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

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

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Utah: Bring on the Sun (and thin air)

Our Utah adventure has begun. After a very smooth trip out here, we started our training camp this morning with an easy hike around Deer Valley and a distance classic ski on the bike paths between The Canyons Resort, Park City, and Deer Valley. Here are some photos:
These ponds are right outside our condo here in Deer Valley.

Our condo (the one with the lights on)

The water was reflecting the scenery this morning before it warmed up and the fountains got turned on.

A view looking back toward our condo from the beginning of our morning hike. 

Everyone smiling during a water break. Nothing beats a sunny day of hiking in a beautiful place. 

Most of the trails we hiked are mountain bike trails. This one had some special "furniture" as Will calls it. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be too confident in going down this run. 

Checking out another bike trail obstacle: You can see Seth in the upper right corner of the photo. He's standing on the end of a ramp that sends the rider off and over the trail that everyone else is standing on. The jump landing is down the hill on the left side. Anyone who rides this is absolutely nuts. 

Seth on the end of the jump platform. 

This afternoon we took the bus to the starting point for our easy classic ski....being green and using public transportation. When we got on there were a few people that were wondering what we were doing skiing during the summer. 

The guys on the ride down to The Canyons. 

This dirt jump park was just off the paved recreation path that we skied on. Needless to say, Seth was beside himself with jealousy. I'm thinking he might try to rent a mountain bike before this camp is over...there are too many trails that look like too much fun around here! 

Rollerskiing through a tunnel under one of the main roads in Park City. Their recreation paths are really popular and well taken care of. 

Some art on the side of the rec. path. I like the fish! 

Tomorrow we are going to take the bus to a trailhead down near The Canyons then hike up and along the ridge above the ski areas. It should be about 16 miles and 4 hours of exercise. Lots of uphill (topping out around 10,000 feet) and not much oxygen (by my easterner standards). 
We have the afternoon off from training but BethAnn and I are going up to Ogden, Utah to the U.S. Atomic Ski offices to pick up our new skis. Last week I got my new classic waxless skis which are awesome so I'm really excited to see what my new skate skis are like! 

Check back for more photos and stories soon!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fall has arrived in The County!

I'm sitting at the MWSC office in Caribou right now with my feet up and some warm, cozy clothes on. My toes are thawing out and the tea I'm drinking is slowly bringing my core temperature back to where I like it. This morning I was pleased to wake up to a much nicer day gray clouds and pouring rain like yesterday. The bright sun, however, was deceiving! With steady winds and the temperature hovering below 40 F, my first step out the door was a shocker!

I went for a long road bike ride this morning, starting here at the office and heading out west of Caribou, swinging south and finally north parallel to route 1. I saw a huge bull moose standing out at the far edge of a freshly harvested potato field. Other than that, it was pretty uneventful but nice just same. The roads around here are great for road biking. Nice pavement, not much traffic, and when there are people out, the drivers are all very careful and cautious when passing. No getting honked at or run off the roads for me!

Yesterday I went to visit "my" fourth grade class in Madawaska. I've adopted them for the year and will visit and keep in touch with them as much as I can. The plan is to write back and forth via email and "snail mail" when I'm gone. When I'm in Maine I'll try to visit at least a couple times a month, and maybe fit in a few ski sessions if I can! Here are some photos from my visit yesterday:
Here we are having a group discussion about where skiing has taken me so far and how I ended up living in Northern Maine and skiing for MWSC. 

Me showing the kids some of the places I've been for skiing and biathlon on their US week we will try to look at Europe!

Challenging ourselves with a group game that took some cooperation, concentration, speed and provided some pretty good laughs all around. 

Goofy faces for the camera....fourth graders love to have fun and be silly! 
I'm going to fit right in with them!

Smiles all around! I'm looking forward to keeping in touch with these kids this year! They are really well behaved, very enthusiastic, and fun to hang out with! Hopefully we'll learn a lot about skiing together and maybe I'll inspire them to reach for the stars....they certainly have the ambition to go wherever they want in life! 

Oh, did I mention that I learned something from them? 
Jacob wants to be a herpatologist when he grows you know what a herpatologist does? 
After looking it up, I do!

Frost warning again tonight, this time with colder temperatures! There was snow spotted at the top of Waterville Valley down in is coming! WINTER!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

My last few weeks in photos....

Seth after his first loop at the Fat Tire Festival's new 12 hour ride in Presque Isle at the Nordic Heritage Center. 

Seth and his friend Andy (Farmington, ME) rode as a team, alternating laps of the +/- 1 hour long single track course. It rained all night prior to the event and then into the morning so things got pretty soft and dirty out there! 

Dirty but I think he's still smiling!

After the Fat Tire Festival we headed to Jericho, VT for some rollerskiing and training. After Jericho Seth and I spent a night camping with my family just outside of Vergennes, VT. This is the view from the top of the hill that we camped on, Mt. Philo. That's Lake Champlain in the distance with the mountains of New York state behind it. 

Another view from the top....lots of fields that probably got really wet when Irene came through!

This tractor was spotted through Seth's new camera in the view from the above previous photograph. It's behind the house at the top edge of that field in the center of the picture....can you see it?

More views of Lake Champlain and some pretty clouds. 

My parents enjoying some much needed time away from the farm. 

After Vermont I went home for a few days before meeting back up with my MWSC teammates for our Sugarloaf Hill Camp. This is inside my family's farmstand, Beans and Greens. 

More of the stand...lots of fresh food. Eating at home is always enjoyable!

The view into the store from the barn's original front door. 

The new pavilion that the crew completed this spring.  

Amazing woodwork!

Camping in Freeport the night before our Sugarloaf camp started with a kayak trip. 

BethAnn and I doing some pole walking up Sugarloaf on a gorgeous early-fall type day. 

Seth and I enjoying the view from the top. 

Back at home after Sugarloaf, this time with Seth in tow. We got home just in time to help out with my parent's second Farm To Table dinner in the fields above my house. 

Fresh veggies abound on the farm....this salad was served for the dinner. 

Guests got a ride up to the field on the tractor while behind serenaded by: 

My dad's ski patrol friend Doug Hamilton. 

Appetizers....mmmmm, good. 

Pretty flowers. Yes, also from the farm. 

My parents are all smiles as things kick off smoothly. 

The guests enjoying the delicious food and peaceful setting. 

Dessert....also good, but way too much of it!

We got to spend an afternoon out on our island with some family. 

Kaiya loves the she's sitting on a wind surfer that's laying on the dock supports watching as someone plays in the water nearby. 

My mom lounging in the sun and getting some much need R&R. 

My brother and cousin, Caroline, trying to stand up together on the wind surfer. It's harder than it looks when you have two people on it at once!

Alex, testing his sense of balance by trying to stand on his head while floating on water! Weird sensations abound with that one!

 Me paddle-boarding on the wind surfer with a row-boat oar. It's a little too short to easily reach the water but it was a fun challenge none the less! Even more fun when you get motor boat waves that try and throw you off!
After doing a road race in the morning, Seth and I went to work at Beans & Greens, helping tie things down before Hurricane Irene rolled in. Here's the gang we picked peppers with after harvesting somewhere around sixty (yes, that's 60) bushels of over-sized green and red peppers. My parents are supplying cut and frozen veggies to some local businesses this winter so lots of pepper processing came next!

Back on the home farm hurricane Irene looms in the distance as the sun sets on Saturday. 

Helping with the Anthem retreat at Pineland Farms. We set up a combo workout where the Anthem guests had to race on Ski Ergs and then try to shoot our laser rifles! 

Now I'm back in the county and getting back in the swing of things with a few normal weeks of training before I head to Utah for three weeks in October. The cooler fall weather this week has been amazing. Last night Seth and I went out for a mountain bike that turned into a three hour adventure bringing us home in the dark.  We saw a big bull moose and gorgeous sunset while dodging puddles that were all over the place. The sun today will have dried the trails up a bit. If we get more weather like we had today, it's going to be a beautiful fall!