Friday, March 1, 2013

Ants Go Marching, and Playing: Hut Trip Day 2

What do you get when we you combine a bunch of nurses, police officers, a paramedic, and outdoor fanatics that live for adrenaline, put them in the middle of the snow covered mountains, oxygen deprived by altitude, give then a little alcohol, and nothing but the limits of their imagination to entertain themselves? Rock jumping, high strung card game competitions, death defying homemade sledding luges, and sitcom season's worth of clever "That's what she said" remarks...........but first lets talk about how it all lead up to this point. 
The mornings were just as dazzling at the starry skied nights. Clear skies, warm sun beaming down, T-shirt weather. 
A couple of the girls were getting their hair braided, so I played barber shop on Patrick to help him feel pretty. 
I promise I wasn't cold! It was perfect coffee drinking weather; even the birds couldn't resist having a cup-o-joe with us on the front porch. 
Once everyone was awake, fed, caffeinated, and dressed, we geared up for another snowshoeing adventure. 
This time, it was much easier without any baggage to weigh us down! I felt like a new woman; I was even able to put my shoes on all by myself!! 
This was all about exploration and adventure, so we decided to make our own way and see where it took us. 
Sure, we ran into a few obstacles........ thigh deep snow.....
.....and fallen trees....
....but that just gave Brad an excuse to utilize his tomahawk he'd been carrying around!
We took turns trailblazing, since trekking through such deep snow to carve a path for others is an exhausting but enjoyable responsibility. 
There was a span while I was a front runner when no matter what I did, I couldn't manage to do anything but sink in the snow, but the challenge just triggered more determination and that day I was dubbed a "beast".
When we reached this cliff of a rock, the boys immediate thought was, "Lets jump off of it!"
Imagine their ego slump when they realized Angel and Cindy beat them to the top by going another route!
Nicole, Patrick, and myself watched from below as the group assessed the perceived safety of jumping from a rock, possibly on to other rocks, but hopefully into enough powder to provided a safe landing, and soon the skiers caught up to spectate. 
Ready or not, Craig leaped forward and sinks his whole body into a plethora of powder. 
Impressed by his success, one by one a few more took the plunge.
When everyone felt like they had their fill demolishing the beautifully glistening masterpiece of untouched snow, we marched on.  
(photo credit to Heather)
I'm not exactly sure why we marched on so close to each other, but forward we went, step my by step, right on the heels of whomever happened to be the leader. 
When we came across the path of Will and Heather, we decided to stick around to see them ski down the mountain. 
But the extended preparation time caused by sinking down to their hips in snow while trying to get all their gear situated got a little stagnant, so we moved on before the big finale. 
Our path wasn't difficult to trace back, and all the work had been done, so we followed it all the way back to the hut for some lunch and games. 
Heidi taught Heather and I how to play Phase 10 while the crazies at the table behind us participated in a very interesting game of dare Jenga. 
Will, Steve, and Uncle Craig weren't wasting any time with indoor games and headed back outside for another outdoor adventure. 
We didn't stay inside for long, though. Once we were all rested and digested, it was time to spice things up. 
Patrick swore the wood burning stove was baking his face off, so his dress for the great outdoors was a little dramatic, which just added to his crazy wardrobe streak, earlier realizing he'd been wearing my underpants all day (I was wondering where they were).
(photo credit to Heather)
Angel and I have only met a couple of times, but somehow managed to be twinkies for the day......
.....which we though was awesome until Chris, Steve, and Brad managed to show us up......go figure!! 
(photo credit to Heather)
What wouldn't be shown up are these fancy little cocktails made with baileys, snow, and moonshine soaked cherries. How about that for creative??
(photo credit to Heather)
With nothing else on the agenda, it was time for some potentially unsafe and ballsy stunts, which just increased the excitement factor a few more notches. 
We had a few emergency medicine tools laying around the hut, so everyone seemed to think it would be okay. 
We took advantage of the steep hill and shovels next to our hut the night before to create a pretty killer trench for utilizing the sleds a couple of the guys backpacked in with, and by morning the snow had iced over, creating a luge. 
(photo credit to Heather)
The result? Grown adults giggling and screaming their way down a slippery slope amidst the chances of flying off the side of a snow bank and colliding with a pine trunk at the sake of quick thrill. 
We experimented with all sorts of combinations of positions, partner pairings, speeds, and mastering the shifting of our weights through trial and error.
I even managed to talk my imaginative-worst-case-senerio-fearing-husband into going down once, who would rather be crazy in other ways then ever risk breaking another bone in his life. 
There was always a crash and burn at the bottom, but luckily we had the forgiving snow to catch our falls and the worst injury of the shenanigans was a minor bloody nose.  
The kicker was having to hike back up the hill after each go at it. 
To add even more fun, Patrick decided to bring out his travel guitar and serenade us with funny songs.
I think he was beyond excited when Brad expressed some knowledge and interest in the 5 string, so they sat on the porch playing Jack Johnson songs together.
Things started getting a little crazy when we began trying to get 3 people down the chute on a single sled. 
After hours of laughing in the face of danger, we'd burned up all the daylight and it was time to roast our toes while the selected group made dinner. 
Each meal and clean up was assigned to a different group within our group, which helped keep everything running smoothly.
These girls were no strangers to camp style kitchen cooking, causing no sacrifices on our appetite's behalf. We ate well, and good.
All the way down to dessert. The night before, Angel made us stove-top popcorn with melted butter, sea salt, and M&M's. Tonight, the agenda was chocolate dipped marshmallows. 
Cindy and I wanted to roast our marshmallows, so Craig made a brilliant tool for us to use as skewers. 
I wasn't sure if he was actually trying to sabotage us, though, since he made our tool to put in the fire with actually pieces of wood, but the risk was worth the delicious result; just like a s'more without the graham cracker. Burned. That's the way we like 'em. 
We had a few left overs, so it was okay that Patrick used one for.......well......whatever he was using it for........
And if you were wondering what you do with the trash in a remote place such at this, the answer is: burn it or carry it back out. 2 days, 2 nights, 4 complete meals for 15 people, and we only had one small bag of rubbish to carry back to civilization........and somehow just Patrick and I manage to have a whole trash can full per day back at home....

Would you have jumped in on our sledding stunts or been more comfortable as a spectator?


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