Crazy Train To Mantana

The first day of spring might not be till March 20, but something changed recently. It was a small change, almost imperceptible, but sure enough, something was different. Spring was coming. And as always, that green, earthy breeze carried with it the desire--or, rather, the NEED, to travel. Somewhere. Anywhere. And so it was that seven friends hopped a train in Portland, Oregon with tickets gripped in their sweaty fists reading, “Destination: Whitefish, Montana. It was Lukas Huffman, Shandy Campos, Jon Cartwright, photographer Kevin Zacher, filmer Jess Gibson, DaKine’s Randy Torcom, and yours truly. That’s right, me and a bunch of dudes. At least the odds were good, huh? Anyway, we were on our way to visit our good friend Andrew Crawford and ride Big Mountain Resort, as well as whatever else got in front of our snowboards. We were like hoboes! Except we had first-class sleeper cabins. But the point was the same--to answer that age-old call for adventure out in the great big wide-open world. Upon arrival in Whitefish, we were greeted by Andrew and his brother Ian, who proceeded to chauffeur us around the valley in Andrew’s giant-sized truck and a fleet of two old Crown Victoria cop cars he bought at an auction for several hundred dollars each. Crawford owns an amazing old ranch house out in Big Fork, about 40 minutes from Whitefish and Big Mountain, where he used his own two hands to customize the inside with all kinds of wonderful scrap-wood creations. There’s a baseball diamond, an obstacle course, a couple hot rods, a music room, a big screen TV, et cetera, et cetera. Yep, it’s pretty rock and roll for a ranch. Over the course of five days, we schralped everything in sight--honestly. The resort, the surrounding hills, even Glacier National Park right up the road from Whitefish, where we had a nice, um, civilized conversation with a National Forest Service Guard and subsequently decided against destroying government property in the form of a shreddable handrail. Adventures were had by all, at one time or another. In fact, someone even got kicked off the damn train! I don’t want to ruin the story, though, so stay tuned for the real deal coverage in an upcoming issue of TransWorld SNOWboarding. And if you get a chance, open up your window and breathe in deep--that new, fresh ripeness you smell is the scent of the road. The world is calling--now get out there and get some!