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Archive for November, 2010

A week and a half ago, I flew to Canmore, Alberta for team time trials that determine the US’s December World Cup and IBU Cup teams. Canmore stockpiled snow from last winter under a layer of sawdust, and they have snow making capabilities, so it never crossed my mind that maybe I should have packed rollerskis. I quickly realized my mistake when I arrived and the temperature was in the mid sixties. All that was left of their stockpiled snow was a thin layer of brownish ice.

The sad remains of Canmore's "frozen thunder" a.k.a. stockpiled snow that was rolled out for skiing in October.

Despite the lack of snow during the first week, the team’s spirits remained high. I borrowed rollerskis from some of the Canadians that train here, and because there was no snow, I was able to explore the mountains a little bit. I went mtn biking on some amazing single-track and checked out some local hiking trails, activities that wouldn’t be possible in the winter. There are trails everywhere here; in town, around town, up the mountains, along the river, etc. My favorite trails go along the river, where I’ve run into a couple herds of elk.

Even without snow, Canmore is a paradise

Training has been fun, and I had a few better than normal shooting days. It’s amazing how much one good shooting workout can boost your confidence and lift your spirits, and equally amazing how discouraging it is when you’ve been missing a lot of targets. Either way, it seeps into all aspects of your life.

Coach Jonne at the scope.

A few days after we arrived in town, the temperature dropped to around freezing, allowing the Nordic Centre to begin making snow. They groomed a 1.2 km loop, which we’ve been skiing on nonstop. My teammate Lowell Bailey managed to log 177 laps on that loop in 3 days. Yeah, it’s dizzying. A couple nights ago, thick clouds enclosed the beautiful mountains surrounding town and the flakes started to fall. Within 30 minutes everything turned white, covered by a blanket of snow. Today, the temperature’s been around single digits, but the gusty wind makes it feel a lot colder. We’ve found winter.

Now we are in the middle of our trials races. The first was on Tuesday and went well for me. I hit 90% of my targets and finished 2nd. Two more races will be contested on Thursday (tomorrow) and Friday to determine who will represent the US in Europe.

Thanks for reading my blog. If you are interested in seeing more pictures from the past month, please check out my blog post called “Life Away from Finland” that I put on the Craftsbury Green Racing Project’s website: http://www.craftsbury.com/grp/grp/. The internet has been too slow to duplicate all of that post here.

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