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Extreme Kellie

  • Extreme Kellie: Dog Sledding

    I've spent every winter of my life in Colorado, but this is the first time I've ever gone on a dog sledding tour... and I got to DRIVE!!!

    No doubt you've seen these adorable huskies on TV, competing in the annual Iditarod competition up in Alaska.  They travel thousands of miles a year across tough terrain, and some of them end up here in Colorado at Dog Sled Rides of Winter Park.

     

    I got the chance to get up close to these amazing animals and learned what it takes to care for 82 dogs!  There's a lot more to it than just taking tourists out on the trails... it's a full-time job.  Feeding and picking up after ONE dog can take forever... now imagine a whole pack!

    Owner Jeff Martin made me earn my keep.  Hey, at least I have experience (although picking up after a little basset hound could never have prepared me for this!)

    His huskies will run upto 1,000 miles a year.  In fact, in any given day, the dogs will run one to three times, it just depends on that dogs' capability. So they're very strong but so incredibly affectionate.

    Jeff says, "Unlike snowmobiles you can't just put these guys in the garage all summer.. it's maintenance all year long".  I believe it!  I learned how to hook up the dogs to the lines in the staging area and prepared myself for the ride.  The only advice I got was to hold on tight.  As soon as I took my foot of the brake pad, we were off!

    The views through the woods in Fraser were so beautiful and to be on the runners, in charge of these dogs was like nothing I've ever experienced.  They listen well, stop on command and absolutely love to run!

    So, if you're looking for something new to enjoy the Colorado winter, head up Berthoud Pass and take your first dog sled tour!  It's such a fun way to get out and enjoy nature and if you're a dog person like me, you'll have a blast!

    Watch our full story Wednesday night at 7pm!

  • Extreme Kellie: Surfing in La Jolla

    Growing up in Colorado and living here all my life, I’ve never really had the opportunity to get on a surfboard.I’ve always wanted to give it a try, but I haven’t had the luxury of spending enough time on the ocean… until now.

    It's our last story on the road to Southern California and there’s nothing I wanted to do more than surf!I got my first lesson from the girls at Surf Diva Surf School.The company is founded by two sisters who really want women to learn surfing in a fun and encouraging environment.They got me fitted in a girly wet suit, hooked me up with all the gear and gave me all the instructions to go out and surf like a pro! 

    When you get in the water and look around, it doesn’t take long to realize that surfing is a sport dominated by men.That’s why Surf Diva is so popular because they give women the confidence to go out and try it, with instructors who’ve been there.  They’re the #1 surf school in the world and now I know why!

    Our instructor Alyssa Neubarth walked me through the fundamentals.She says, every woman is different… some women pop right up, some women don't get up their first day.I was determined to do this!It might be my only opportunity for a long time...

    I have to admit, I was intimidated at first and had my fair share of wipe outs...

    But once I caught that first (tiny) wave, I was addicted!

    Hey, even the boys were falling off their boards… I think I can hang!

    I know, if I lived in California, I’d be out in the water every week.It’s sunny, warm, the views are amazing… how cool is it that you can surf in the middle of WINTER!!!

    The Surf Diva Motto: “The best surfer in the water is the one having the most fun!” That couldn’t be more true.

    So... when can I go back?!?

    Thanks again to Vitalyte for flying us out to their home base...We truly had an unforgettable trip to San Diego!!!

     

    Catch our story Thursday night at 7pm on The Deuce!

  • Extreme Kellie: Baja Race Car Driver

    Every year, the Baja 1000 brings out the most extreme racers to Mexico's Baja California Peninsula. They drive some of the fastest off road vehicles out there.At first glance, the cars look like life-sized remote control cars, but these get upto 90 miles per hour AROUND corners and the best part… I got to get in the driver’s seat!

    After staying in San Diego a few days, we drove south, about 80 miles across the Mexican border through a little town called Ensenada.Way back through villages and two lane roads, we hit Wide Open Baja's Horsepower Ranch, where my photographer and I, along with representatives from Vitalyte, were all greeted by a phenomenal staff.

    Founded by racers, Horsepower Ranch is now a hot spot for tourists, where anyone looking to push it can get behind the wheel of these super fast cars.  On top of that, they truly gave us VIP treatment... amazing food, service and hospitality. They really took care of us over night.

     

    We got a quick walk-though, learned about what it takes to drive these $100,000 dollar cars and then we basically just buckled up and took off…

     

    We got out on small roads through villages in the rolling hills of Mexico.  I had no idea what I was getting myself into, to say the least.

    Since I was the only woman on the trip, I even got to drive the official "ladies" car...

    My photographer rode with me to start and after a few minutes out on the road, he’d had enough!I thought I was going to drive right off a cliff at one point… driving around blind corners with rocks, mud, water… you name it, I drove through it!

    This experience is truly any guy’s dream… what’s better than getting behind the wheel of a real race car and pushing it in excess of 90 miles per hour around corners, over rocks, up hills and through huge mud pits! To top it all off, the moment we drove back into the Ranch, we were awaited by ice cold beers.Awesome!

     

    Thanks again to Vitalyte for making this amazing adventure happen! See all the action Thursday night at 7pm, right here on the Deuce!!

     

    Source: www.2thedeuce.com Ch2 Denver KWGN

  • Extreme Kellie: Sea World Dolphin Trainer

    They are considered some of the smartest animals in the world, so can I really teach them new tricks?

    I got to go behind the scenes to take part in Sea World's Dolphin Interaction Program in San Diego, California.  The program was created for anyone who wants to get in the water and learn all about the beautiful bottlenose dolphin anatomy, training and husbandry. In the first few minutes, I find out what it really takes to get dolphins to jump...

    Go for a stroll in the pool...

    Wave to the camera...

    Even splash on command!!

    They are so sweet... I can't believe how much fun it was to be right there in the tank playing with these 500 pound animals!

    I learned quickly, that dolphins (like most animals) respond best to a reward. In fact, they won’t even look your way unless you have a handful of fish... or in this case, squid!

    The trainers have been working with these dolphins for years... they say it's the coolest job in the world, but it takes a lot of time and patience.  Every day they spend hours in this tank, getting the animals ready to peform for a big audience.It’s a tourist hot spot, so they always have to be on their game!

    They showed me how they care for the animals when they’re sick, how certain noises work to get the dolphins’ attention, how sharp all those little teeth are, I even learned how to tell the difference between males and females (it’s not what you’d think)!

  • Extreme Kellie: San Diego Bi-Planes

    Over the past year, I've been out trying some of the most extreme sports in Colorado.  This month, we're trying something new.  We're taking "Extreme Kellie" on the road to sunny southern California to try new adventures you just can't find here!

    First stop, I hit the beaches of San Diego!  There is truly nothing like the view of the ocean at sunset and I got to see it thousands of feet up in the air. We went barnstorming in a 1920's bi-plane; it was like taking a trip back in time...

    We met pilot Chuck Buckley at Montgomery Field who showed us the classics... a North American Texan he takes tourists out on aerobatic rides, two Varga aircraft (dog fighter airplanes)...

    And this- A 1927 travel air bi-plane, built out of metal, wood and fabric.  The best part, it's painted perfectly for a Bronco fan in San Diego!!!  I loved it!

    Chuck started up the World War II engine, we geared up and headed straight for the coast.

    The plan: fly northbound around La Jolla, up toward the Torrey Pines area and then swing back into the airport.  It's truly one of the most gorgeous spots in California.  We could see for miles.

    The bi-planes are very much like travelling in a convertible, super noisy but a ton of fun!

    We got to see the bay, the hills, ocean bluffs and beaches... all at sunset.  This is the lay of the land for our next few adventures and I couldn't wait to get started!

    Catch our full story Thursday night at 7pm on The Deuce!!!  Thanks again to Vitalyte for making this all possible.  You'll see more of the crew in the coming weeks... Next, I'm swimming with the dolphins at Sea World...

  • Extreme Kellie San Diego - Day 2 - The Ride of a Lifetime

    The alarm clock on the bedside table of my hotel reads 5:45 am. For those who have ever had one to many drinks, sometimes the most difficult conflict is that which rages between your body craving more sleep and your brain knowing it has somewhere to be. At 5:45 my brain was telling me that a film crew had to be in Mexico in 4 hours and I was the one responsible for getting them there. My body, however was begging to go back to sleep.

    Cue Vitalyte to the rescue. After downing a couple bottles of Vitalyte, a cup of coffee and a croissant from the hotel bakery, I was ready to begin our trek south of the border. The scheduled departure time was 8:00am and about 8:15 I realized that I wasn't the only one struggling with the decision to get out of bed and begin the day. After 20 minutes or so, the whole entourage arrives and we begin our trek to Ensenadas, Mexico. But first, people need caffeine and grease.

    This is the part of the blog that I recommend you pay attention to as it contains some very valuable lessons about driving to Mexico.

    Lesson #1 - Not all McDonald's are created equally. 2 miles from the Mexican border we pulled into a McDonalds for a much needed coffee and food break. Needless to say my egg McMuffin had the consistency of a racquetball and my coffee could melt steel. Not the best thing for a sour stomach. Luckily I had more Vitalyte.

    Lesson #2 - It occured to me as I was crossing the border that I never informed my rental car company of my destination, so in an attempt to be proactive, I called the rental car company as I was crossing the border. There response was simple: You can't take that car to Mexico. Oh well. Better to beg forgiveness then ask permission I recall someone once saying.

    Lesson #3 The 900 plus signs you see in the last 5 miles before you reach the border that say "Get Your Mexican Insurance Here" actually have a purpose. Apparently if an American vehicle gets in a wreck in Mexico, standard insurance doesn't cover the accident. Without the Mexican insurance, the driver gets a one way ticket to jail. So here I am driving in an uninsured rental vehicle in a country where the vehicle wasn't suppose to be in the first place. Sometimes things just get interesting. (By the way, I upgraded to a car with  built in GPS so I wouldn't get lost in Mexico. This, of course stops working about 400 yards past the border.) Oh well.

    So now we are running late, we have no insurance, are in a car that isn't suppose to be in Mexico and the GPS isn't working. All of this on the heels of one of one of the deadliest border shootouts in recent memory. Border patrol, which apparently is usually fairly tame, now consisted of M-16's, tanks with really big guns mounted to the tops and a lot of soldiers. Not a good day to be hungover.

    Luckily the directions to our destination were on my laptop and only 2 hours late, we finally arrive at the Horsepower Ranch to begin our Baja tour with Wide Open Baja.

    There have been few moments in my life where I have been truly excited and surprised and this was one of them. After driving through some rougher areas of Ensenadas (more because I was lost) I was beginning to think that this was a bad idea. But then we found our exit, thanks to James who led us off the main road to one of the most beautiful ranches I have ever seen. Tucked back in the mountains and hills of Mexico is Horsepower Ranch, the hub of Wide Open Baja. And parked in front of the ranch were 4 of the coolest machines ever made. This is the reason we are here. Extreme Kellie runs the Baja.

    Now this is where you the reader would do well to tune into the live broadcast (or watch online) of the show, for I lack the words to describe the collection of cars they had out for us or how the next 30 minutes went. I will do my best and say that within those short 30 minutes, we were introduced to the amazing staff at the ranch, given a introductory walk through of the cars, fitted with helmets and led off to begin the adventure.

    "I can't believe they are letting us drive these things," was the collective spoken idea said amongst us we took off. With little or no training, James put us behind the wheel of these machines and led us out on the off road adventure of a lifetime.

    With Kellie and Noah in the lead car behind James, and Brian and me following, we set out to conquer terrain that was, needless to say, quite intimidating. At first I think we are all a little skiddish but once you get behind the wheel of one of these cars, understand what they can do, we were all having the time of our lives. Hitting jumps at 80 miles an hour, taking 90 degree turns almost as fast, watching the beautiful hills of Mexico blaze by as these cars handled the most aggressive terrain like it was simply a long stretch of highway is an experience I'll never forget. After a couple hours of driving and shooting, James takes us to a beautiful meadow where the crew at Wide Open prepared the mos amazing meal.

    After fueling up, taking some pictures for future blogging, we were ready to get at again.

    For the next couple hours we all took turns driving, slowly but surely get more comfortable with these incredible vehicles. Eventually the sun began to set and the night air let us know it was time to head back. We pulled into the ranch and even before we were all fully out of the cars, one of the ranch guys was there with a beer. After a quick shower we were all once again treated to an amazing meal and after, we sat around with drinks in hand reliving the events of the day. From Kellie's mud facial (you have to see the show to catch this, one of the funniest things I have ever seen) to the high flying jumps and everything in between, it was truly a day to be relived over drinks in front of a fire, and certainly a day that I will not soon forget.

    From weekend warriors to the nitro charged metal heads, this a vacation I would recommend everyone take at least once in a lifetime. Go to www.wideopenbaja.com for more info, and thanks to the entire staff at Wide Open for putting this together and showing us an amazing time.

  • Extreme Kellie: Vail Ski Bikes

    Growing up in Colorado, I've always appreciated our winters, especially up at the ski resorts.  Vail Mountain has consistently been ranked number one in the country and its terrain is truly unmatched... possibly in the world!

    I'm a skier, but I wanted to try something new this week for "Extreme Kellie".  Instead of making a fool of myself on a snowboard, I decided to take Vail's gondola all the way to the top to try ski biking... it's the only way to be on Vail Mountain with lift access at night and at 10,300 feet, you won't find a more fun activity to do with your friends!

    We strapped on these little "mini skis" and we got a lesson from Alex Gentry, who was our guide for the night.  He explained that when you sit on a ski bike, all your weight is in the back and all the steering is done with your hips.  You can carve just like you do with any ski or board, you just have to learn how to make turns and stops before you get going too fast... I think that was my problem!

    As soon as I sat on the bike itself, I knew it could be dangerous!  I pointed downhill and just went for it.  My group thought I was out of control, but I had the best time... going straight down.  Who needs to make turns, anyway?  :)

    I have to admit, I was a little nervous, but I ended up REALLY enjoying it.  There's nothing better than being on Vail Mountain, at night, with a just a head lamp and your closest friends for a good laugh!

    The best part, my parents came with me!  My mom was worried I'd get hurt...

    ... and Harry's even a Vail ski instructor and he knew we were in for a surprise!!!

    They both work on the mountain but they've never got to try ski biking, until now!

    So, no matter what your age or experience on the slopes... give ski biking a try!  It's a fast sport and truly an amazing activity at night.  You'll get the slopes all to yourself!

    There are four tours a night, exclusively at Adventure Ridge.

    Watch our full story, Thursday night at 7pm on The Deuce!!!

    Extreme Kellie from Ch 2 News Source: www.2thedeuce.com

  • Extreme Kellie: XM Snocross

    I got to spend the weekend with some of the best snowmobilers in Colorado, only they didn't take me on a scenic tour through the trees.  They took me off jumps and hills that felt like I was flying off mountains!  Yep, that's ME!!!

     

    Simply put... the racers at X-Treme Mountain Racing defy gravity!

    You may have seen them in the X-games flying anywhere from 40 to 90 feet in the air.  The group travels around the state, competing on different tracks every week.

    Snocross is a lot like motocross but it's on the snow.  Before the races, they bring in snow and move it around... for this race in Eagle, they used about 88,000 feet of snow.  It's amazing what they can do with just a little bit of the white stuff!

    They just threw me on a sled and let me go... I wasn't even sure I could make it over the first hurdle!

    This sport definitely takes a lot of guts and strength!  A typical motorcycle only weighs a couple hundred pounds and a snowmobile weighs over 500 pounds!

    I got out on the half mile long course and quickly found out, it looks a lot easier than it is.  I think my nerves got to me because I just couldn't "let go" and really give it gas... I even rolled one of the snowmobiles and could've been hurt pretty bad.  Fortunately, they got me in all the safety gear, so I kept on going...

    There's no question this winter family likes to have a good time!  If you're ever looking for something thrilling to do over the weekend, check out their website, their next race is this weekend in Afton, Wyoming.  You can bring a chair, grab a beverage and watch the excitement unfold.  It's truly remarkable how much air these guys get!

    Catch our full story (and my wipe out) Thursday night at 7pm here on The Deuce!!!

  • Extreme Kellie: Flying an Airplane

    Over the past few months, I've gotten the opportunity to get off the ground... testing my fear of heights and getting into machines I never thought I'd have the guts to fly.  With the new year, I thought what a better way to kick off 2010's "Extreme Kellie" series with flying an airplane!

    I learned on a simulator at Tailwind Aviation at Centennial Airport.  They paired me up with flight instructor Bruce Vogel who has 27,000 hours of flying under his belt... I knew I was in good hands!  His crew gave me all the confidence that I could do this!!!

    Once they got me familiar with the process, they put me in this. A twin engine Beachcraft... a great starter plane for a starter like me!

    When Bruce said I'd be the pilot, he wasn't kidding!  As difficult as I thought it would be, nothing could prepare me for getting in the pilots seat.  Not only did I learn what all the gears do, but I learned how to talk to air traffic control, drive down a runway, take off, fly AND land... all on my own!  Bruce literally gave me full control.  What was he thinking?!?!

    Once I got over my fears (and I could finally feel my legs again after we got off the ground) I couldn't stop smiling.  The views were spectacular!  The Rocky Mountains looks amazing with a fresh coating of snow...

    Downtown Denver looked crystal clear... you just can't get a better view than this!

    I went through a national company called "Let's Go Flying" who works with flight schools all across the country and their goal is to get you up in the air in no time!  I found out that anyone can fly an airplane... all you need is a little time, some patience and a great flight instructor.

    Catch our full story Thursday night at 7pm on The Deuce... you won't believe how scared I looked (and my photographer Noah thought he was going to die!!!)

  • Extreme Kellie Update

    Extreme Kellie: Sheriff

     

      

    We started with basic figure eights, changing lanes, backing and parking maneuvers.  I basically had to learn how to handle a Crown Victoria at super high speeds! 

    I had a blast, though I don't think I did that well.  I knocked over about a dozen cones, which they say represent REAL people and REAL accidents.  Great.  What's worse... I had a cameraman with me, so everything was caught on tape!!!

    I learned it takes a lot of coordination, reflexes, and just the ability to handle a car.  I'm hoping I can use what I learned on the driving track in real life (and I made them promise me not to give me a ticket when I try this stuff at home!!!)

    My final test was the pit maneuver.  You may have watched a high speed chase on TV before.  The deputies will come up on the suspect and bump the back corner of the car, then spin them out.  I got in on the third try!  It was a rush! 

     

    That's photographer Devin Eskew, catcing all the action.  Watch our full story Wednesday night at 7pm on The Deuce.  You'll laugh at my driving skills... I promise! 

    They spend more than half their time behind the wheel to keep us safe.  Our local law enforcement is constanstly on the road patrolling, and when they're fighting crime, driving turns into multi-tasking.  So, the recruits spend about 50 hours on the road training for the real thing.  

    In real situations, they'll have to not only drive, but look at computer, figure out where they're going, talk on the radio... then inevitably, someone's going to call them on their cell phone!  It takes a certain kind of person to be able to do all that.  In fact, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Academy starts out with a thousand recruits, and then 23 funnel down... from those, two or three don't make it through the program.  It's extremely difficult and dangerous!

    They invited me to come out and try it for myself for "Extreme Kellie".  I actually got to get behind the wheel and go through the basic maneuvers on the mile and a quarter training course up above Golden.   

     

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