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Weekly Newsletter: December 18th-25th, 2023

  • Written by Keith Huster
  •  / 
  • 9 min read
  •  / 
  • Last updated 2 months ago
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We decided to wait until Tuesday, December 26th to post this newsletter so that we could include our Christmas day activities.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you and all your family! 🎄 🎅 ❤️ Lindsey and I are on vacation from our jobs for the remainder of the year so we are taking some much needed downtime. Even so, we still had a lot of fun this week. Keep reading to find out what all we did.

Check out our new posts and videos 🆕 🎥 📝

Two-Week Road Trip Through Oregon with Friends: Part 4
We continued our trip through the interior of Oregon; including Bend and Sisters. This is part 4 of the multi-part series.

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We are both on vacation until the New Year 😄 🥳

We are both officially on vacation until the New Year! 🥳 Keith's company has a company-wide shutdown for a week during the holiday season. Lindsey was able to take off for the same week thanks to her flexible working schedule.

We are looking forward to winding down for a bit and relaxing for a few days. It has been an exciting yet hectic year for both of us so this break away from our jobs is a welcome change. So far, we have slept in, hung out at a local coffee shop, and watched Christmas movies at home. Life couldn't get much better right now. 😊

Hanging out at C.R.E.A.M & Sugar Coffee House in Orem, UT
Hanging out at C.R.E.A.M & Sugar Coffee House in Orem, UT

Keith skied his first Cirque lap of the year at Snowbird ⛷️ 😬

The Wasatch Mountains are in desperate need of snow. The lack of snow has made skiing the more difficult runs at Snowbird quite challenging, dangerous, and sometimes completely inaccessible. However, Keith has been waiting long enough so he decided to risk a run down Snowbird's infamous Cirque Traverse to one of his favorite double-black (i.e. experts only) runs; Wilbere Bowl.

However, Keith being Keith, he had to sew the crotch of his ski pants once again before he could ski. 🤣

Keith is sewing his ski pants, yet again, before heading out to ski at Snowbird
Keith is sewing his ski pants, yet again, before heading out to ski at Snowbird

The Cirque Traverse itself was in surprisingly good shape, but that is a relative state if you have any experience skiing the traverse. The start of the Wilbere Bowl run was great as the run had filled with wind-blown snow. However, Keith knew that there was a small cliff/rock band about one-third of the way down that he would need to avoid. The passage through/around the rocks was tight but manageable. However, it did raise Keith's heart rate a little. 😬 Thankfully, the rest of the run went smoothly and the snow was completely worth the fear factor.

Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour movie marathon 🎤 🤩

Lindsey was so excited to rent Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour this week. By excited, I mean that she had talked about it all week, planned out snack dishes, and requested that Keith leave the house so that she could sing along with all of her favorite songs. 🎤 🤩

Well, she got most of her wish but Keith did not end up leaving the house. He was too worn out to backcountry ski and the inversion was preventing any long-distance riding. So, we sat and watched the tour together.

Keith worked on several pet projects on his computer most of the time but Lindsey was truly in her happy place. She listened to song after song and marveled at the spectacular choreography, set design, and theatrics that made Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour the highest-grossing concert tour by a woman of all time. Lindsey enjoyed the concert so much that she watched it almost three times. That's nearly nine hours of Taylor Swift! Lindsey is now an official "Swiftie".

Lindsey is posing in front of a TV displaying Taylor Swift singing on stage
Lindsey is posing in front of a TV displaying Taylor Swift singing on stage

Preparing for our road trip to Las Vegas 🎄 🎰

We will be spending the week between Christmas and New Year's Day in Las Vegas, NV. We are both so excited to finally spend some time in Vegas again. We first visited Vegas back in 2015 (see pics below) and have been looking forward to going back ever since. Even if you don't gamble much, like us, Vegas can still be an absolute blast. The various live performances, architectural marvels, and nightlife make Vegas truly one of a kind.

This time, we are excited to experience The Sphere, Las Vegas's newest attraction. We will also be meeting up with our friends Jason and Kristen as they will be in Vegas at the same time! 😁 In case you didn't know, we went on a two-week road trip through Oregon with Jason and Kristen earlier this year.

Tour Divide training update 😅 👨‍💻

This week was intended to be a slow, wind-down week for Keith. He is planning to take a week or two off the bike during the holidays so that we can spend more time doing holiday activities together and so that his body can have a chance to recover from all of his training so far. However, Keith did manage to get in a few Zwift rides this week.

Keith completed the Achterbahn route on Zwift
Keith completed the Achterbahn route on Zwift

He also decided, last minute, to take on a big, bucket list ride of his; riding around Utah Lake! Keith has been talking about riding around Utah Lake since 2018. However, he has never actually attempted it until now. The minimal route around the lake is nearly 100 miles (161 kilometers) which always seemed quite daunting to Keith to attempt in an unsupported manner.

Keith's planned 116-mile (187-kilometer) route around Utah Lake
Keith's planned 116-mile (187-kilometer) route around Utah Lake

Keith decided that Christmas Eve would be a perfect opportunity to complete this bucket list ride since traffic would be minimal on some of the busiest stretches of the route. Keith mapped out his route on Strava and decided to go for it.

His ride started very early, around 6:00 AM which meant that he would be riding in the dark for the first hour or so. It was brutally cold 🥶 for the first few hours until the sun finally started shining and warmed things up a bit. It was so cold that Keith stopped at a gas station to warm up his gloves, get a coffee, and enjoy a delicious donut! 🍩

The rest of the route was full of surprises including Christmas music playing at an abandoned gas station, a group of pet deer, and a bald eagle sighting! 🦅 All in all, the ride was a huge success. Keith felt quite strong for most of the ride but he did have to adjust his route slightly to avoid some snow squalls near the mountains.

The most challenging aspect of the route was just how flat it was... which sounds weird but hear me out. The entire route only had an elevation gain of roughly 800 feet (244 meters). The sheer flatness of the route means that you never get a long downhill to recover from a prior climbing effort. Instead, you are forced to pedal, constantly, for nearly the entire route. 🥵 This sustained effort wears on your muscles as well as your mindset since there is no reprieve in sight until the very end of the ride.

Even though this was supposed to be a wind-down week, Keith managed some impressive training numbers. All in all, he rode a total of 131 miles (211 kilometers) with over 4,000 feet (1219 meters) of climbing!

Christmas day skiing at Snowbird 🎅 ⛷️

Since moving to Utah in 2016, it has become our tradition to ski on Christmas morning. We don't have any family to celebrate with locally so we spend the morning on the slopes and then call/Facetime with our families in the afternoon.

Most years, we have been treated to epic skiing conditions on Christmas morning. Unfortunately, this was not one of those years. Conditions were very icy and it was extremely cold out for the first hour or so. 🥶 We made the best of the day though by hunting out some remaining powder from the prior storms. We did have a brief Santa Claus and The Grinch sighting on the slopes but it was too cold to take our gloves off to snap a picture.

We wrapped up the day with a quick lunch and a giant cookie at the Creekside Lodge before heading home. The lunch and cookie must have been too much for Lindsey to handle. 😴 💤

Upcoming posts and videos 👷‍ 👷‍♀️️

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Next week's newsletter may be slightly delayed due to our trip to Las Vegas, NV. We can't wait to share this trip with you!

We will be making a limited number of ski videos this year. We have decided to take a step back from focusing on YouTube content and instead put more energy into our blog. Our first skiing video of the year is out! ⛷️ 🚠 Be sure to let Lindsey know how much you enjoyed the video in the comments section below.

We hope that you are enjoying our newsletters. How are your holidays going so far? Have you been able to spend time with your family and friends? Do you have any big plans for the upcoming New Year celebration? Let us know in the comments section below.👇 💬

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