Erika nabs 2nd at Mtn High Gatorade Free Flow Tour

Erika is at it again... getting glamour shots on another snowboarding rail jam's podium. Here's her story about getting to Mtn High and how it all went down.

The 2nd annual GFFT has begun. The first stop was this past weekend at Mtn. High. I decided to catch a ride down to southern California with my friend Tim, who was also competing. We left around 8a.m the morning of the 13th. We were driving all the way to Orange County, so he could drop me off with my family, then continue down to San Diego. After 9 hours in the car, we hit some traffic around Riverside area, with little patience left, we made it through, and he dropped me at my sisters house in Newport Beach.

The next day we had off to re-cooperate from the drive, and spend some time with our families. My sister and I took the ferry to Balboa Peninsula, walked around the shops, and grabbed lunch. The sun was out and it was a beautiful day, but my mind kept wandering to the slopes regardless of the 75 degree weather on the beach. I met back up with Tim in the early evening,
and we drove up to our hotel just outside of Wrightwood.

Registration started in the morning at around 7:30, and we were there right on time to get registered, and indulge in some great breakfast that was provided for us. It was a perfect day. Sunny and about 55 degress. We had about an hour to practice on the course, which was relatively smaller than last years. With 3 jumps that were all under 20 feet, and one rail, or box option, I felt pretty confident about the competition. After landing my run I wanted in practice, my friend Kim and I ventured to the West side of the mountain to meet up with a couple of my other friends who were up there riding. We all rode around the cluster of people and slush for a couple hours, before catching the bus back down to where we were competing.

We showed up just in time to take our runs! I was happy to be surrounded with a couple of friends from last years competition, and we all encouraged each other at the top of the course. My first run went well, I landed everything pretty clean, but it was my safety run. The next run I decided to step up my run, and unfortunately I slightly butt-checked doing a 540, determined to not let it shake me, I continued with the rest of my run, and was actually scored higher on that run than the run I landed clean. With no finals for girls, and the best of two runs format, I was a little disappointed with myself, but was having such a great day in sunny southern california, nothing could get me down. We hung out in the lodge for a while before the awards started. I ended up getting 2nd place! I am very happy being on the podium, despite not landing the run I really wanted. Congrats to Jamie and Nirvana who took 1st and 3rd! And thanks to Mtn. High and Gatorade for putting on a really fun event.

Another two hour drive back to orange county, and I was back at my sisters house in Newport. It was Saturday night, so we went out to a little place on the peninsula and danced! We had a great time! The next morning, my mom came and picked me up, and we took Pacific Coast Highway down to her house in Laguna Beach. My stepdad came and met us with some delicious lunch, and we all caught up and figured out the rest of my schedule for the season. After a successful meeting he took off, and my mom and I met my sister and her boyfriend at their new house in Laguna.

After a while, they hit the beach, and my mom and I cruised around Laguna Niguel. The day ended too quickly, and before we knew it, it was dinner time! With full tummies, we decided to go see the movie Black Swan, it was by far the craziest movie I have ever seen. Knowing I had to leave the next morning we stayed up late that night and watched movies, and caught up on the past couple of months, its always nice to hang out with family.

Monday the 17th was another beautiful day at the beach, which didn't make it any easier to leave. We hit the road around 11am, and didn't make it home until about 11pm. It was a long drive to say the least, but we hit some really great souvenir shops on the way! All in all it was a successful trip for everyone!


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