On December 5, 2003 I entered a call-in contest being run by radio station KCNL ("Channel 1049"). They were offering a chance to qualify for a weekend ski trip to Lake Tahoe being co-sponsored by Clear Channel Broadcasting, Ford and Squaw Valley. The preliminary prize was a $25 gift certificate to Mel Cotton's Sporting Goods here in San Jose. Included in the grand prize package was the following:
11 hours. 'Nuff said :) Okay, here's the short version: Caltrans had I-80 closed up until early Friday morning. When we left San Jose around 10:30am the road had already been opened for a few hours but they were metering cars into the Sierras at Applegate (a few miles east of Auburn). 3 lanes being squeezed down to one lane caused a MASSIVE backup. So 10-12 miles after we get past that, chain controls were up (at Gold Run). From there to Truckee is about 45 miles but since we could only go 20-25MPH, that added a couple of more hours. Getting lost 3 miles from the house didn't help either. After all of that, it was worth it as you'll see.
We were told by the on-site manager that Ford has leased the house this year and last. It was just recently sold for $1,000,000 after being on the market for two years. It's almost 5700 sq. feet with 5 bedrooms and 5 1/2 baths, located on 17.5 acres. Further details about the house can be found here.
Panoramic view of the house from the driveway
View of the entryway. Front door is on the left; door to 1300 square foot garage ahead.
The 1300 s.f. garage. Our vehicles are in the foreground; the truck belongs to the on-site manager.
Panormaic view of the master bedroom on the bottom floor.
Looking into the bathroom from the master bedroom.
View from the 3-sided closet area in the master bath. Sink on the left, shower on the right,
toilet in the middle.... hmmmm... what's that other thing? :)
Recreation room with ping pong table, dartboard and mini-bar (to the right, not seen).
Indoor pool, about 12 feet across. Sauna is located just to the left. Also on the bottom floor is a half-bath next to the sauna and a door leading outside to the hottub.
View from the top of the stairs looking at the breakfast nook on the left and the kitchen on the right.
From the position of the previous picture, if you go left you enter the study.
Dining room table seats 8 comfortably.
Large, fully-stocked kitchen.
Family room with large-screen TV, Dish Network satellite receiver, DVD player and VCR. Oh yeah, another mini-bar too!
Hallway leading to the 4 bedrooms and 2 1/2 baths.
First bedroom down the hall to the left.
First bedroom down the hall to the right. Danny used this one.
Second bedroom down the hall to the left. Jill and Jennifer were in here.
Bedroom at the end of the hall. The 16 year olds claimed this room mostly because of...
the very large, walk-in closet.
This was the view we woke up to on Saturday morning. This was taken from the dining room sliding glass door that goes out to the deck. You can see the two basketball hoops in the center with the light towers on either side. The tennis court actually goes left to right across the basketball court. I'm not sure what the large net is for...
Jennifer, Jill and Danny outside the garage making snowballs...
and throwing them.
Here's a couple of pictures of the very inconspicuous Ford Expedition :) ...
We got a late start at Squaw Valley Saturday morning but after 9 feet of snow falling between Christmas Eve and this weekend, here's what we were greeted with...
A view of KT-22 from the tram at Squaw Valley.
Siberia Bowl, another Black Diamond run at Squaw.
Once off the tram, we strapped on our skis and boards, got quick lessons from myself (skis) and Leslie (boards) and we were off.
Here's Leslie the snowboard coach (who DIDN'T take out any poles or fences this weekend):
Jessica (foreground) and April, starting their first run of the day.
April, appearing to be having lots of fun.
For the first couple of runs we stayed on Links, a beginning run. Later we split up with Kathleen and Leslie going with April and Jessica, and me staying with Jill, Danny and Jennifer.
Jennifer (left) and Jill riding up the Links chair lift.
Jennifer and Jill getting off Links, with Lake Tahoe in the background.
Jennifer showing her great form snowplowing down East Broadway.
Danny (foreground) and Jennifer skiing down East Broadway.
Jill (left) and Danny zooming down East Broadway.
The 12 year olds coming down East Broadway.
After skiing Squaw we had decided to use the $75 gift certificate at Bullwhackers Pub, located in the Resort at Squaw Creek. After straightening out where the gift certificate was waiting for me, we enjoyed a loud dinner. A side trip to the local market to get some ice cream (!) and we returned home. Some of the night's activities included:
April, Leslie and Jessica enjoying the outside hot tub.
Jill and Danny getting a workout playing ping-pong.
Leslie and I were the only ones up to going back to Squaw for a couple of hours since we had to leave the house by noon on Sunday. Kathleen let the other kids sleep in late and starting loading up the cars before we got back. Before we left, we asked Marin, the on-site manager for the house, to take pictures of us. Because everybody had a camera, she graciously took about 30 pictures of us:
A group photo in front of the Ford Ski House.
Another group picture.
Jennifer, Jill, Danny, Kathleen, Ray, Leslie, Jessica, April
We all had a great time!