Departed Miltona, MN Lake Place January 15, Returned March 16, 2020
Drove 7, 091 miles
- North Dakota
- British Columbia
- South Dakota
- Hyland Hills, Bloomington, MN
- Red Lodge Mountain, Montana
- Mount Norquay, Alberta
- Sunshine Village, Banff, Alberta
- Lake Louise, Alberta
- Revelstoke, BC
- Whistler Blackcomb, BC
- Kirkwood, California
- Heavenly, Ca/NV
- Alpine Meadows, Ca
- Homewood, CA
- Sun Valley, ID
- Grand Targhee, ID
- Deer Valley, UT
- Park City Canyons, UT
- Snowbird, UT
- Steamboat Springs, CO
Total Vertical Feet—386,095 (added 4000 to Ski Tracker’s total, due to forgetting to turn on tracker at Steamboat). If Coronavirus hadn’t hit, I would likely have surpassed 400k. At least I’d like to think so.
Biggest Day—Leap Day, Summit Challenge, 22,856 vertical feet, Park City
Shortest Day—besides Hyland Hills at 1863 VF; Whistler Blackcomb storm day 6,209 VF
Highest altitude, Snowbird at 10,973
Highest speed–(forgot to turn tracker off, 58.6 mph in the truck but in real life lots of crazy people ski that fast or faster); 38.7 mph at Homewood when Tom racked his knee and Karolyn and I were going in to Patrol. Deer Valley clocked 47.6 right before we went in for drinks.
Resorts with the most testosterone—Revelstoke, Kirkwood, Grand Targhee
Best party atmosphere—Whistler
Best Ski Town—Sun Valley or Steamboat. Technically Canmore, Alberta isn’t a ski town—it’s about an hour from the resorts. Banff is the closest resort town. But Canmore is a great community, cool main street, bars, restaurants, shopping, but real-world retail for local folks. After all, I got my tail light fixed at the Canadian Tire store that sells everything from tires to hockey equipment.
Best Worldmark—Cascade Lodge, Whistler. As close to the village as you can get.
Apps that I liked:
I used the following apps every day: Google Maps, GasBuddy, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Yelp, TripAdvisor, AccuWeather and Ski Tracks. For booking stays I used Hotels.com in conjunction with Google Maps where I would search, “** near me,” (where “**” would be restaurants, hotels, etc.) I would use the AirBnB and the Worldmark apps specifically when I wanted longer stays.
Here are some new ones I found helpful:
511 highway conditions apps. I used this last year, but noticed a significant increase in the number of states using the 511 platform or a similar one. I found the 511’s very helpful in determining routes to take and anticipating road conditions. I particularly like the ones (and most of them have this) with web cams either at junctions or on snowplows.
The Ikon and Epic apps. The beauty of the Epic pass is that it automatically senses when the pass is in use, so there’s no turning it on or off. The Ikon needs the tracking to be turned on and off. Fortunately the day I forgot to turn on my Ski Tracks app that I use as my bible, I had turned on the Ikon so I knew I had skied 4000 vertical in the morning. It was a fluke. There were many Ikon days that I forgot to turn the app on.
OpenSnow is a great app just for skiers/boarders for following the snow dumps, but AccuWeather was my personal go-to weather app. I also used the Epic App to see mountain cams by resort, and I used the resort apps in some cases to check out weather & new snow. Particularly helpful, but not available on all resort websites or apps is the daily grooming report. I found most of the resort websites to be poorly done. Steamboat was the exception.
I have both an Audible and a Scribd audio book app. If Scribd doesn’t have the book, I’ll go to Audible. Scribd is a flat $89/year unlimited usage, but their book selection (especially newer releases) is not as good as Audible. When I get in a pinch, I’ll use Audible.
Books I read/listened to on this trip:
- Ernest Hemmingway in the Yellowstone High Country, Chris Warren (fascinating history of Hemmingway in Montana—primarily Cooke City, but other parts as well).
- Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Jamie Ford
- The Testaments, Margaret Atwood
- No God but God, Reza Aslan
- Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway
- The Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway
- The Nature of the Beast, Louise Penny
- The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway
- Outlander, Diana Gabaldon
- A Trick of the Light, Louise Penny
- Ann of Green Gables, L. M. Montgomery
The Middle of Somewhere, Cy Amundson and Chad Daniels (Cy’s my neighbor’s kid, and I LOL all the time listening to these guys.)
DVD’s—this year I brought along the collection of Jane Austen movies that I have. I am almost embarrassed to say, but I am obsessed with Jane Austen. I watched Sanditon on PBS, waiting with bated breath for each episode to air. Like many Jane Austen fans, I was disappointed in the ending. So un-Jane Austen-like. It may have been more a reflection on Jane’s personal love-life, but it definitely isn’t how she ended her books. I have several versions each of Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Sense and Sensibility, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion, Mansfield Park and then some of the spin-offs: Lost in Austen, Austenland (hilarious), Clueless, Jane Austen Book Club and one of my favorites, Bride and Prejudice (my kids laugh at me but I love this cross-cultural—India, UK, US modern-day version). The Worldmark resorts have DVD players, but I ended up buying a BlueRay player at Walmart in Heber City so I could watch my hi-def DVD’s. OMG, I am such a sap.
I spent a lot of time watching Prime Video and Netflix movies. I do this in real life, and I did on the Sojourn, too.
I liked GyPSy Guide, a GPS enabled auto tour—I only used the Calgary to Banff, Banff Townsite, Lake Louise to Kamloops Hwy 1 tours. They were very informative, and would automatically turn on based on GPS location. I tried another auto tour app called TravelStorys and the one or two that I listened to were good, I just never remembered to check it before I started driving, and then the western routes I was taking wasn’t covered well by the app. I would say that likely in the future, their coverage will get better and better.
All the photos were taken on my iPhone XR except for a handful that I got from friends.
I have a Windows OS Dell XPS computer that I inherited from Scot after he died. It’s nice and small with a touch screen that I never use. I have Microsoft Office loaded and use Word to write the blog posts. I save everything onto a Google Drive in the Cloud. My website is built on WordPress. I created it myself, so needless to say I used templates and existing plug and play apps to enhance the site. I don’t build anything from scratch. I’m more of a cake mix kind of girl.
I’m sure as soon as I publish this I’ll remember some life-saving app that I failed to mention, but by the time you read this, many of the apps will be obsolete—that’s how fast technology moves.