I’m Back! A Photo Essay

I have emerged from a long winter of isolation. Two years of recovering from surgeries broke me in places, but where my body and psyche were shattered, I am stronger. Focused. Driven. I am stoked for the challenges that lie ahead. I am ready to take back my Wild Life.susie's knee

For me, skiing symbolizes health, strength, and freedom after setbacks. I looked forward to hitting the slopes again.

I had hiked and biked to get back in shape after a Makoplasty partial knee replacement on January 5th, but my physical therapist instructed me to build strength in my muscles to stabilize the knee instead. I took a few weeks of Pilates and strengthening classes.

Were my muscles strong enough or would I have to ride back down on the chairlift?

I made it to the top! Now for the true test.

The top of A-BasinI would be skiing the heaviest and slushiest snow of the year. It would have been painful to ski with my old knee. How would my body handle it?

Continue reading

My First Wild Adventure In Seven Weeks Was Uber!

I-70 parking lotAfter 7 weeks of sitting home recuperating after surgery, I was ready for adventure. My husband, Danny, went skiing with work buddies, so I decided to drive up Friday night and meet him in the mountains. We have a home on Baldy Mountain just above the town of Breckenridge opposite the ski resort. I just about gave up packing my car since I was so exhausted, but forced myself to keep going.  I HAD TO GET OUT OF THE HOUSE! On my way up, I hit a snowstorm, but love driving in snowy conditions even though it added an hour to my drive. I’m a Wild Driver.

As promised by my surgeon, I woke up Saturday morning with unbelievable energy after a steroid shot the Monday before. I decided to make a breakFEAST. While running to the grocery store, I pulled over next to a gnarly snowboarder dude with some pretty cool dreads waiting at the bus stop.

“Want a ride?” I asked, “I’m headed to City Market.” Continue reading

Becoming New and Improved Bionically in 2015

This photo was taken in Jackson Hole, Wyoming my senior year in college. Yep. That’s me with the bota bag. Remember those? My friend and I stayed with ski bums who worked on the mountain as ski hosts. Little did I know drinking while skiing could be a very bad idea. I would face surgery becoming even more bionic thirty years later.

Mistakes were made Jackson Hole

I thought my hairstyle was a good idea because… Continue reading

A Butt-Kicking Adventure

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After five months of ski dreams, Jonesing over videos, and reading about new mountain developments, it’s ski season. I wondered if I’d get my butt kicked by the mountain. I always plan to exercise every day, but sometimes life, NaNoWriMo, Thanksgiving, or a thousand other excuses get in the way.

The first run usually feels awkward, but not this year. Continue reading

I Crushed It. Now What Will I Do? I’m Addicted.

I wrote 50,000 words in 23 days to win NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month.

Nanowrimo2014 Yeah baby!

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I happy danced and then cried a little when the NaNoWriMo Team sent a YouTube Video with their congratulations.

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Every day in November, I woke up and felt driven. Writing in the morning worked the best for me, but oftentimes I started up again around four O’clockish.  I had to make time for it no matter what was going on. Yesterday, I was less than 2000 words away from my 50,000 word goal, but I went skiing with my husband, Danny, our niece and her boyfriend.

First day at Breck

I wrote on the way down the mountain, (in my car, of course, and no, I wasn’t driving), but I was 800 words shy of the 50,000 word total when we rolled up in Boulder. After writing an average of 2179 words per day, it killed me to be so close, but I had to go to sleep.

Because skiing.

After cranking out a rough draft and working my hiney off every day in November, what will it feel like tomorrow? Continue reading

Gapers Cheat Summer! Another Wild Photo Adventure

Summer began last Saturday and many of you probably gardened,  went to a farmer’s market or festival. I did what any Wild Rider would do on the first day of summer. I skied!

My husband, Danny, and I wore “gaper” attire for the last day at Arapahoe Basin. According to the Urban Dictionary, “A gaper is a skier or snowboarder who is completely clueless. Usually distinguished by their bright colored clothes and a gaper gap or the gap between goggles and a helmet or hat.”

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Who knew we’d be color coordinated?

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It was about 65 degrees on the bottom, but the temperature dropped on the chairlift.

The conditions appeared to be more than a little thin. Continue reading

On Top of the World! A Photo Essay

Forcing yourself out of your comfort zone can bring about personal growth and build confidence.

Peak 6

It can be scary. You may become hesitant and cautious.

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There’s a point in the process when there’s no turning back.

to the top

 The last few steps are the hardest. That’s what separates the winners from the losers. Continue reading

I Had a Little Adventure While You Were Dancing! A Photo Essay

Last week, my breast reconstruction doctor joined my radiologist in giving me the thumb’s up. I had been told I had no restrictions over the phone, but this appointment made it official. I won’t see either of them until next summer. Yeah baby. It’s all good! I just have to take a Tamoxifen pill every day.  I felt like celebrating so my husband Danny and I headed up to the mountains.

We left at 5:00 on Valentine’s Day and sailed up I-70. After Idaho Springs, we came to a halt and our progress could be measured in inches. I could have sworn I saw an elderly lady with a walker pass our car. Our two hour trip soon stretched to three. We worried that our 9:00 dinner reservation would be cancelled. Wet snowflakes flew and collected on the road. We suspected an accident had caused the jam. I used two of the hours stuck in traffic to hash out a screenplay I am working on. I figured out three plot lines, worked on casting it, finally decided on Robert Downey Jr., and we still crawled up the mountain highway.

Robert Downey Jr will be perfect for my screenplay

Image from Google+

At 8:30, I started cussing like the truck drivers crawling alongside us. We’d never make our dinner reservation. Approaching a curve in the road, we could see what happened. Idiots with front-wheel drive had spun out in the left lane tying up traffic for miles and miles! They had to be towed. I’ll never understand why Colorado stopped requiring chains for everyone without all-wheel drive. Once we got past the goofballs without chains or a clue, we drove through the Eisenhower Tunnel and flew down the mountain to Breckenridge. Continue reading

The Ultimate Blog Party – Use Me and Abuse Me Days!

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Welcome to all of the new followers of the Wild Ride!  Here’s your chance to meet some of my friends. This virtual blog party always lasts for days.

Bring a link from ONE of your blog posts and paste it in my comment section. Then the party will begin. Click on a few. Check out their place. Tell them “Susie sent me!” Hang out for a while. Maybe you’ll like what you see and will subscribe. They’ll click back to check out your digs. Some may subscribe to your blog! See? It’s so much fun!

Only leave ONE link or you’ll end up in my spam filter. That can be so embarrassing.

If you leave a link, then click on a few. You wouldn’t go to a party with a doggy bag, fill up on food and take off, would you? Of course not. The more links you click, the more fun you’ll have!

DJ Ksmash in in the house and he’ll be spinning all day and night. Help yourself to the buffet and the bar. Rather have coffee? The barista is chillin’ and just waiting for your order. You might want to drink a Red Bull with me!

Have fun mingling and don’t forget to dance!

I’m going to take a few runs and will come back and read all of your posts.

Don’t forget to enter the caption contest! 

The more the merrier so spread the word on Twitter and Facebook!

Why I Love Colorado – A Photo Essay

Although Colorado has only been nicked by the Polar Vortex, it has been a record year for snow in Breckenridge. This has created deep powder conditions. I am under doctor’s orders not to fall, so it’s groomed runs for me. The snow is like soft vanilla ice cream. Breck 2- 14

Since the beginning of the year, 249 inches of snow has fallen.  By my expert calculations, 9 feet of snow fell in January alone. That my friend, is a lot of crazy good champagne powder! Continue reading

When Form Meets Function and Mustaches Win

There was a time when I couldn’t handle any extra attention. I know. It’s hard to believe. I hid behind my friends in high school, self-conscious about my looks. I used makeup and a curling iron in order to fit in and to prevent standing out.

Something has happened to me. I am not sure when the turning point occurred. Did it happen when investigating a story for a blog post? Have I finally reached the age when I don’t get embarrassed and have no shame? Could I be getting more comfortable in my own skin?

Whatever the reason, after winning Go Jules Go ‘stache glasses giveaway, I had no problem popping them on in the Breckenridge parking lot last weekend. The carload next to us roared with laughter. Young children stared. Middle schoolers rolled their eyes. Okay, I couldn’t see their eyes since it was snowing and everyone wore goggles, but hey, I am sure they were rolling.


Some checked me out while pursing their lips and then gave me a, “Yeah. I’ve seen those glasses around,” look. Most smiled and a few guffawed.

I had only planned to wear them for one or two photos since the snow came down in buckets. Sunglasses were impractical. Not one person wore them.

After I reached the summit of Peak 8, I gazed down our first double black diamond run of the day. Only a blank white canvas lay beneath me. I had no depth perception. My skis would soon slide over a head wall. I put the shades in my pocket and slipped on my trusty goggles. The amber lens really flattened the light.

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Taking out the glasses again, the dark lenses were just what I needed to define the moguls and choppy heavy snow.

I rocked the shades all day.

When asked about my mustachioed appearance I said, “It’s mustache March! I tried growing my own, but gave up.” Many men sported full facial hair, but very few had gotten the memo about shaving their beards. Others said they were too committed to their facial forest.


Now I know why guys love growing beards. That plastic placebo kept my face warm. Really!

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When I first tried them on, my husband Danny said I reminded him of Sony Bono. After skiing a while, he glanced over at me and decided I resembled a young Charles Bronson.

mustache collage

You may think it was easier for me to be outgoing while hiding behind my shades, but I welcomed the knowing smiles.

So a big thank you goes out to Jules and all my blogging friends. Without you, I may still be hiding behind the crowd instead of causing a stir. I am definitely wearing the ‘stache glasses to my tennis match tomorrow. Maybe my opponent will be intimidated by my Charles Bronson sneer.mustache march


Are you coming out of your shell as you get older?

Click here for a video of my mustached friends CocoRosie

Related Articles:

Go Jules Go

Movember: Top 40 Celebrity Mustaches

Mustache March

What Doesn’t Kill You… Helicopter Skiing in Canada

In the shelter of a Quonset hut in Kootenay, British Columbia, our guide John instructed my husband Danny, myself and 8 others on the fundamentals of helicopter skiing and how to stay alive over the next three days. I had won the trip with CMH for two. “This is an avalanche beacon. Slip it over your head, snap the belt around your waist and turn it on.” We would each wear a backpack that held a probe and shovel and would take a turn following the group with a satellite radio. “I hope to God we don’t need any of this equipment,” I thought. The guides had already given us our humongous skis.

I hope I never have to use this probe on anyone buried in an avalanche.

While I sat there shivering, my new ski boots pinched at the calf and my toes tingled from lack of circulation. “They felt like slippers when I tried them on in the shop last Monday!” I had broken rule #1. Never buy new ski equipment without trying it out before a trip – and this was no ordinary trip. I reached down and unbuckled them. As the conversation swirled around that frigid metal shelter, I began to sweat. Continue reading