Ski Brule in Iron River, MI opened this past weekend!
Everyone was so excited to be back on board and I’ll tell you, it has never felt so good to glide on that frozen rain.
This trip was different than any other one I’ve been on. On this trip I realized snowboarding is all about the experience, on and off the hill. If all we were to do is snowboard we wouldn’t develop the bonds that we do. Snowboarding is all about having a good time, going on trips with a van full of guys, drinking way too much beer, sleeping in really uncomfortable places, and strapping in of course. Long story short, I guess you could say this was my first “big boy” snowboarding adventure.
Early last week John Curtis and I rallied a group of dudes to head north in search of Day #1. Climbing in to Johns wife’s mini van would be;
- Doug McKillip.
- Sawyer Blevins.
- The coolest skier the world will ever know, Matt Mailloux.
- John Curtis.
- Myself (Noah Talentino, Canadian hand model).
Thursday night we all met in Petoskey at my crib, loaded up our riding gear, camping supplies and hit the road.
The trip up was a long one, 6 hours to be pretty exact, and here are some stats, random facts and highlights.
- 300 miles.
- 1 full tank of gas.
- 4 creepy roadside piss stops. At one stop a guy in an old shitty firebird even rolled by and asked us what we were up to, and Matt got us all to believe he was a drug dealer. (but let’s be honest, only drug dealers would be rolling around the middle of da U.P in a firebird)
- Lot Lizard = A cheap truck stop skank. This was something I didn’t know existed.
- 1A.M arrival to Bewabic State Park.
Besides all that, the ride up was filled with a bunch of weird conversations that left someone either getting made fun of or somebody laughing so hard they couldn’t breathe.
When we finally arrived at the State Park, picked a spot, put up tents, and lit a fire. As we sat around the fire, an ungodly amount of beer was consumed, followed by pulls of whiskey from a flask; it’s safe to say we all slept pretty cozy even though it was only around twenty degrees outside.
I rolled out of my tent in the morning to an epic sunrise shining through the snow-covered trees. Our whole crew was beyond excited about getting on snow and waking up the way we did. Doug took a few pulls of whiskey, Matt dried out his fancy UGGS over the fire and we took off to Brule.
We rolled up to Brule before they opened, and the first words that came out of my mouth were “Dudes..we’re actually about to snowboard today”.
Only two runs open, one being a tow rope with a few small boxes and rails, and another run on the face of the hill, littered with natural hips, rock drops and space for open turns. Everyone was stoked to be riding, so we all started charging the face of the hill, remembering what it felt like to carve and get airborne… and trust me, it felt great.
After charging the front run for a while, we headed over to the rope tow to slide sideways. We put in some time and quickly developed park foot. With the arches of our feet feeling like they were about to burst, we headed in for a Bloody Mary. Upon my arrival inside the bar, I discovered that our crew was quite charming, hitting it off with this awesome young lady tending the bar. She even hooked us up on some membership account that allowed us to get Miller Lite drafts for a dollar a glass… Yes, $1 per glass; we’ll just say our crew dropped a lot of dollar bills on that bar.
Our first day back on snow was well worth the six hours in the van. At this point we were faced with two options, camp it out in what was now a snowstorm, or split a hotel and get all warm and cozy. So we rolled to this place called Zippidy Duda’s and stuffed our faces full of grub, we legitimately thought we were going to run them out of food… After a meal like that, the decision was easy, HOTEL.
Matty Mailloux called the Lake Shore Motel and the lady on the phone practically told us she’d get her step-son to come kick our asses out if we partied at all, feeling a bit threatened we booked the room anyways. We arrived at the hotel, fresh thirty pack in hand and I passed out by 9:30, we were all dead from a day of riding.
This brings me to a random rant about the U.P… Here are the 5 strangest things I encountered while hanging out around Iron River, MI.
- Meth heads litter the local ShopKo.
- All the waitresses in town are the nicest people ever.
- They don’t serve fruit at any local establishment.
- Public restrooms are an absolute no-go, them people got some stinky shits.
- Watched a hooker hand over a bag of drugs to a cop then get out of the car and walk away un-cuffed.
Saturday morning we woke up and ate breakfast at the hotel. Although the old lady at the front desk came off rude on the phone, she practically became our mother for the rest of the weekend, nursing our hangovers by cooking us homemade French toast and bacon, cleaning up after us, and even giving us a discount just because she wanted us to stay another night. ( http://www.lakeshoremotelicelake.com/ )
After Breakfast we rolled to the hill and found a Whole crew of MI shred gangsters hanging out. In the mix were these people and more; Mike Harrington, Charlie Hoffman, Mac Eckstrand, Adam Rotschaffer, Dusty Miller, and a bunch of other homies.
I rode the park all day Saturday and witnessed everybody throwing down, Adam had a switch back lip same way that made something weird happen in my pants that I don’t want to talk about.
Moving on from that…John and I went and shot some photos of on the face run, boosting the hips and jumps tweaking out some grabs.
The day was quickly drawing to an end, so we went back into the bar to ask our lady bartender friend where we could get some good food. Matt tried to hit it off with this girl and she eventually told us her boyfriend ran the mountain or something so he backed off a bit.
She mentioned a Mexican night down at a local bar so we rolled. Here’s a list of random things that occurred at this BACKASS WOODSMEXICAN ESTABLISHMENT.
- John knocked over a whole rack of pool cues.
- Matty finger banged a chalk cone.
- Doug bummed a smoke off the cook.
- Ryan ordered John about two pounds of lettuce because his burrito was strictly meat.
We got back to the hotel and picked up where we left off at the bar. I immediately became tired and at one point Doug was dragging me out of bed to try to get me to hang out. This is where it all started to make sense. Sure I had gotten my first 2 days on snow, and I was super stoked about that, but what I was really taking home was the experience.
Here’s a list of random hotel room experiences from that night.
- Inch and a half papers roll too tight.
- King Rayn has mad raps.
- Matty lost $1000 on the MSU vs. Ohio State game.
- At one point Sawyer thought Shawn White was sponsored by the physical fabric of denim.
The next morning we packed up the mini van, said our farewells to Claudia, the angel who cooked us breakfast all weekend and went on our way. On the ride home I sat looking out window thinking about all the stuff that went down. I realized I have a killer group of friends and that everything we went through to get our first turns on some snow was well worth it.