Awesome bus trip weekend February 7 - 9, 2020 at Oak Park Lodge in Boyne Falls Michigan. With our largest trip of the year, 32 total people 15 from Four Winds and 17 from ABSF - (American Blind Skiing Foundation) "Shred the Gnar" at Boyne Highlands and Boyne Mountain.
Our trip started with all excited skiers, snowboarders and socializer's gathering at St. Hubert Catholic Church in Hoffman Estates promptly at 3 pm on Friday February 7th with all their weekends gear including supper sandwiches, snacks, beverages, games, music and video's. Oh, Trip Leader; Phil S. don't forget the cheese balls.
Everyone was in the partying mood most of the way up to Boyne Falls MI., with snacks galore! Gregg S. provided a few movies for along way. Our bus driver; Bob did an awesome job driving very safe through an ice storm midway Michigan. Several cars and jack-knifed semi's were in the ditch, we are so thankful for his expertise in driving in these conditions. We arrived around 10:30 pm at the lodge. Took about an hour to unload everyone's gear, get organized and get settled into the 10 bedroom lodge.
Saturday February 8th, an awesome continental breakfast was provided by Trip Leader Phil S., you name... he had it. If you left hungry it would be your own fault. Promptly everyone loaded the bus at 8:30 am to drive to our first day's snow adventure at Boyne Highlands Resort. Temperatures real feel was a bit cold at -8 degrees when we got there, but it sure didn't discourage anyone to get out there to "Shred the Gnar" with baby-blue skies of Michigan. ABSF skiers / boarders wore the bright orange bandannas and Four Winds skiers / boarders wore their bright green bandannas which was a great way to identify each other on the slopes during the day.
Clubbers "shred the gnar" all day for 7 hours, loaded the bus and headed back to the Oak Park Lodge at 4 pm. A few clubbers requested a quick stop at the Petoskey Brewery for a few "brew-skis" to enjoy that evening. We arrived back to Lodge around 5 pm to freshen up. A cooking crew of 10 prepared a yummy, hot spaghetti dinner with meatballs, a fresh garden salad, garlic French bread and in addition to a special treat from Mitch & Eugene H., preparing their homemade beef roaladen. Thank you for sharing, the roaladen was de-lic-ious!! A few clubbers had a specialty wine tasting session in the kitchen that was provided by ABSF member; Wally.
With about half the group eating first shift in the kitchen the other half of group socialized in the living room. Once everyone had dinner, many played games in the kitchen and another group had their own fun in the living room. Not only are our clubbers excellent skiers / boarders, but many have hidden talents. Talent show began with the Kopp kids doing cart wheels, back flips, and round off's. Then Patrick stood on his head in middle of room while, John and Ron did a few tri-pods (balancing elbows on knees) in the middle of room while everyone was cheering each other on. They were surprised Gregg could do it too. As the talent show went on, some from the kitchen clubbers heard all the fun going on in the living room, so they a few fun activities too. The cheese ball and cookie face challenge was hysterically funny. See videos attached. It was a fun night with everyone playing games, enjoying friends and socializing.
Sunday February 9th, everyone got up early to get some delicious morning nourishment's before heading out for a short bus ride to Boyne Mountain just a mile from the Lodge. We arrived at 9 am to hit the slopes. Due to a heavy winter Michigan storm heading in about 3 pm, trip leader Phil S. decided to have everyone "shred the gnar" for 3-1/2 hours and to be on bus by 1 pm. We got back to the Lodge to change clothes, clean, pack up and left about 2:30 pm to head back to Illinois. Just in time....the heavy puffy snow came fast and the roads became very treacherous. Thank goodness bus driver; Bob knows how to handle the bus in these types of Michigan conditions.
On the way, social event leader; 3G's ~ Gregg provided a few games that everyone could play. We played game Family Feud. right side of bus was Team Powder Puffs and left side was Team Snow Bums. Gregg read the questions, and each team took turns trying to come up with top answers for points. It was a fun way to get everyone involved in the game. We played for about 2 hours with Team Powder Puffs winning 20 to Team Snow Bums 10.
Many enjoyed snuggling and napping with trip mascot; "Yeti the Party Teddy" (large stuff bear) that 3G's ~ Gregg found on a curbside day after Christmas.
We stopped by South Grand Rapids for a much needed break for bus driver; Bob. All 32 of us unloaded the bus to rush in a Steak & Shake, Burger King or Cracker Barrel for a quick meal. Can only imagine what those places thought when they saw the rush of hungry skiers / boarders coming into their places on a snowy Sunday evening.
Once we got out of Michigan conditions improved to rain and made up driving time. We arrived back to parking lot in Hoffman Estates at 9:30 pm
It was a great trip, thanks to all planners from both ABSF and Four Winds, and especially trip leader; Phil Skultety. Thanks for the memories, we had a great time! Let's combine trips with our two groups again next year!!