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

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

Thursday, November 21, 2013


One of my favorite books when I was little was "A Pocket for Corduroy". It's about a bear who discovers that his overalls don't have a pocket and then his adventures in trying to get one. It has NOTHING to do with snow. Funny that years later I still connect freshly groomed corduroy to this book despite the fact that my initial connection was the corduroy on the alpine trails at Gunstock. 

Needless to say, this morning's workout started out on perfect corduroy with clear skies at a whopping -15C (about 5F). I skied and shot for about 2 hours on my fuzzy classic skis (I prefer "fuzzy" but they are actually called Skintec) which provide pretty bomb-proof kick in conditions like we have here.  Now, with an afternoon for recovery before a busy weekend, I've been sipping tea, coloring (see photos later in blog), contemplating finishing a knitting project, and talking on Skype with Seth. Seth is on his way to Bangor for a flight this way tomorrow! Our group grows by 4 tomorrow and we'll be a packed house of 9 people for the next ten days. Good thing our rental house has 3,000 square feet of breathing room. Oh, I mention we're expecting 4 more for Thanksgiving? This year I'm thankful for our dishwasher and shared cooking responsibilities (among other things of course)! 

The cross country stadium and nordic centre here in Canmore. They're still making snow with a vengeance but have slowed down a bit with pushing it out. We're hoping for some new terrain either during or just after the weekend….fingers are crossed! 

Having started out as a cross country skier I still find myself drawn toward classic skiing on a cold, crisp morning like we had today. The kick is so easy and you can just glide along and relax whereas with skating it's a lot more work when the snow's so squeaky and slow.  I do love skating but sometimes I think my teammates are a little more die-hard when it comes to skating all the time because we're biathletes. I guess maybe there's a little cross-country skier still hiding in me somewhere…. 

A few days ago Casey and I came across these awesome Alberta Park Service coloring posters in the lodge at the Canmore Nordic Centre…I took one home and actually finished coloring it today. Stay tuned for a photo of the final version. 

We've been making some art for the walls here in our rental house - it's a bit stark and white with few furnishings and almost nothing adorning the walls. We bought markers, crayons and a pad of paper a few days after we got here and have quite the collection going at this point…not sure yet if they'll stay here or come to Minnesota with us in December!  (Above (both mine) 10th Mountain on the left and an artistic interpretation of my family's home-farm in NH - I had to leave a few things out).

L: Casey's abstract art. R: My swirly flowers.

L: Raleigh's artistic rendering of the view here in Canmore R: Casey's house in WA. 

Raleigh teaching his computer about his biathlon rifle. Just kidding…he's actually Skyping with the classes he's adopted for the year. The kids are doing a lot of geography lessons with other schools via Skype and their teacher thought they'd like to "visit" Raleigh in Canmore. Way cool. I would have loved lessons like this when I was elementary school. These technology changes are starting to make me feel like a dinosaur when I think back to what we had when I was in 3rd and 4th grade! 

A patriotic hat I'm working on which has often accompanied by my current favorite snack…pomegranate. Now that I've figured out how to (more) efficiently empty one, I can eat them while doing other things instead of sitting there, picking seeds like a monkey, while wearing dark clothes (and sometimes a red bib). 

Yesterday I went for a (VERY COLD) afternoon walk down to the Bow River to take some pictures of the fading afternoon light. I came home with a few shots that really captured the area well...

That color must mean the water is too cold to swim in….

Rocky Mountains. 

I have a picture of this same bridge from the last time I was in Canmore three years ago. I think I like the older picture better for the fact that it had more snow on the railings and the light was better, but I do love the lines that the supports create in this shot. 

Our neighborhood on my way back from the river. They don't really plow completely here…just enough to take the bulk of the snow out of the middle of the road. The rest seems to be up to the residents. The bottom of our road has a speed hump that formed today when the leftover snow got packed by cars driving over it. Oh…did I mention that each house seems to take responsibility for the section of sidewalk in front of their property? You can tell who's not around by the un-shoveled segment in front of their house! 

Home Sweet Temporary Home. 

And the view from those big windows on the font of our place…hard to beat except for the fact that the sun NEVER hits this house in winter. We face north-east so the sun rises, hits those mountains across the valley during the middle of the day, then sinks behind the mountains that form the western edge of the Bow River Valley. I'm sure that huge deck would be nice in summer though….

Time to think about helping with dinner….I think Chef Russell is banging around in the kitchen on his way to some stir-fry (hopefully). 

Oh. I almost forgot….discovered this little gem via USBA on Facebook this afternoon. For those of you who don't have the whole sport figured out yet, watch this video

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