The Radical Mystery Bus Tour touched down in Burton’s hometown of Burlington, VT on Wednesday, December 5. The party got started around 3:00 pm at the Burton Flagship Store, where 20 shop kids from all over New England met up to throw down. Chris Copley’s crew made some calls and handpicked a deserving group of guys and girls to come and enjoy what were to be a very memorable couple of days.
The first item on the agenda was the demo. Attendees were all invited to sign out 08 set-ups for the following day, as the group was riding Stowe on Thursday. A couple eager riders tested their gear out immediately in Burton’s Lil’ Stash jib park, which surrounds the exterior of the office and includes features like a C-box and a huge metal stall ball.
Molly Aguirre and Yale Cousino were holding it down and mixing it up but when the group received word that Dave Downing and Jussi Oksanen had been delayed in Chicago a decision had to be made. It was unanimous- the bus must go on! Everyone loaded their crap in the underbelly of the beast and boarded the bus bound for… Jake’s house! What?
Spirits soared as the trip was officially underway. Snowboard movies ran on the monitors and 40 minutes later the bus pulled up in front of Jake’s house. The group was sleeping in the barn so the first stop was to drop bags and call beds. This crazy tunnel straight out of Goonies connects the barn to the main house, and there are skateboards at either end to facilitate the journey.
Jake, Donna, George, Taylor, Timmy, Ripper, Maia, Tiki, Midnight and Shea were all home, waiting for the Radical Mystery Bus Tour to arrive. Everyone, including the family’s 2 dogs and 3 cats, got to know each other a little better while waiting to eat. Harvest Market (Donna’s specialty foods store) catered the dinner, which was amazing- rib eye steaks with herb butter and horseradish crème fraà®che, fingerling potatoes, roast asparagus, salad, ziti and wings. Jussi and Downing showed up just in time to eat, and were greeted with cheers as they walked through the door.
The vibe was totally laid back, a bunch of kids played HORSE (there is a full size basketball hoop in the living room) while another group amused themselves with a torturous Japanese massage chair, a thank you gift from Terje to Jake. The party moved to the basement where a full on game of soccer broke out on the indoor soccer field, and people played games well into the evening.
Morning came early on Thursday, especially for the rock stars that stayed up all night partying. Harvest Market catered another killer meal- this time breakfast in the barn. Once the bags were packed and boots were laced it was time to ride. On the way to the bus, kids were able to take advantage of slashing some pow on the hill behind Jake’s house. The day was already off to a great start.
The temps were pretty gnarly (single digits) but the sun was out and a couple inches of fresh had fallen on top of the snow Stowe has been getting all week. After a quick group shot it was finally go time. There was a substantial amount of terrain open, so groups split up and reconvened for lunch at the Octagon. Midmorning, Jake took a group on the Bruce Trail — a relatively unknown backcountry run that requires poles to get out of. There was powder on Nosedive all day, for those that didn’t want to hike.
Come lunchtime the wind had kicked up and the visibility was down to zero, but that did nothing to dampen spirits. Stowe served up a kick ass lunch, one more group photograph, another 2 hours of riding and the Burlington Radical Mystery Bus Tour stop came to a close.
Ben Nunziata from Backside Snowboards in Mt. Snow said, “It was the sickest day I have ever had at Stowe- and I have been riding this mountain for 7 years. Of course, we also got to stay at Jake’s house and shred with legends like Dave Downing and Jussi Oksanen. This was all time. Jussi was stoked too, “It was cool to hang with these kids and slap soome hi-fives.
Kids and pros agree: the Radical Mystery Bus Tour rocks.