Yes, again it's been a while since the last update. But before you shout "not as though you're exactly busy Reeve" in my direction, I'll inform you heathens of what's been going on.
Fuzz arrived on the 14th, hence requiring guest liaison services from Abs and me and riding the hell out of the hill. Good to see the fella, though he had a pants time due to the notoriously unpredictable Whistler coastal weather. I'm being eloquent about it - it was %^&*ing terrible. The Aussie boys left for the Caribbean on the 21st, and this was obviously precluded by bouts of heavy drinking and generally getting totalled whenever possible. And we've been working hard on upflatdown, which, drum roll please, is nearing lift-off - life's not a beach y'know...
Anyhow, defensive rant over, the riding in Whistler has still been cool, even though I'm being a girly wuss due to the fact that visibility is usually like opening your eyes in a pool of mushroom soup, and my rubbish right elbow . It's been a month since the slam, and still can't straighten or bend it fully either way. Abs on the other hand is a whisker from mastering the 3 and jumping off anything which gets in her way, rocks, trees, kids, cars - photos of the historic 3-day will be on t'interweb as soon as it's nailed.
We'd talked about roadtripping down to Mount Bachelor, a dormant volcano near the town of Bend in Oregon (look it up.) The mountain gets rave reviews, so we hired a car, dropped Fuzz off in Vancouver yesterday and drove for 11 hours down through British Columbia, Washington and on into Oregon. The US border is a hive of paranoid activity - about 30 fat guards (you could use the plural of the acronym for The War Against Terror) scrutinising every person in the queue, hands brushing over their holstered pistols for extra "don't mess" menace, boots shined to a mirror finish, constantly chewing gum, crewcuts hidden under stiff caps, 63 chins moving in time to the mastication. We guessed they may be compensating...?
I digress. Eventually we get to Bend, in the high Oregon desert. The landscape is breathtaking and changes rapidly as you drive - huge ravines, volcanoes, forests, desert, forests again, waterfalls, shining lakes. All good stuff, right out of nature's top drawer. Bend has about 75,000 people, and after driving through the metropolises (metropoli?) of Vancouver, Seattle and Portland, its' lowrise-ness is refreshing and allows you views of the surrounding volcano range - the High Cascades. Couple of pints, a game or two of pool in the nearby dive bar complete with toothless locals, then it's an early night.
On to the riding. I thought Turoa and Whakapapa on Mt Ruapehu in NZ were good, but this volcano is, quite simply, the puppy's particulars. Laying here with a massive smile on my face, we've just had 2 of the best days riding anyone could want. Reason being - geography lesson, listen up - that when the lava came out the top of one of these bad boys, it flowed down the sides creating lumps, bumps, gullies and chutes everywhere. Cover that with snow, and jobs' a good'un - natural fun park. Swear to God, it was the best. There's only 10 lifts, and we'd practically done them all by lunch - but unlimited terrain to jump off, around, in between and under. Fantastic. And the way they shape their parks is so good - big floaty kickers to soft landings, bendy rails and jump-on boxes. Terribly sorry, I've just...er...
Early to bed tonight as we're checking out Mount Hood on the way oop north - another volcano, but this one's 2000 feet higher. Let you know what it's like, shall I?