Riding in the New Year

6 days. 6 teenagers. 6 snowboards. 1 small camper.

I never considered myself a salesman. But I felt like one when I was 16 years old and standing in front of six sets of parents. Who would have thought it possible to get them all together to listen to our wild plan.

It was a weeknight. The year was an autumn night in 1999. Jedd and his parents arrived. Ken entered the door, followed by his dad and mom. Both Steve and Jared, along with their parents, got there in time. My mother and step-dad were there with me. Cam didn't have to worry, we met at his house...his parents had to be there to host us all.

With our parents sitting on couches and all six teenagers on benches in front of them, we commenced the meeting by handing out a multi-page document to each couple. This was our "adventure plan." We drew up a proposal and prepared a presentation that knocked the socks off of our parents feet.

"We would like to spend our Christmas break from school snowboarding up at the Grand Targhee Ski Resort, while living in a camper trailer for six days."

"Where are you going to get a camper?"

"What are you going to eat?"

"How are you going to stay warm?"

We answered the above questions, plus many more using the thick packet of paper that each couple had sitting on their laps. "Please turn to page 7 and you'll read that..."

Our parents were impressed. But they weren't 100% convinced by our plan. They offered their revisions and then gave their consent. They all consented to allow six 16 year old boys to camp for 5 nights in a non-heated camper trailer that was made to sleep four people.

Our dream had come true. We always wanted to be homeless bums. Now we could be homeless snowboard bums. We left on Dec 27, 1999 and didn't come home until Jan1, 2000.

We started the trip off right. As Ken's dad lugged the camper up the mountain with his Suburban, we all rode in Ken's Grand Am. Ken drove off the road and got us stuck in the deep snow as he pulled over to let a cop car, with flashing lights pass us. We all knew from there that there was going to be more fun ahead.

We did a lot of snowboarding during those 6 days. That was the week that Cam and Jedd both attempted their first double back-flips off of the kicker we built on the far end of the mountain. The rest of us were still trying to land our single back-flips.

Our meals weren't the best. Tomato soup made out of ketchup packets, hot water and salt was the worst of the meals. We ate well, but not like kings.

We all thought we were going to die one night after the propane tank caught fire. We all ran for our lives and screamed for Jedd to do the same. But he stood his ground and shut the propane valve before the flame was sucked back into the tank.

The sweetest thing about this trip was that we spent the New Year up in the mountains. Up until 12:00am on Jan1, 2000, the whole world had no clue as to what would happen to the earth when we switched over into the new millennium. Everyone was scared. If the world would have really come to an end that year, we would have been destroyed doing something and being some were that made us happy.