Category Archives: Travel

In dem mountains

If only they new how real this life really gets. If only I knew how real this life really gets. A taste here, a taste there, give it all to me, as much as I can get. Colorado has given me quite the taste. Its been business for the better part of two months and now it looks as if I am making a transition into something a bit more night oriented. The friends that I have met along the way. The highs and lows. The future. Its a time of learning and growth and I feel focused and passionate about life. It can be challenging at times but I say that nothing is easy and that the best things are the hardest.

For me, Colorado started about 7 months ago when my friend invited me to come out and live with him in Boulder. A quick jaunt over to Powder Mountain for the winter season and then I came back in order to work and save up enough money for the next adventure. At first I was working three jobs all of which made under 20/hour. Not a bad wage but for sure a place where I knew that I would have to work a lot over the coming months if I was to save enough to get to where I wanted to go. There was about a month of working like that, looking for housing where I could find it, scraping by on less than enough. Then the hail storm hit and everything changed. I had a two week stretch where I might have put in two 80 work weeks and was getting paid much more than 20/hour. After that I bought myself a nice set of clothes and started looking at motorcycles. It was different than ever before and it was great.

For about a week after the hail I walked around in a daze hardly able to comprehend how I had gotten so lucky. I saw my life changing for all the better. I could now focus on making a business grow and work for me instead of me working for a business and trading my time for money. The connections that I made through this line of work were all great and I now party with some of the people I work with. Waking up passionately to solve problems and then walking with the drive to move parts and create order. I was on cloud 9 and could not be touched, or so I thought.

That’s when I got hit with the corrupt side of the legal system following the guile of resentful individuals. I still burn with rage at the misguided actions of blind individuals acting out of some ideal that I can not comprehend. The final court date has not arrived yet and so I cannot go into it further. All I can say is that when I am trying to build momentum and something like that happens that it takes its toll in ways that are more costly the society and the world than humans can afford. The cost of power.

On a lighter note, for the better part of two years have I been looking for a bartending job. My strategy was to lie about my experience telling employers that I had much more experience than I actually did. Must have worked at maybe 10 different bars all of which let me play for a day just to find out that I had no idea what I was doing. From these experiences was I able to gain a fair amount of knowledge about working behind a bar. The Ramada would have hired me without any experience at all. Its a slow hotel bar which is perfect for learning the trade. I spend the slow time reading books like bartending for dummies. On occasion we get busy and so I am able to practice my flow. Picking up a bartenders set at the bartending store tomorrow so that I can practice at home too. Its great. Waaaayyyyyyaaaa I feel blessed.

With working at the bar has turned me almost entirely nocturnal. I generally get off work sometime after two in the morning and then there is almost always someone about; either in the court yard smoking weed, outside stoopin it, or down the street at the Holiday Chalet. I was able to make friends with the folks at the Hotel Chalet which generally turns into a small basement party after bar close and goes well into the morning. I am planning on getting back to a normalish schedule tomorrow. Only time will tell.

This weekend I stumbled upon a silent disco in the Lodo area of downtown Denver. I was able to get a sweet video of myself waking through a large crown with the video focusing on me all sad about not having headphones. The thing about a silent disco is that you need the head phones otherwise its no fun. It would be hard to relate to all the people moving at the same time when you are unable to do so because you cant feel the beat. Eventually I made my way to the gate where I was able to grab a pare from someone that was leaving. After that the party was great. There were three different colors you could tune your headphones in on which corresponded with three different DJ sets. Green for electronic, blue for hip-hop, and red for salsa type stuff. As different hit songs were played waves of green, blue, and red would flow through the crowd. At first I spend my time dancing to green in crowds of blue but eventually I tuned to red and found a girl that knew how to move her hips. It was one of the best nights I have had in a while.

Work life, bar life, party life, all of the life. It feels great. Good things to come.

P.S. If your in the area and want to come visit me at the Ramada Saturday and Sunday nights feel free to drop by and order some cocktail that all bartenders should know how to make. 1150 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80218. If your reading this at some point that is far away from right now, know that if you make friends with the people that work at the bar that they will probably show you secrets that most people never see in their lives. Good luck. Hope to see you soon.

The Mindset of a lucid dreamer

The hunt for lucidity has been taking place for about a week now I am remembering my dreams on a nightly basis and every day I am studying the strategy of what it takes to have a lucid dream. Just last night a good friend and I were exploring an abandon mansion from my childhood. Today I found out that I was in his dream as well but not in a mansion. Coincides; who can say? Here are some basic tricks for becoming lucid while dreaming coming from a beginner going through all of this stuff for the first time.

When it comes to dreaming lucidly what I am coming to find out is that lucidity is something that happens to degrees. You have your basic dream like state which counts more or less as a zero on the awareness level. Sure, maybe you have some subconscious idea that pink elephants don’t have a good reason to dance around your bedroom but you go dreaming anyways and then wake up to discover that it wasn’t “real”. The sense that we have for the real is what’s really interesting. What is this sense that dictates what we consider as real and what we take to be illusion.

In my experience through Zen practice, reality is something that goes without saying. It’s just something that is and when we put words or images to it what we are doing is creating a narrative to explain the reality of our experience. The narrative and stories that we tell are important because it allows us to cross examine our experience with the experience of other people to see if anyone is experiencing the same thing. The first words that any form of life would have been able to produce would have been no more than a similar sounding moans created by two autonomous individuals in a simple way to express the sensation of the moment. To be placed in a universe that is so uncertain and then to find something that gives the slightest assurance to even the most trivial aspects of existence would be like finding a spec of light in a place that before was nothing but darkness. The question of the real within the sphere of communication is that spec of light.

There seems to be an intuitive grasp of what is dream and what is not. Perhaps we cannot say that we are not currently dreaming, but we can at least say “I woke up from that dream.” The reason that we have this sense is because we are the surviving linage of the most real persons to have ever walked the earth. Life is striving for reality. Even through self-deception is life striving for reality. Cultivating this sense for reality by simple awareness checks is what we hope to learn and accomplish in this project.

Here are a few basic checks to implement into your day.

#1- Keep a dream journal

The first step is that you need to start remembering your dreams. The simplest way to do this is start a dream journal and make an entry every time you remember your dreams i.e. right when you wake up. I have been experimenting with film and so started a dream video journal. There are certainly advantages to writing that are not captured in film but personally I like how quick I can speak to my video camera in order to get the dream out of my head.

#2- Reality checks

Usually it’s enough to ask yourself “am I dreaming?” Do it now. How do you know if your dreaming or not? If you are dreaming, and I am an invention of your dream, then you might be able to sniff it out with this simple reality check. Personally, I have been tricked by my dream back into thinking that it wasn’t a dream when it was a dream the entire time, so here are some more detailed reality check that you could implement so that you can out smart yourself. Look at the time. Look at some text, look away and then look back again. Getting into the habit of making these reality checks throughout the day (every 2 hours) can help get in the habit so that you make the check when your dreaming.

#3- Set the intention each night before bed.

This is the most important task. Each night, right before falling asleep make sure to remember that you want to lucid dream. If you want it enough then this will be the only thing that you need to do in order to have a lucid dream. The art of a burning desire is something I have written about before and I would recommend more research and then some deep meditation on the object of desire.

#4- Consider setting an alarm for an odd hour of the night.

One idea is to go back to sleep right after you wake up. At this point of going back to sleep you have a good chance to realized that your dreaming. Just try not to wake up too much to your alarm and instead turn it off quick and let sleep take you again.

#5- Get the app

There are more than a few apps that a designed specifically for lucid dreaming. Some of the apps have a subtle alarm that can be set for the middle of the night, others track your brain waves over the course of the night, and others emit video light as another method to trigger lucidity. Check it out at the app store.

Those are my 5 tips for beginners who want to get into lucid dreaming. Check it out and be sure to write a reply in the comment section below as I love all things dream.

Here are some links to some helpful lucid dreaming stuff

http://amzn.to/2q2dKwo

 

Music Vid w/ High Rez and Upgrades to the Personal Operating System

This is a transition story of coming from one way of life and entering another. There are forces of this world that clearly demonstrate the definition of power. Always there’s truth to the level of insanity. Its in finding the flow that allows one to predict the future. As I sit and write this story I think of many different ways of life and how they move through the stream of communication, passed down through more channels than any single person could dream about, all coming together to create the grand narrative of life. Sometimes I wonder if my being is not entirely made up of these forces, that the thing that I call I does not even exist, and that introspection is nothing but a trick invented by the mind long ago. Who can say other than impassioned individuals that seam to have an intuitive grasp and yet when asked to describe such a thing all words escape them? We can look and see what we find but in the end this is just a simple story.

Salt Lake City is what it looks and feels like. From the feeling you get when you catch another persons eye, to the type of cars people drive, Utah is a Mormon state. The beer has less alcohol, on Sunday they swarm the streets, and roads are named things like Temple. There is a cute little countercultural movement against Mormonism going on when I was there but that was not yet able to separate itself from the mainstream and attain autonomy making it so that the only types of people in Utah are Mormons and reactionary Mormons (A generalization of generalizations to be sure).

Anyways, I get a call from my friend Brock who says he wants to go to Colorado to shoot a music video. It takes me less than an hour to pack my hiking pack, Brock comes at 9am and we are off. I meet the other guy who is to be part of the music video and he reminds me of my old friend Gabe. The band is called The Dope Hippy Tribe and the three of us are off to spread the message that a hippie doesn’t need to have to enjoy the smell of flowers, or love hugging trees, and that maybe its just someone that has a deep fondness for life. With lyrics that sport boxing metaphors while aiming for the most uplifting and positive message possible, The Dope Hippy Tribe brings a new message to both the world of hip-hop and the hippie subculture. Through our initial talks I can feel myself awakening from a haze. Almost like there is a fog that is leaving the inside of my eyeballs letting me focus on the things that I feel are important. The more I ride and talk, the more thankful to have these two new companions.

(This is the part where I tell about some dope place to check out if you, reader, are ever in the area)

The idea of taking drugs is brought up. My friends are down but they are not sure what to get or where to get it. I tell them that if we go to Owsley’s Golden Road in Boulder that the chances that we pick LSD are close to 100. They ask me how I can be so certain and I tell them the story of Owsley quick: Owsley was a guy that worked as The Grateful Dead’s sound guy. When The Dead discovered LSD Owsley was one of the first to manufacture it on a large scale and was said to have produced more ten million hits of acid over the span of his life. When we arrived in Boulder and the three of us walked in to Owsley’s Bar, we talk to a grand total of two people before we find exactly what we were looking for. The guy that gave it to us didn’t even ask for a price and we ended up paying what we thought was fair. It felt right to attain LSD in this way.

Brock goes to sleep early. It’s just my new friend and I all night. It was on this night that I learned about learning. When we were both trippin my new friend got into his music. He would go so hard that I felt that he was an incarnate of some ghoulish entity that I had direct access to and was beaming me information from the nether world strait to my cranium. When I look back upon this situation rationally, that is exactly what happened. Throughout the night we talked through the eons and I was able to learn what makes this man the way he is. There was something hellish that drove his bones to action and over the night I could feel myself changing into something new that was now capable of supporting this new information and way of life. It was a nice upgrade to my personal operating system. The way of the skull hippy.

We did not sleep that night and as the morning rolled in and our friend Brock woke up we prepared for our big day; or we attempted and failed at a preparation more like. We neglected to charge our cell and couldn’t seem to follow the simple instructions of google maps and so missed out on many opportunities. When it was time for the music video we were all nervous that we would continue to miss out and therefore miss our biggest opportunity of the day.

At the time of first meeting the rapper Hi Rex I felt that his presence was lack luster but looking back I think he matched the emotion of the atmosphere and then did the part of the musician that he was, and the musician that he was was all about the money. The more I think about it the more respect I have for the guy. I mean, he is a sell out of an artist but owning the sell out title so well that he breaks through the idea of selling out and creates an artistic image of his own right. Praise to the dollar.

The man that really caught my attention was his producer. First impression of this guy was that he was full of himself. Muscle shirt, gold chains, and some sort of punk ass sunglasses on. I played his game to find wisdom it would have otherwise taken me years to find. His message was simple and emphasized hard work. We were able to shoot a short video for my youtube series- “bang stories” which he turned into a life lesson rather than some story of having sex with a girl. He told me of his affiliation with sales star Grant Cardone and of his books that’s scheduled to be published next month. It was more learning and more upgrades all day from these guys.

The camera we rented was a Cannon 6d. I had never even held one in my hand before. It was a magnificent piece of equipment. Like a beautiful woman; nothing ever needed to be forced when it comes to these guys. I loved using the camera and while we were shooting the video I got creative as possible. After we were done shooting I could feel a huge sense of relief come over Brock who praised me time and again for taking charge during the shooting. There was a moment in the sunlight on the streets of Denver where Brock looked into my eyes and he was able to show me how happy he was. The great part for me was that I was able to empathize with him all the way up. It feels good to serve and provide value to other people. In the end its all selfish and I really only do it for me, and that’s exactly why it feel so good to serve other people.

On our way back to Boulder, and to my new life, we stopped at Red Rocks amphitheatre to take one final shot of Brock dropping a prophetic verse on the main stage. Who knows what is to come in the future. As far as I’m concerned we could all die tomorrow be perfectly all right.

Peace out Utah. I’m here now instead. I’m still a little sore from the ass kicking I got from Powder Mountain this year but learned a valuable lesson of discernment between the people that work for an entity and the the entity itself. So grateful to everyone I was able to meet at a personal level and hope that they do their best to keep the thoughts of the corporate beast out of their heads and remember that people are people and should be treated in much the same way. This Colorado thing is feeling more right than anything ever has in my life. I have a few things to take care of before I can really start to expand but if there ever was a place to do it that place is here, and of course if there ever was a time, its tomorrow cause I’m going to bed! Lol.

BikeTaxi

It’s been called a biketaxi, pedicab, rickshaw; call it whatever you want I don’t care much. I have been these things all over the country for the past three years. Started out in Minnesota, road in Phoenix Arizona, New Orleans, Colorado, and am currently riding in Salt Lake. This paper is about my experience and what’s different about each location with an inside look at the advantages and disadvantages that come with the scene. Biketaxies are in just about every major city and if they are not then please let me know so that I can move to that city and get things rolling for myself.

Three years ago, downtown Minneapolis; for the first time in my life I see a biketaxi roll by. I must have needed a job at the time and so I stopped the driver to ask him how one gets to do what he does. He directed me to the pedicab office downtown and within a matter of a few days I’m a rider. I remember one of the rides from the first day. These two guys hop on my bike and tell me that they are professional bikers. I tell them that its they who should be giving me a ride. They think that’s a great idea and I switch with one of them. It was impressive how much this “professional biker” struggled with the extra weight of his friend and I in the back carriage, and he was more than willing to admit to his weakness with the realization how different the pedicab is from his carbon fiber light weight bicycle he is used to. This guy ends up taking us to some deserted back parking lot and shows us through a small door in an old mill type of building. We walk through a cement hallway with pipes hanging out of the walls and in through the door at the end of this hallway. I expect to be standing in a boiler room or something but instead I find myself in a top class cocktail bar filled with men in fashionable suits, women in fancy dresses, and bartender wearing vests (Spoon and Stable- 211 North First Street, mpls). The lights were set to low and I spend my time drinking some sort of rum coconut drink (damnit I wish I remembered what it was called!) and listening to these two guys tell me about their bike ride over the weekend. Turns out they rode with Lance Armstrong’s coach and enjoy horse racing. When all was said and done I dropped them off at their destination. The one came up to me and handed me a 20 while thanking me for the ride, then his friend came up and handed me a 100 while thanking me for the ride. They call rides that earn 100 a unicorn in MN, first day magic is what I called it.

A few months later I had moved out of Minnesota and was living in New Orleans and actively seeking employment with one of the pedicab companies there in the city, Redcab with Sal is who I ended up working for. Tid-bit about the NOLA pedicab scene- There are three companies that have monopolized the biketaxi industry in NOLA, so there are no independent riders. This has to do with the corrupt business practices that take place throughout the entire city. There are also many more people that have the desire to become rickshaw drivers, and thus the competition is high, and thus it’s harder to make an honest buck. All of that can be ignored with these next two words: Festival Season. If you are one of the top riders and you want to work your ass off during things like Martigras, Blues and Jazz Fest, Decadence, ect, then you for sure can make your money down in New Orleans.

Back in 2015 I got an offer from my old company in MN to come work the super bowl in Phoenix AZ, so I jumped on the fastest CL rideshare I could find (A trucker named Dave) and shipped my ass out to Phoenix. It was fun, competitive, and easily to most money I have ever made in my life. It was the day before the super bowl in Scottsdale where Drake was putting on a small hotel rooftop show where tickets where 1k a pop. I would jump from one ride to the next without a break. My customers where dressed to the hilt in suites and dresses with actually diamonds hanging from their ears. I ended up earning many unicorns and by the end of the night I counted out 1080 dollars. Not bad for 5 and ½ hours of work. After the super bowl I stayed in Phoenix for about a month and kept riding, but for a different company (Billy O). In less than a week I went from making the most money I have ever made in my life to making the least. The crowds clear out after the big game is over and I would spend entire days on the hot desert streets of Phoenix making 10 bucks for an entire shift. I stayed in the Desert, but not for the money. There is some magic coming from the artsy side of that city, but that’s for a different post.

A few states later I find myself in Colorado and once again, perusing a license so that I can ride the streets of Denver. There are a couple thing I will say about Colorado pedicabing- The rent is low. I don’t know why but the owner of the cabs in Denver don’t make you pay that much to rent them. There are also plenty of tourists to make weekend riding more than worth your time, so that as far as your average weekend earnings go, Denver might be the best place to ride. In the summer there are Broncos games too where there might be more than 200 caber riding in a day. Anyone riding is making more than 500 on those days too. It gets to the point of bumper to bumper (or wheel to bumper) traffic between riders, and the trains, and the hills, and the people, and competition, and the hotdogs… it’s something to witness.

Currently I am in Salt Lake riding for Luis. What they got going on here is that all the cabs are upgraded to the max. Personally, I have never ridden a cab with an electric motor assist, or a cab with a speaker built under the seat, or hardly even a cab with a neon light setup. Here in Salt Lake every single cab comes with all of these things stock. To be honest, it pissed me off when I saw this and I even went so far as to call the riders here no better than Uber drivers (the worst insult you can call pedicab driver). They didn’t even understand the severity of my comment of course because motor assist is all they know. The more I ride with the people of Salt Lake the more persuaded I am of the Salt Lake style of riding; and it’s not because of the motor assist. I am still working on getting my license which means I am limited in what I can ride. I take out something called “The Spider” which is a seven seater (I know, not eight) where everyone peddles while facing the middle. There are only two Spiders ever made and thus there are no regulations for them, at least not yet. The money in Salt Lake is great and so are the people. Time and again I am surprised with how easy it is to form meaningful relationships here. Last night when I road back to the garage to turn in my cab and pay my rent and I find the rest of the shop drinking beer and playing dice. I lost 53 bucks my first three rounds and vowed never to roll again.

Riding bikes like this has been my career for most of the past three years. It does not matter what kind of mood I am in when I go out for the night, by the time I come back in I am feeling great. The exercise is great, the pay is comparable to a bartender, and I get to make my own schedule. One day I would like to ride in India where they might take home 10 bucks a day, but that’s a long ways away from now and there are many more strokes of the peddle between here and there. Thanks for reading folks. Hope that we get to speak again.

 

The Salt Lake City Bike Collective

There is one big major thing that comes to most people’s minds when the word Utah is mentioned. Not the amazing skiing and snowboarding, not the arches and national parks, maybe The Great Salt Lake, but the thing that comes to most people’s minds is the Mormons. Utah’s populations is more than 60% LDS and it shows. Road names like North Temple and towns like Eden show some of the influence. Sunday mornings they take over the city as people with long conservative dresses or white collared shirts are out on every corner. One thing that I found surprising about Utah was that the homeless population is greater here than possibly even New Orleans (now that I think about it, no fucking way). There is an entire 5 block area downtown Salt Lake that has been taken over and is now tent city. My explorations of the city has been to shows, parties, bars, jobs, and mostly just walking around. At backyard show at Kilby Court a DJ told me that Salt Lake is in a pivotal position between becoming a place for real creativity and inspiration, or just a place like everywhere else. That phrase hits it right on the nose and will stick with me for a long time to come.

Coming off a lifties salary from the winter, I am in massive hustle mode just to make ends meet. A good friend of mine tells me of a place that will allow you to trade your time in for a bike in a work trade type of agreement. After that you can continue to volunteer hours for upgrades to the bike. Fridays and Sundays 9-12 (2312 S West Temple) are volunteer hours where anyone can come in for work. A small part of the job is cleaning but most of the job is disassembling bikes and organizing the parts for reuse. I learned so much about bikes in the short time that I spent at the Bike Collective. Next time a go back I will be assembling bikes from the many different parts that are kept in the shop and then the time that I go back after that I will be participating in a class that they offer; something to do with bikes I assume. All I know is that I am down to be a part of whatever it is that they have going on.

While putting in my time today I spoke with one of the older guys that volunteers there regularly. As we talked I found myself listening to his stories of long bike trips that he would take across the country and was immediately impressed with the idea of a long trip for myself. That conversation and consequently the journey must have been the reason connected with the Bike Collective as the shop manager (a college student going for environmental studies… classic) was more than happy to design and build a bike specifically for a journey cross country. Super thankful for having found this gem along my journey and looking forward to my next visit.

Utah is a super dope place where I have been able to naturally build relationships that have depth without having to try too hard or search too far. It’s like there is a group of people living here that react impressively against the shallow thought of Mormon culture with something that is real to profound levels. Tonight I am going to head over for drinks with the environment studies guy from the shop and on Sunday I will be able to finish up my 6 hours of work. It does take some searching but there is some amazing things happening here in Utah. Here’s a raised glass to hoping that this spot does becomes that creative place that the DJ was talking about because I can see that its already happening.

 

 

Hunting Lucidity

While brain storming with a friend we stumbled across the idea of lucid dreaming and thought that it would be awesome if we could get an in depth view on how to become lucid while dreaming. I thought that it would be a great idea to film the progression towards lucidity with nightly films that document my attempts at becoming lucid. Turns out this quest lines up nicely with another venture that I will be undertaking and that is a hardcore hitchhiking trip from Salt Lake City to Boulder Colorado. The purpose of this paper is to outline a strategy to best gets my brain to a lucid state as well as outline the soul of my video to better communicate and teach an audience of YouTube viewers on the ways of lucidity.

My first step to lucid dreaming will be to keep a dream journal and make sure to think about my dreams every time I wake up. I can then write/explain my dreams in order to progress to the next step. The qualifications for progressing to the next step is that I am able to remember a nights worth of dreams for three nights in a row. After this point I should be ready to make the jump into allowing my awareness to flow into my dreams.

Paul Tholey (oneirologist) lays out the levels of lucid dreaming which look like this.

  1. Awareness of the dream state (orientation)
  2. Awareness of the capacity to make decisions
  3. Awareness of memory functions
  4. Awareness of self
  5. Awareness of the dream environment
  6. Awareness of the meaning of the dream
  7. Awareness of concentration and focus (the subjective clarity of that state).

Like the many monks and philosophers before me I will progress down this path and into the world of the dream.

At the same time I will be exploring the Rocky Mountains and want a concept of how this journey will pay out. There will be a beginning, a middle, a climax, and an end. The beginning could be a remake of this paper. I could be sitting in front of all the things that I have packed and explain what I plan to do on my trip and with what resources I will use in order to do the doing. The middle could be composed of the long hours spent on the road along with all the different posts I make night by night explaining my progress when it comes to lucid dreaming. I could also interview people I meet on the road about dreaming and what their thoughts on dreams are. Ideally I climax by having an amazing lucid dream on top of a mountain, although this could be just part of the journey as it seems that the ability to lucid dream is a skill that one could continue to master for the rest of their lives. In the end I will arrive to my good friends in Boulder Colorado and will get to do a wrap up bit about the new life that I will be living in a new part of the world. Maybe some thoughts on what I would do differently if I were to do it all again and some tips for anyone that wants to do something of the same.

This is the outline for my journey to come. Any insights as to what this venture could use would be great. Please leave a comment at the bottom.

-Cheers

How to be a ski bum

Step # 1: Choosing a location

The biggest factor that you should think about when choosing a mountain is the terrain. If you’re a park rat, then you should choose a place that is built for exactly that. There are mountains (Park City for example) where 90% of the mountain is one big park, but if you’re into steep cliffs, powder, easy rollers, or back country, then be assured that there is a mountain that has been built especially for you.

Another thing that divides the interests of the people is how corporate vs how laid back the mountain is. At the big wig places, such as Vail, you get the perks of having a huge community full of more people than you will ever have the time to meet. At these corporate places the lifts are almost always top notch fast tracks with covers the protect your balls from the wind as you traverse these sprawling mountain domains. On the other hand, corporations treat employees like dirt and even more so since you are a dispensable ski bum. Corporate owned places also don’t give out free beer, free rentals, free kitchen slop, or really free anything like the smaller family owned places will. At the smaller resorts you have a chance to meet and remeet people all the time. This is why I am a fan of the “fuck corporations” ideology and would highly recommend choosing something that is more off the beaten track.

Step # 2: Finding a place to live

Make sure you have a place to crash for when you get there. If you are truly rugged, then you can just bring a warm bag to sleep in and clear out a spot in the forest to sleep. I knew a guy that lived in an igloo for the winter and he turned out the be mostly sane after I got to know him. To do this you would need some tough winter gear and a bit of igloo construction skills which can all be found online. I would recommend finding a place to crash before you get there. You could go on couchsurfing.com or craigslist and finding a place to crash for just a bit while you get set up in the new city. Once you have had time to meet people on the mountain and you have made some solid friendships then you can start couch surfing through the social network. Trust me, this works. I wound up couch surfing at different people’s houses for almost two months before I found my own place to live. Depending on others for a place to sleep wasn’t always the most reliable thing and I did find myself without a place to sleep once or twice throughout the two months, but it was more fun than what you might expect.  It gave me access to a deeper part of the lives of the people that work on the mountain where by I was able to make great friends with kind and giving people. When there is a mountain party it is assumed that there will be at least 5 people crashing and you had better be sure that you are one of the 5. When I eventually did get my own place I was sure to have a party where I could give back to all my friends that had helped me throughout my time as a bum.

You will need to find a place to live and if you have been going without a home for a good amount of time then you should know the workings of the mountain and be able to pick for yourself the best of the best. I ended up getting a basement just below the entrance of the mountain and would hitch hike to work reliably every day. Keep an eye out for houses that are home to only people that live on the mountain. These houses are a focal point for social activity and often are some of the cheapest and most fun places to live. If your not forced into living anywhere you can generally find a good spot for cheap so long as your not living in a corporate owned town like the one in Vail.

Step # 3: Go Pro

Now that you have the first two steps down there isn’t much more to do than to enjoy the mountain. Be sure to explore every inch of the terrain including places you have to hike to. You are going to want to be the master of your domain and while there will always be that guy that has been riding the slopes since before you were born, you can still become worthy of the title of expert. Honestly, if you’re not worthy of the title of expert by the time you’re done with the season then your next journey should be to a cave in the woods where you can sit and rethink your life. Your time on the slopes will be one of the greatest time of your life. Be sure to get out to all the parties, make sure to talk to everyone, and be willing to stretch your comfort zones. Riding pow is an exhilarating experience that can push the most basic of instincts right to the limit. Get out there and get hurt. If you wind up without a scratch by the end of the season then you had better get to that cave and start thinking because getting hurt is part of the game.