Utah Winter Roadtrip … plus Colorado and Wyoming

Utah is a wild west wonderland … and the perfect place for a winter roadtrip.

Right now my Insta and Facey feeds are full of deep, deep pow blanketing the Wasatch and Rocky Mountains … which got me harking back to just over a year ago when we were enjoying similar conditions on an epic snowboarding roadtrip through Utah and Colorado.

First stop after a delayed flight in early January 2020 was a night in magical Moab, and a quick tour of Arches National Park the next morning. I cannot recommend Moab and Arches National Park more highly – it was truly spectacular, made perhaps even more so by the layer of brilliant white contrasting the blood-orange rock and sand.

In Arches National Park you don’t even have to get out of your car to appreciate the natural beauty.
Park Avenue, Arches National Park.
Garden of Eden in the fog, Arches National Park.
The famous Delicate Arch without the usual tourist crowds.

After snowboarding at Telluride and Crested Butte (both deep in the Colorado remote mountains) we made our way back to Salt Lake City and Park City.

Welcome to Utah!
Wintry wasteland high atop the Colorado Plateau, Utah-Colorado border.
Does is get any more wild west-looking than this?
Surreal scenery just off Interstate-70 at the Utah Welcome Center.
Big trucks, big mountains, big sky.
Speed-blur at 70+ miles an hour.
Golden hour out the passenger window.
Winter moon rising…

After getting our powder-fill in the Cottonwood Canyon resorts (Brighton, Snowbird and Solitude) as well as Park City, we headed north into the frozen white to see what Jackson Hole, Wyoming was like.

Little Cottonwood Canyon is a magnet for heavy snowfalls … and sketchy driving conditions.
How’s this for a Interstate-80 roadside panorama with the iPhone!
In winter it looks a lot like this on the five-hour drive north to Wyoming … but it’s worth the trip to get to ride Jackson Hole.
Fog and early-morning light combined for a bitingly cold vision across the elk reserve at Jackson, Wyoming.
This abandoned motel is not one of Jackson’s highlights, however. But I thought it looked pretty cool.
Last light, somewhere on the lonely road in Idaho.

Tarnagulla Golf Club Features In Golf Australia Magazine

The little local club hitting the big time in print.

More than a decade and a half ago when I began this journey as a writer, photographer and online editor for snowboard and surfing magazines, I don’t think that would have I ever believed I’d have my work feature in one of the major golf magazines. Let alone that all the photos would have been taken an edited on the phone in my pocket! But that’s exactly what happened this month in the December issue of Golf Australia Magazine.

In late 2016 our family volunteered to help run the Tarnagulla & District Golf Club after the family that had being running it for decades wanted to take a break. It was a new adventure for us all – and we’re not even very avid golfers! But we just wanted to keep the course running, and keep it accessible for the community. Well, it’s gone from strength to strength … and we had the idea to help promote the club in the media.

“El Presidente” Liam Radich had the idea for an article, wrote a draft and included some quotes. I then put my writer/editor/photographer hat on, re-wrote it all into a new piece, and kept the majority of the quotes. I then sent the article and a selection of photos to various print and online media outlets. I was surprised to quickly get some positive feedback, and publication on the Aussie Golfer and Ausgolf websites … and then a three page feature in Golf Australia Magazine’s December issue! Needless to say, we were very excited to see our little old 9-hole course in print.

Please go out and grab a copy of the magazine while it’s still on shelves.

Golf Australia Magazine’s December Issue featuring Tarnagulla & District Golf Club Inc.

Click the link to find out more about Golf Australia Magazine.

The article also featured on Aussie Golfer website’s homepage.

Click the link to read the full article on Aussiegolfer.com.

If you’d like to know more about Tarnagulla & District Golf Club, please like us on Facebook!

Lockdown Life: COVID-19 With A Camera-phone

iPhone photos from deep inside Melbourne’s heavily-restricted life.

What a kick in the nuts COVID-19 has been! Looking on the bright side, Australia fared comparatively very well this year, but on the down side, Melbourne was forced to endure one of the harshest and strictest lockdowns on the planet. And I’m not gonna lie – it was tough. The mental stress of not knowing if things would improve, a police-enforced curfew from 8pm until 5am, being only allowed outside for 1 hour of exercise and being restricted to a 5km radius from home was extremely burdensome … and just draining overall.

But what it did give me was a greater appreciation for the everyday beauty in the ‘burbs less than 5km from my home. I’m fortunate that from Flemington there is a lot of great places nearby, and being restricted in my movements meant that I had to explore, by foot or by bike, a lot of places I would have normally bypassed. And of course I had my iPhone on me. Here is a selection of some of my favourite images from March until November (when we could finally start to get back to normal).

Some beauty in the ‘burbs … and a very empty CBD on the rare occasion I visited:

When we were permitted to travel further than 5km it was nice to by the water:

The Yarra River gets all the glory, but out west, the Maribyrnong has some real beauty:

And it’s funny, when you walk the streets, you notice so much more than when you zoom by in a car!

4 x GoodTimes With Nitro Snowboards

Four years of photo shoots with the Nitro Pro Team

With Melburnians landlocked from the mountains all winter with the COVID-19 restrictions, I wanted to look back on four fantastic years of Nitro GoodTimes camps in Victoria. The brainchild of Nitro Snowboards Australia/NZ’s Mark Bristow, Will Cheshire and “Master of Ceremonies/Mr Falls Creek”, Jimi Cordell, GoodTimes was a raucous weekend/week/fortnight to bring the extended Nitro family together with a bunch of the new boards, fresh from the factory, to shoot photos for each next year’s catalog.

I’ve been hooked up by Nitro since around 2009, so I jumped at the chance to lend my services … and it’s been a week that I look forward to most each winter. Good times, good crew … and way too many beers (bloody, Jimi!)

Please enjoy some of my favourite action shots from the last four years with Nitro.

2016: Hotham – Viking Invasion…

Led by Scandianavian slayers Marcus Kleveland, Torgeir Begrem, Sven Thorgren, Ludwig Biltoft, Jared Elston (honourary Scando/Aussie) and Silje Norendal, with Aussie Team Manager, Darragh Walsh, directing the troops, Nitro Snowboards held the first infamous GoodTimes Camp at Hotham. It was wild … and the vikings roared! My photos and words from this GoodTimes was a multi-page feature article in ANZ Snowboarding Magazine. See more photos here.

2017: Falls Creek – ANZACs…

A Trans-Tasman assault on Falls Creek coincided with one of the biggest storms of the decade. Rather than hitting the park, Nate Johnstone, Christy Prior, Harley Trivic and Toms Petrusevics (honourary Aussie) sheltered in the snowy trees … and in the warmth of QT’s balcony hot tubs. Oh, and this was the first time “Mr Falls Creek” introduced us all to his signature drink.

Pro tip: ask for a “Jimi” at Stingray next time you’re there … but don’t drink more than a couple!

2018: Falls Creek – The A List Arrives…

All the big dogs descended on lil ‘ol Falls Creek for the biggest GoodTimes yet: Marcus, Torgeir, Sven, Zoi (all fresh from PyeongChang 2018), Christy and Elias Elhardt destroyed the park – but it was Sam Taxwood who was MVP, styling all sorts of tricks that just should not be humanly possible on a 203cm “Big Pink” Quiver Cannon.

Falls Creek upped the ante with organised holiday packages for punters to get in on all the fun (and the “Jimis” at Stingray), and TM/Nitro legend Knut Eliassen just couldn’t help but throw a few handplants (when he wasn’t otherwise playing the party Pied Piper), while Nitro International’s Andi Aurhammer showed his commitment to GoodTimes by joining in the shenanigans.

But special thanks had to go to Falls Creek Terrain Parks/Events for hand-shaping the epic snake run down Last Hoot – one run has probably never received so much media coverage … and it was worth the guys getting in a bit of trouble for building it in such a high-traffic area.

2019: Falls Creek – The Good Times roll on…

Another GoodTimes, another epic storm! The crew scored … and took advantage of special lift access before the public was allowed up. Austen Smith brought his surf-styles to Falls Creek, and he was joined by the kiwi wonder women, Christy and Zoi, as well as lil’ ripper, Nico Bodi, with TM Darragh Walsh showing us all he’s still got it! And old Falls Creek/Nitro rider Jason Currie even managed to snag an epic pow spray like the good ol’ days.

Good times, indeed! Thanks to Bristow, Will, but most of all to Jimi for being the life and soul of GoodTimes.

I hope we can all get back to a GoodTimes in the future.

Nitro have just launched their updated website with their 2021 range of snowboards (which Australia/NZ received in-stores this year). Take a look here.

Lockdown Life: Victorian Goldfields During COVID-19

Photos from Victoria’s goldfields during COVID-19 lockdown.

Well, it’s been a long time between blog posts … and the world has definitely changed! Melbourne began a COVID-19 lockdown in late March, before a gradual easing at the start of winter. And after a calamitous second wave of infections, right now we’re (hopefully) at the tail-end of a second, even stricter lockdown.

My wife and I were fortunate to be able to spend many weekends (when we could travel outside of Melbourne) at Tarnagulla in central Victoria. I spent some time exploring the bush fires trails on my mountain bike. Here’s a few iPhone images.

It’s a beautiful, peaceful part of the world … and we can’t wait to get back there.

Loddon River at Newbridge, Victoria
Loddon River at Newbridge, Victoria
Loddon River at Newbridge, Victoria
Loddon River at Newbridge, Victoria
Tarnagulla Rainbow
Tarnagulla Rainbow above the Wesleyan Methodist church and Poverty Mine poppet head.
Broadway, Dunolly.
The view from Mt Moliagul.
Tarnagulla Track.
The track up to Mt Moliagul. Worth the trek for the view…
Murderers Hill, on the road between Tarnagulla and Dunolly, where a double murder took place in 1857.
One of the sand-scrape greens of Tarnagulla & District Golf Course in the dusk light.
Tarnagulla bush track.
On the banks of the Loddon River, near Poseidon Reef. Two guys were in the news a couple of weeks ago because they dug up a $350,000 gold nugget right behind those far trees on the left. Read about it here.
Bendigo’s grand court house … doing it’s best Parisian impression.