August 31, 2012

Anchorage Time

I began my 6 week stint in Anchorage (yes, that is a long time for me to be here) with some adventuring with Patrick for our recovery week after the glacier camp. I have been doing some mountain biking this summer at Kincaid Park where they recently put in a great network of single track that has some jumps and other features that I have been attempting, trying to get a little better at biking so I was really excited to bring Patrick there, but of course, 100 meters or so into the ride:

This guy jumped out of the bushes at me and was not very psyched about us or letting us pass. Alaska and Patrick don't get along so it always brings its best out for him. 

Me riding some steep switchbacks

Some of the features that I choose not to ride...

We took a break at the sand dunes

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Trying to will the sun to come out

Moose incident #2, momma and baby in the middle of the trail. We also had a moose incident #3, but didn't get a picture. The silly thing decided to lie down right next to the trail, luckily we was ok with us passing. 

More log features
 Next, we climbed McHugh Peak. It was actually sunny out so I was really excited to take Patrick on this hike and get a really good view of Turnagin Arm and the city, but of course as we were driving up to the trailhead a nice cloud came and sat right over the ridge we were planning hiking.
Clouds moving in quickly

We were fast enough to hike above the cloud layer and were welcomed to clear views over the arm. This is the tip of the peak that we had to climb up. 

Clear over the arm

Not so clear

The clouds move so fast up high

Mountains all over the place

Coming down

We made a little loop to look over the other side of the ridge and while we did, the clouds started to move out! Looking over Rabbit Creek

And finally, you can just see the city beneath the clouds

Enjoying the sun

We found some snow up there too! Patrick was amazed there was still snow.

And by the time we were down, the clouds were long gone!

I tried to download a program to make a panoramic photo, unfortunately, you have to pay for it so it left me a watermark, but you still get an idea of the awesome 360 degree view we had up top!

As Sadie and I headed out to rollerski, this little guy decided to join us for some breakfast. He's actually not that little at all and now I am once again a little scared to run around the University with little blackie here finding a new home on our trails. 
Patrick headed back to VT and I have moved into the next phase of training, intensity. So, for the next month, we will doing lots of hard intervals 3-4 times a week. This is the last phase of training before we move into race preparation so I am trying my best to stay focused and give it my all.

School also just began. I am half way to my teaching certificate and am learning all about teaching middle school this semester. The only experience I have had with middle school is my own so I am looking forward to working in a school and seeing what middle school is like from the teaching side of things.

And one last thing! My good friend Hannah who I went to Dartmouth with and who races on Patrick's team is an incredible artist and just did this fabulous painting of pigs. Because my grandfather, Bumps, always had pigs, I have grown a great affection for them and just love this painting. He also has a great collection of all things pig.

Check out Hannah's art blog:

August 25, 2012

...and MORE skiing

After a quick change of plans Patrick decided to head to AK with me and join APU for our last Glacier camp of the summer. He was very fortunate, after never seeing the sun once while on the glacier last summer, we only had 1.5 raining days this time around. 
Nothing like a clear view off the glacier! (Courtesy of Patrick)

Some nice sunset color. With the sun setting around 9:30 now, we actually get to catch some of the brilliant sunsets! (Courtesy of Patrick) 
The dirt on the glacier started to come through as we finally reached the year-round glacier snow after  all the "winter" snow melted off (Courtesy of Patrick)

The "drink" pond where we get all our water was still very full! Lucky for us, we got to take real showers! (Courtesy of Patrick)

This summer I was injury free! So I got to hike off the glacier. To begin the hike, we run across the glacier and due to the dangers of crevasses, we must rope together so if one were to fall in they wouldn't fall far before the weight of us on the other ends would stop them. 

Exiting the glacier

It's always a good feeling to get below the clouds and suddenly be able to see so many vibrant greens after living in a world of gray on the glacier

The end of the hike requires some serious stream crossings, followed by some extreme bushwhacking testing the fatigue bodies one more time. 


After descending from the Eagle Glacier, I jumped on plane east bound! Patrick picked me up and we headed to the Cape for some quality R&R and family time. It was shockingly hot and the sun set disturbingly early, but I enjoyed every minute of it and would have stayed forever if it wasn't so difficult to train for skiing on the beach. 

Getting some boat time

One of my most favoritve views in the world!

Thanks Dad for the lobster feast! Pure Gluttony

Patrick and I had to get back to training so we headed north to Craftsbury where I joined his team for a week of training. It was even hotter up north without the breeze off the ocean. There were some days where I was worried I had fully turned into an Alaskan and was unable to deal with the heat, but I survived! I happened to be there during the J2 National Camp so there were about 50 of the best 14-15 years olds in the country running around all over the place. I was able to join them for an interval workout and give them some tips on double poling. Craftsbury was an excellent place for them to run around as there isn't much trouble to get into up there! They were an impressive bunch however!
To earn my dinner, I did some work for the Craftsbury Outdoor Center. One evening, Pat and I were the Pizza Runners, moving the many pizzas from the kitchen to the wood fire oven and back to the kitchen. Here Pat stokes the fire. (Courtesy of GRP) 
I also did some vegetable picking.  As you all know, I am not much of veggie eater, but I found out the cure: move to AK. The produce here is generally dismal and I couldn't wait to go to New England to get some fresh veggies. This is a variety of cucumber. The cucumbers were out of control and the only way to keep up with them is to pickle them for the winter time! (Courtesy of GRP Blog)

Some good looking squash! (Courtesy of GRP Blog)

Pat has been doing some work on the mountain bike trails with his teammates. They have been getting creative! With an odd shaped tree that had fallen, they split it and turned it into this bridge they named "the wave" Nils shows us how its done. (Courtesy of GRP Blog)

August 5, 2012

Recovery, Weddings, and more Skiing

After the amazing time I had at NAWTA camp, I flew home for my first big recovery week of the summer. It was great to be home during the 4th of July because I got to see lots of old friends. I love coming home and running all my favorite trails and going on mountain bike rides with my mom. We were able to ride some newly cut single track trails at PCMR despite getting caught in some torrential down pour. 
There were and still are some serious wildfires in Utah. One evening a fire started just on the other side of the mountains and the smoke just started pouring over the mountains right behind my house. Luckily, nothing serious came of it. 
Visiting with great family friends at the 4th of July Parade!
On my way back North, we traveled through Portland to see a friend get married. We timed things just right, as just before we arrived, my cousin and his wife who are living in Portland popped this little guy out. Baby Calvin! 
The wedding was spectacular and very beautiful. Some of the closest friends from high school all showed up so I got to catch up with lots of pals!
We have had periodic bouts of beautiful weather in Anchorage. This is on  a nice recovery bike ride along the coast looking at the city.

All the best juniors skiers in AK had a camp just outside of Anchorage so we joined them for a time trial at Hatcher's Pass. It was one of the most beautiful days I have ever experienced in Alaska and it was even hot out, a rare occurrence up north. I had a great day racing and was really excited to see all that the juniors are up to these days. I sadly have no pictures of the day, I just got too busy enjoying the weather!
We headed back to the glacier for our second camp at the end of July. Unfortunately,  the weather on our entrance day was bad and a nice little cloud layer was stuck over the glacier so we spent most of the day waiting around in Girdwood for the weather to clear. These flowers were outside the Bake Shop where we spent the day hanging out. Despite the beautiful colors in this photo, the weather was actually really grey and cloudy. 
At the Heli pad, this air crane was busy fueling up for work they were doing at Alyeska. It was really neat to talk to the pilots that literally have no home and just fly this thing from place to place doing everything from replacing lift towers at the ski resort to fighting wild fires in the west. 
The cloud never left so we were only able to fly about 3/4 of the way up the mountain. We then had to walk about 30 min straight uphill to the edge of the glacier then the snowmobile picked us up and brought us to the trail where the Pisten Bully was waiting. It was quite the adventure. 

However, once we got up there, the weather cleared for most of the week and we had spectacular weather. We were lucky enough to have some professional photographers come up to take some team and individual photos. I have only got to see a few so far, but here are some good ones! This is the whole team.

The Girls team looking pretty in pink as always!
Charlie Renfro also made a little video while taking photos, here is the link:

Sadie and Lauren and I enjoying a beautiful evening on the glacier!


Getting our full dose of Vitamin D
I was able to ski the most I have ever skied in my life during this glacier camp and am feeling really good about the progress I have been making while living up on the rock. Now, it is time for a little vacation! Off to the cape!