On June 9 the TUNA van, stuffed with skiers and gear, took off from Salt Lake on an eleven hour journey to Bend, Oregon. TUNA’s Matt Johnson and University of Utah graduate Zoë Roy led the trip as coaches to the group of six TUNA comp skiers. I am sure that all who went on the trip would agree that we had a blast! From our activities ranging from skiing to cliff jumping to having dance parties in the kitchen, it was a very memorable trip.
The mornings would begin with a ski from the Nordic Center at Mt. Bachelor. After that we would come back to our condo in Sun River. The afternoon workouts would then begin. We roller skied, ran, and played games. We would come home, eat, and relax the rest of the night, and get ready to repeat the process the next day.
The snow at Bachelor was awesome! It was some of the better snow I got the chance to ski on all year. On one of the days we switched it up and went for a long crust cruise up to Brokentop, an old volcano down the road with some of the other teams skiing at Bachelor. The long, herringbone climb paid off. The views were spectacular! It was something that you wouldn’t see in Utah. Vast meadows stretched for miles. There were blue lakes, giant mountains, and the town of Bend all waving to us in the distance. We flew down the mountain on our skis and decided that we hadn’t had enough of an adventure for one day. The other teams were ready to pack up and take a nap, but not TUNA. We decided that before we headed back for lunch, we would jump into an ice-cold stream surrounded by snow.
We did many things on this trip that were really unique experiences. On Wednesday we went white-water rafting, then cliff jumping afterwards in the beautiful, but chilly, Deschutes River. On Thursday, after roller skiing, the team headed to town to paddleboard on the river that wound through Bend. On Friday we, along with most of the other Nordic teams, went disco bowling. We all had a great time, especially since it gave us a chance to really get to know some of the kids from other Inter-Mountain Division teams. We were very lucky to get the chance to go to Zoë’s mother’s house for dinner that night. Saturday, some of us headed to the pool after skiing for our last time until next winter. We also got to see some other talents that people on our team have when Zoë’s brother brought over juggling equipment and we had a little TUNA circus. On Sunday we woke up bright and early to head home. After a few hours of delays that will lead to many wall jokes, we were on the road.
This trip was an incredible experience. We had such a great time! It was really cool to get to meet many other kids who also share a passion for skiing. I would go on this trip again in a heartbeat! The skiing we did, the people we met, and the times we had are truly once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
I would like to thank Matt and Zoë for giving us amazing coaching and giving us a really good time, parents who sent food with us, and everyone else who made this trip possible. We couldn’t have done it without you!