Two nights in a hotel, unlimited beer, a couple of meals, all-day ski pass, ski rentals... all for $125 bucks? It was decided… Cascade Mountain, Wisconsin here we come! I had been to this ski spot (just a 3 ½ hour drive due north of Chicago) many times before. I went four seasons in a row with pals from high school, so it was good to go back. Tom’s four siblings and their friends, plus our friends Joe and Molly soon met up in the tiny town of America’s Dairyland. Is it the best skiing? Far from it. But with the right people, a small adventure can be great fun.
Our first night was spent chugging beers in the hotel event room. We unfortunately dried all of the kegs with our ravenous thirst that first night, finally calling it quits at 4am. Tom was the first to wake the gang way
too early for comfort with a typical “Yes you can” motivational speech to rid our minds of the pressing hangovers. We obediently geared up and hit the slopes.
We had great fun with the many runs, jumps, and moguls. At one
point some of our fellow skiers (not to be named) reluctantly snapped off their skis to walk down the moguls run rather than brave the scary humps.
We laughed it off with some beers in the lounge. After a few more hours conquering the fun runs and stomach-turning jumps, Tom and I became bored of the short runs and bravely opted to trade our four skis for two boards…
There we were, two amateurs desperately teaching ourselves to snowboard. Being it was my second time trying to surf on snow I faired surprisingly mediocre, hitting the main runs and keeping up with friends. Tom had no such fate. Some bad wipeouts and a pretty severe concussion later, we were spent.
We got back to the hotel, checked Tom’s pupils for signs of brain damage, and recovered with a few early beers. Later we joined Joe and Molly in the hotel hot tub for some R & R. It was a short but sweet trip with great friends… it had been another skiing success!
The six hour drive is not stopping us… me, my sister Ashley, brother Zach, and mom Diane piled into a spacious SUV on our journey to the familiar Boyne City, at the northern tip of Michigan, to ski Boyne Mountain –
arguably the best skiing without having to board a plane. Boyne Mountain is like a hidden gem to my family and I. The large amount of long ski runs, consistently
ridiculous amount of fresh snow, off-roading tree runs, icy Black Diamonds, and tasty white bean chili have us coming back for more year after year. Our trip there was not without some drama as Diane forgot a key aspect of a roadtrip…. Gas. The fuel tank soon went from “E” to zero, leaving our foursome stranded on a desolate road in 3 feet of snow. Zach tried to emulate a“man’s man” by
trekking to a local gas station and filling up a gallon, only to realize his lack in car expertise as he could not figure out how to dispense the fuel into our thirsty tank. Thank goodness for a friendly lumberjack who towed our car and helped get us back in business.
A few hours later we had arrived at the adorable ski town. We wasted no time in strapping on some rental boots and hitting the slopes for our first nighttime ski. We skied in between beers at the bar “Eagle’s Nest” perched
atop the slopes, and later thawed out by the fire with a
cozy game of Scrabble.
The next day was all about the skiing! We found some amazing trails hidden in the back slopes behind the chair lifts… the snow was untouched and the trees whipped by as we cut in between obstacles left and right. After some quick hot cocoa and white bean chili at our favorite pub in town, we were off again until the sun slipped away. Diane, the good sport she is, was challenged to some steep icy edges in the pitch black (clearly we weren’t skiing where anyone could find us), and our spills kept on coming. Eventually we tired and turned to the comfort of pizzas, pitchers of brew, and an intense game of Monopoly. We were having so much fun we failed to nightski, knowing we had another long day on the slopes ahead.
Our last day was spent conquering new runs and enjoying laugh after laugh. Our gang can get pretty silly, especially when purposely avoiding the rules of the road. Sometimes we think we are expert skiers that can handle
towering moguls on Black Diamond runs, only to make our way down having a contest of who will fall the least. Were we exhausted and soaked in melted snow?
But our stomachs were as sore as our legs after a weekend of laughs.