One of the girls went down to get a couple beers from the coolers. We heard a deafening scream.
The snake was back. It appears that it never got off the boat and was hiding under our coolers the whole day while we sat 2 foot from them. The culprit ended up being a Copperhead. Of course he was hiding right next to the sliding door waiting for one of us to walk through it.
Even worse than that was he worked his way in front of our beer coolers. We were stuck inside without our beer as we waited for the Tennessee River Valley Authority again along with the Animal Control. They came back out to our boat again to take care of it. After they got it into a jar the guy who caught it said he has been doing this for 30 years and has never handled one. We were happy when that thing was gone.
Sunday (9/6/09) – Drove Back To Michigan – Parked the boat and spent 8 hours driving back.
While I was excited for this week to be a relaxing one it ended up being a educational one. The whole experience with the snake made things unforgettable. It leaves a bad memory in a trip that was still a lot of fun.
After five days at Mont Tremblant near Montreal, Canada I am officially back. What an awesome trip it was. Mont Tremblant far exceeded my expectations. My hopes were not up because I had a feeling that it was not going to be able to compare with the places out west in Colorado and Wyoming that I have been too. Luckily for us, it snowed every day we were there. Nothing crazy, but 3 to 7 inches is plenty to soften up the runs to make a good wipe out not hurt as much. The mountain was bigger than I expected and the runs were long enough to get from top to bottom without feeling dead tired but still making it feel like big mountain skiing.
The village was a lot of fun with its cool bars and restaurants and the nightlife was not too shabby either. I brought my snowboard, skis, and snowblades there and did all of them on different days. My favorite had to be the days I used my snowblades on. They are just so much fun because I could turn on a dime. Since they were that much smaller I did feel a bit more pressure being put on my knees to stay up on them.
We decided this year to only do the afternoon ski on 3 days and a full day on the last one. The difference in price from a full day pass to a half day pass was $77 to $59 in Canadian $$. Four hours on the slopes going all out is a very good workout to begin with. In the past we have pushed ourselves all day and had nothing left for the next day. I will say that I felt like I was in very good shape and did not feel sore at all. As a matter of fact, the most muscle discomfort I had was sitting in a Ford F-150 with 4 other guys for 11 hours there and 11 hours back to Detroit. All of the P90X I had done before I left made the trip that much more enjoyable. I did the legs and plyometrics workouts more than I normally do to get the legs ready for 4 days of raging on the slopes.
I give the trip to Mont Tremblant “Two Thumbs Up” and I would definitely go back there again.
Its that time of year again when me and some friends of mine head off for our annual “Mancation.” We have been going on this trip for about 6 years now. This will be the first year when we do not fly somewhere. Economy stinks around here in Michigan and we are all counting our pennies. Instead we have gone on the idea of driving 11 hours from Detroit to basically Montreal instead. It sounded like a lot but when you think about the hour it takes to get to the airport to be two hours there before your flight, plus flight time, then getting a rental car and driving to the hotel it takes about 11 hours anyways. Even if we spend $400 in gas, that would only be one plane ticket. With 5 of us driving in a Ford F-150 (its gonna be tight with 5 dudes) and splitting the bill its going to be about $80 per person there and back for gas…hopefully.
Mont Tremblant does not look like the mountains out in Colorado, or Wyoming that I have been to recently. This one is defintely smaller. It does keep up with our theme of no repeat trips so this will work. I decided to get a couple quick workouts in before we left. I did Kenpo X for the first time in awhile on Monday. For Tuesday I went to the gym and did 3 miles on the treadmill with a .5 mile swim and did a round of plyometrics. I am feeling sore all up and down my back today though. I think it was because I wore “weighted gloves” for the first time doing a workout with Kenpo. That little extra weight made a big difference. The plyometrics was necessary to get my legs ready for 3 full days of shredding.
I will update next week when I get back if I did anything awesome on the slopes. Rage!!
Thursday (2/19/09) We show up in Quebec at 8 am after driving in snow through the night and head right to the mountain. Conditions were awesome with fresh powder. I brought out my snowboard and did that the whole day. Surprisingly, I felt fresh while getting maybe an hour of sleep. Legs felt strong the whole time.
Friday (2/20/09) Busted out the snowblades I got for Christmas and had a great time on those for about 4 hours that day. They worked a lot of muscles around my knees and my lower back. Realized I needed to stay in a lowered crouched position to keep my balance without falling. Again, felt great after skiing.
Saturday (2/21/09) Brought out my skis today. It was my first time skiing this year and it was not as fun as yesterday because we stayed up a little bit later the night before and I was just tired out on the slopes. I still went all out and had a good time. Legs are still feeling good.
Sunday (2/22/09) For my last day at Mont Tremblant my buddy Dave and I went all day. It kept on snowing the whole time we were there so there was 2 inches of freshies out there. I enjoyed the snowblades so much I figured to end the trip with those. Didn’t feel sore after getting at it for 6 hours. My knees were a little achy but this is expected because of all the banging the knees take from hitting bumps.
We were not going to be able to drive all the way back to Detroit that night. We left right from the mountain driving for 4 hours and made it to Kingston for the night leaving us with a 6 hour drive in the morning.
I got back from a 6 hour canoe trip this past weekend in Standish, MI. It was a nice 6 hour trip with a good group of friends down the Rifle River. We stayed the River View Campground. It was going to be my first time canoeing in about 3 or 4 years. I had been white water rafting at least one time a year for the past couple of years so I am very familiar with being in a boat and guiding one. This however was my first time with my new found strength from doing P90X. I can tell that all of my muscles are stronger now than they have ever been. I can tell that I look stronger but I know that I don’t follow the P90X Nutrition Plan to a T but I eat healthy at least five days out of the week.
It was me and my girlfriend and about 30 beers in our canoe along with a bag of the finest tasting Franzia Wine and an assortment of Jello shots that were being thrown from canoe to canoe. I knew it was going to be a long day and I was just hoping I could make it throw physically and mentally.
All of the P90X’ing I have done helped out a lot. The first thing that helped me was dragging canoes in and out of the beaches that we stopped at for a quick snack or a shot. It also helped dragging our friends canoes up hills because they were not familiar with canoeing. I got the feeling that some of them had never been in a canoe because they did not know how to guide it. It use to get winded dragging the canoes because I did not have the back strength.
Since my canoe was one of the more experienced crews we stayed behind and anchored the regatta going down the river. We were always able to make up time very quickly and it felt great to be able to make it down the river without having to even feel like it was a workout. Trust me that it was a workout because of all the booze and the 6 hours of being in the sun.
The P90X Legs And Back routine is probably the one that helped out the most. I was using so many core muscles piloting our canoe. It just felt great to know that all of the work I have been doing over the past 6 months with P90X is able to be seen. Plus it was nice knowing that I could take off my shirt and not feel embarassed. I am going to keep up with the P90X workouts because with all of the variety of workouts it helps in all of the activities that I do.