Sorry for not updating this thread for a while, my girlfriend flew in for new years so I had other things to keep me occupied ;-p
While she was here I splashed out and got a hotel room in Winter Park for the 10 days of her stay. My shock was broken on Xmas day at Copper Mountain so I didnt have much time on the slopes.
That didnt cause too much of a problem, my girlfriend snowboards but isnt as enthusiastic about snow as myself (she is from Alabama, so no surprise really) so being on the slopes wasnt a huge priority while she was here, and it gave me 10 days to try and get the shock fixed.
After inspecting the shock a little further, and talking to the makers, I realised that it wasnt quite as bad as I first thought. The little red ring that I (luckily) found in the snow just needed to be re-fitted at the bottom of the springs to keep them in place.
I tried a few things myself to fix it, but just couldn't manage to manually compress the springs enough to get the ring back on the bottom.
In-between a bit of sight seeing I stopped at ACE hardware in Frasier to try and get something to compress the spring, and tried some battlefield repair in the parking lot:
(This is also about the time that one of the front wheels fell off my wheelchair, which is why it looks as if my feet are magically hovering above the ground, more on that later)
Despite my best efforts I couldnt quite manage it but found a snow-mobile dealership in Granby who managed to get everything sorted out in 5 minutes. On the way back we stopped for some food, decided to be adventurous and ordered Rocky Mountain Oysters.
I felt a little guilty about eating someone's testicles, even if that someone was a calf who probably never had a chance to miss them.
Worryingly, my girlfriend seemed a little more eager:
I'm taking that as a warning.
The next day I decided it would be a good idea to head through to Breckenridge to ski and have a nice meal somewhere (I had been fantasizing about a nice big chinese meal every-time I cooked myself pasta and beans in the back of the van) and headed through.
The snow was dumping and it ended up taking us a couple hours to make the trip, the hill was awesome and I was obviously to busy enjoying the snow to think about the drive back and how bad the roads might be.
As it turned out the chinese that was the target of my food based obbsession was completely inaccessible to anyone in a wheelchair so we had to settle for some gimmicky seafood at Bubba Gumps.
On the drive back it took us almost 3 hours to get from Breckenridge to Silverthorne (that should normally take about half an hour at the most) and the road was so bad that I decided to pull of I-70 at Silverthorne and get a hotel room instead of driving in pretty severe conditions for 6 or 8 hours.
Well it turned out that I-70 was closed at Silverthorne and so about 2000 people were having the same idea. All the hotels were full and we were stranded, so in the end we accepted the inevitable and slept in the van until morning. I love my girlfriend, so she got the sleeping bag while I huddled in-between her and my ski's.
The road didnt open until the next afternoon so we even missed being able to ski the fresh stuff that had been out undoing.
I know my girlfriend is a keeper when she is quite happy to sleep in the back of my van and we dont end up killing each-other when I accidently lock the keys in the van for a couple hours while we went to the cinema.
The rest of the 10 days was spent in slightly more luxurious accomadation at the hotel with some skiing and sightseeing. We went dog-sledding one day which wasnt really my idea but was nice enough anyway.
Notice the lack of a front castor wheel in that last pic?
After 3 years of continued abuse and disrespect the rusted and overused ball-bearings finally gave out and the wheel simply fell out:
I should stop doing things like this:
Right now I am going around in a wheelchair with only three wheels. Not the best mode of transport over snow, but I wheelie most of the time anyway so it's a pain in the ass but not too much of a problem. I'm waiting on some new bearings being delivered so everything should be back to normal in a few days.
My girlfriend left a few days ago and I'm back in the van again, I've just been skiing at Copper Mountain since then and have another cat-Skiing trip lined up in Steamboat next week which should be pretty cool.
At the moment the Van has done 4303Km on this trip, and I have a few 1000 more to do before it is over.
I have to leave the USA by the 28th of Feb, and am thinking about driving up through Utah to Whistler instead of meeting up with the British Ski Team like I am suppossed to (actually I was supposed to meet up with them this week, but I'm really not motivated to ski ice at the moment).