Former biathlete, current coach….all round nordic enthusiast!

An elite athlete competing in the sport of biathlon: nordic ski racing combined with marksmanship

Thursday, May 26, 2011

tRAINING in Fort Kent….

One of my nordie teammates, also living in Fort Kent, remarked last week that the word “raining” is hidden in what I do almost every day: training. These last few weeks that has been especially true and holds true as I write this. Tomorrow however, the forecast is for “partial clouds” which would lead me to believe that with only partial cloud cover we must be in for some SUN!

Last week was my first “normal” week of training this spring. I say normal because it was the first week I tried to do something every day according to a schedule instead of just doing whatever I felt like. It went well despite being wet for most of it. I did my first track intervals of the year, went on two 3 hour+ bike rides (one mountain biking and the other road), ran on the 4 wheeler trails around Fort Kent a bunch and did strength a few times. One of the really exciting parts of training up here is all the wildlife you see when you’re out and about. Just this last week I think I saw (or heard) 10+ moose, lots of Canadian geese, several rabbits, and a dead fox (on our road bike adventure). The bugs are also starting to make themselves known again….a little less exciting.

Seth and I are working on getting a garden ready to go here in Fort Kent. This past week we planted seeds for a few things and bought some local tomato plants to supplement what I had brought up from home. With it being too cold (and wet) to put stuff out yet, our entryway (a glassed-in porch) has become a substitute greenhouse with all the pots arranged strategically where they’ll get the most sun if it every decides to shine. So far we have peppers (bell and banana), tomatoes (patio and cherry), eggplant (YUCK!), onions (red and Vidalia), peas, and lots of houseplants. My dad also gave me seeds for cucumbers, carrots, beans, squash and zucchini to plant but they will have to wait another week or so until I’m positive there’s no more danger of frost. Things are a little further behind up here than they were down in NH when I left home!

Some pictures from the last few weeks: both at home and here in the County….

My parents are trying their luck at growing potatoes....they should come up here and see how it's done!

The animals at the farmstand chilling out in the sun.....Fluffy the turkey is making friends with her new companions!

New calf is a cutie....he has a heart on his head and is a sweetheart! 

What is it? A budding plant at the farmstand....

Zucchini anyone? My parents grew a bunch of veggies in big pots and some of them are producing fruit sooner than expected!

Big veggies plants in the greenhouses.... mostly tomatoes

Lots of flowers and little green guys already!

Dahlia picture that I played with....

Little chicks in the farmstand... literally just days old here

See the two in the back with the yellow balls on top of their heads? Hopefully they'll look something like the big guy in the next photo when they grow up!

Polish Frizzle Chicken. Sweet. 

View of Katahdin on my way back to the County....still has snow!

Beautiful sunset in Fort Kent

Seth getting some big air by my favorite picnic table on the 4 wheeler trails in Fort Kent. The view from this spot is amazing!

Smiles all around..... nothing beats a nice bike ride!

Pretty sunlight in a field off the 4 wheeler trails

Taking a break on our way to Caribou from Fort Kent. 
Awesome weather. 
Nice bikes. 
Fun times. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Our biking adventures in photos...Enjoy

On our first day we drove from Maine (Seth and Andy) and NH (they picked me up at home in Gilford), down to the northern end of the Skyline Drive in Front Royal, Virginia. The weather was terrible on our way down so we stayed in a cabin to avoid getting wet in our tents. We met up with John, Seth's friend from Bates, who had already been riding in North Carolina and Virginia for a week. 

Our little cabin in Front Royal, VA

We stayed here two nights before heading east over the mountains. 

Inside our cute little cabin

Day 1: Biking in VA on the Skyline Drive. Sunny, warm weather and green popping up and out everywhere....who wouldn't be happy?

Seth climbing a traverse up Skyline Drive

John, myself, and Andy on Skyline

Seth likes the view. And the sun. 

View from the first Welcome Center on Skyline Drive

Skyline views

 Looking out over beautiful farmland in north-western Virginia

Smiles during a stop on our way back down to our cabin in Front Royal
 2 hours 30 minutes climbing up / 15 minutes riding it all back down

Day 2: Riding from our cabin in Front Royal through the farmlands that lie up against the mountains that Skyline Drive sits on. In the afternoon I drove part of Skyline Drive while Andy and Seth followed behind on their bikes. 

Riding through more farmland and fields....all turning green

Seth and Andy in farm country

Heading back out to cabin to pack up and head out.

The road to the cabin campground went through a cow pasture with this old chimney in it. Kind of neat.

The view of the cow pasture opposite the chimney. 

Driving on Skyline Drive in the afternoon took me through this tunnel. Seth and Andy rode their bikes through it!

I stopped for a short hike that took me out to a series of neat waterfalls.

We spent our third night camping east of the Skyline Drive mountains. This was our campsite.

Day 3: Biking in farm and vineyard country north of Charlottesville, VA. Lots and lots of green pasture and cattle. 

Keswick Vineyards - we stopped to taste wine and get a closer look at the grapevines. 

Seth and Andy checking out the view

Seth saying hi to a cow along the way

We had lunch/dinner in Charlottesville after our ride and found a pizza joint that made the biggest pizzas I have ever seen. The three of us barely finished it! After eating we drove to Richmond, VA and spent the night in Pocahontas State Park, camping. 

Day 4: We drove down the Outer Banks, NC. We didn't like the wind or heavy/fast traffic so we played on the beach all afternoon. 

Wildlife on the Outer Banks. 

Sunrise over the Outer Banks sand dunes. 

Day 5: We drove up to Gettysburg, PA and rode around the battlefield tour routes for the afternoon. We spent that night in Gettysburg at a campground. 

Riding along perfect roads with slow traffic and beautiful views while stopping to learn about the Battle of Gettysburg at many of the 3,000+ monuments we passed. 


Canons along the tree line where the Confederate soldiers waited before Pickett's Charge on the final day of the Battle of Gettysburg. 

Seth and Andy's bikes leaning on a canon

View from the fire tower over the fields surrounding Gettysburg.

Seth and I standing on Little Round Top

Seth and Andy on Little Round Top: "Do we have to stand together?"

Seth and Andy standing with the 20th Maine monument in the woods on Little Round Top where Col. Joshua Chamberlain led his Maine men in defending an important high ground on the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg. 

Seth goofing around in the sun

The only NH monument I found

View from the spot where the Union soldiers fought off Pickett's Charge on the final day of the Battle of Gettysburg. 

Day 6: Rain. I took in more of Gettysburg on foot while Andy and Seth biked in the rain. After their bike we drove up to Scranton, PA and spent the night warm and dry in a hotel. 

Day 7: More rain so we drove home to New England. 

Since then I've been home helping out on the farm and enjoying what sun comes our way. 

Magnolia tree in bloom at my Grandmother's house

Sunny view from the top of the hill that we live on. If you click on this photo to enlarge it, you'll be able to see a snowy Mount Washington in the distance at the center of the photo just about the right end of the house. 

Hopefully the weather here will continue to be nice, sunny and warm. I head back up to Maine soon and I know spring be slightly behind up there!