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

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

Sunday, November 25, 2012

West Yellowstone: Update #2 (with pictures!)

This morning I woke up to snow falling outside! Although it's not supposed to amount to much, it's such a wonderful change. On tap for today: laundry, reading, starting a knitting project, and a trip across town in search of postcards and honey. And updating this blog with photos from the past week. Enjoy and as always, remember that you can click on any of the photos to view them all in a slide show.

Raleigh and Emily rock the Mt. Borah MWSC wear at the West Yellowstone Ski Festival Fashion Show in front of a packed house. 

Welly getting his wax tech on in our MWSC trailer.

MWSC truck and trailer parked in front of our condo. I've caught several people stopping to stare and photograph the pair, presumably because they're never seen vehicles from so far east?

West Yellowstone: the only place I've ever been where they don't really seem to care if the roads are covered in solid ice. 

The icy road in front of our condo reflecting a little late afternoon sunlight. 

This pretty field is just down the block from us...seems to be the popular spot for dog walking and early morning/late evening recovery jogs. 

And maybe for pretty sunsets as well. I can see why Montana is called Big Sky Country. 

We shared a special Thanksgiving dinner with BethAnn and two of her Paralympic skiers, Kevin and Omar. Lots of good eats and smiles all around. 

Welly and Hilary improvising for a little strength workout here in the condo. 

And Emily watching as the foolishness unfolds. 

A lone photo from the uphill 9k skate race we did on Friday. The course was closed to spectators and open only to coaches skiing in the correct direction. Thanks Will for capturing my first race of the season. It was a tough way to kick things off: apparently three days prep is not enough at 7,500 ft. of elevation. On the up side, hopefully that means that racing in Minnesota will feel a whole lot better. 

Stay tuned for more pictures: I promise I will attempt to take more photos as this trip continues to unfold. For now, we wait and see how much it snows here before deciding if we can stay put and ski the town trails or if a move to Bozeman and Bohart Ranch is in order. 
Get your Snow Dance on!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wonderful West

Well, maybe not as wonderful as last year, but West has more snow than Fort Kent did when I left so I can only complain so much. 

So far this year there is no (skiable) snow on the Rendezvous Trails in town so everyone is making the trek up to the plateau to ski. With so many people here for the Ski Festival the logistics of getting up there are complicated, complete with a driving schedule, shuttle buses, and one-direction traffic only according to where the shuttle buses are. So far we've been up twice and between waiting in line and driving up we have yet to make the 5 mile trek in under 45 minutes. Conveniently, we are staying within sight of the entrance to the road up to the plateau so it's easy to keep track of when the line is getting long. This morning we had cars backed up to our house for the 8 o'clock drive up...probably close to a half mile's worth of sitting traffic. 

The skiing up on the plateau is remarkably good considering what the roadsides look like as you're driving up. Today I broke out my three new pairs of race skis for their inaugural run. So far so good but I have a few more layers of wax to put in them before they're ready for any racing action. We're all waiting to see what will happen with the first races of the Supertour that are supposed to be here. Saturday's distance skate race has been moved up to Friday and will be a point to point 9k race. Should be interesting! 

In other exciting news, Raleigh and Emily are getting ready to make their fashion debuts in tonight's nordic wear Fashion Show at the Ski Festival expo. I will bring a camera and be sure to share any exiting photos soon. They will be modeling the latest and hottest nordic apparel available from none other than our sponsor, Mt. Borah. Our new suits and vests are of those coming soon as well. 

Now I know I always put pictures in my blog entries because I believe a photo-less blog entry is boring so you're probably wondering why this entry is sooooo boring. I'm sorry. The fan in my computer (OLD iBook G4) stopped working shortly before I left for my current four-week adventure so I didn't bring. Thus, I am left to mooch computer time from my teammates when available. But I do promise to post pictures as soon as I get some worth posting. 

That's all for now from very brown West Yellowstone....Please keep snow's time for WINTER!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Enjoying my share of November...

As always, click on any picture to open them all in a slide-show format.

November can be a tough time of year for me. After our fall camp in Utah I'm usually used to sun but have maybe also had a small tease of snow. Coming back east means cold, damp, wet weather and there's not always snow right off. And the time change...that wonderfully dark afternoon on the first day of daylight savings. This fall has been no exception but with only two weeks worth of eastern November coming my way I'm getting through it just fine.

Sometimes rainy, cold, dark Novembers can make me feel a little like this.

After returning from Utah I got to spend a few days in Mid-coast Maine with my parents. We explored the area a bit before heading out to North Haven Island for the annual MWSC Lobster Roller Ski Race. The race went really well for me. I finished first in the women's race, besting the field by two and a half minutes. I would have been 17th in the men's race.

We found Recycle Art our first afternoon near the coast. It's in Waldoboro, ME and worth the stop. We trekked all over this guys yard to see his recycled creations...they were soooo fun to look at. He does an amazing job of using other people's discarding metals to create his own art. I can't even tell you how many creatures he has spread across his property. It was definitely a highlight of my mid-coast experience and I'd recommend a visit to anyone!

The helicopter blades actually turned!


That's an earwig on the left...hate to meet one that big that was alive!

If you're ever heading to or near Waldoboro, ME, this place was worth the stop. Here's the sculptor's website: Recycle Art

This year's North Haven trip was special for another reason too though. I found out that I have family (that I didn't even know I had) who live there. We got to meet my dad's cousin Jamie, his wife Nancy, and two of their four kids (my second cousins), Joan and Quincy. It's kind of fun to find out that I have family living so close by and I didn't even know it! Looking forward to next year's return trip to North Haven already.

A pier and an old water-side warehouse on North Haven.

A warehouse at the docks on North Haven and the harbor master's houseboat. We met the harbor master while we were exploring. This winter he's planning on insulating his houseboat and adding a heater so he can move in earlier in spring and stay on later in the fall.  

Some pretty views from the island. A beautiful little cove on the west side of North Haven and I love the building on the has a ships stern built on the end of it! 

A magnetic micro Geo Cache my mom and I found on North Haven....tiny. For those who aren't familiar, geocaching is a global GPY treasure hunt (visiting Without even looking on the site I can promise you there are geocaches hidden closer to you than you know!

With little more than a week to go before I leave again, this time for SNOW SKIING in West Yellowstone, MT, I'm getting my life here in Fort Kent organized for the start of racing season. Last minute visits to the grade school classes that I've adopted this year, waxing new skis, fixing my ski bag, putting summer clothes away, and getting ready for winter. November is a busy (cold, wet, dark) month! 

Have you done your daily snow dance yet today!