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Archive for September, 2011

Home for fall

30.Sep.2011 by Ida Sargent

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Fall has arrived and it’s great to be home!  I can’t think of a better place to be in September and October than in Vermont. It’s not quite peak foliage but each day a few more shades of reds, oranges, and yellows shine through.  I love shuffling through the fallen leaves while running on the trails.  I swam in the lake after my workout this morning and it was definitely refreshing.  Almost everything has been harvested from the garden and we’ve had fun making applesauce, pickles, and pumpkin bread with the last of the crops.  And of course the cold nights and crisp morning air is an exciting reminder that winter is on the way.

The US team is currently together in Park City for the last training camp of the off season.  While I have really enjoyed going to the camps this summer, I opted to skip the camp and instead stay in Craftsbury and train with Pepa and the GRP.  Travelling to new places and training with different teammates is awesome but it can also makes me appreciate being at home.  We have a great training setup here with quiet roads for rollerskiing, lots of great trails and singletrack for running and biking, a lake for sculling, and a gym that nobody else uses.  We are also lucky to be part of a very supportive and active community.  Yesterday evening I did a short recovery rollerski on a loop around the town and I was honked at by four different cars.  However these  were not the “Get the hell off the road” type of honks that rollerskiers are accustomed to but were instead the “Hello! Good job! Keep up the good work!” kind of honks that were accompanied by a smile and a wave.  They made me be very excited to be in Crafsbury for next month while making the final preparations before the start of the season!

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My First Summer in Craftsbury, and other Firsts

21.Sep.2011 by Clare Egan

I arrived at “Elinor’s,” as our farmhouse-turned-athlete-compound is known, in the first week of June. My first impression of my new home was highlighted by Hannah’s remarkably good paintings of local scenery, which line the living room walls, and ‘infused’ by the distinctive smells of stale chain saw gas and sweat mingling in the stairwell, emanating from the drying racks outside of Pat and Dylan’s Man Cave room. With this impression, I began an endless list of firsts. Not surprisingly, my transformation from college runner-skier ( I put “runner” first on purpose) to Green Racing Project skier required a major overhaul of the intensity, variety, and quantity of my daily athletic commitments. What I did not expect, however, was the extent to which my lifestyle outside of training would change upon moving to the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont (should’ve known!).

My first workout of the summer, with my new team and my new coach, was an 80-minute classic roller-ski the morning after I moved in. I am a novice (though not outright first-time) roller-skier, and in the beginning, I spent about as much time roller-skiing as I did filming my teammates from Pepa’s passenger-side window, as they skied for twice as long as I could. Ah, those were the good ol’ days. Within the first week, I tried rowing, ski erging, hill bounding, and Pepa’s ab-wrenching hill jumps for the first time. “And on the 7th day,” I slept for 10.5 hours and began a 20-day bout with semi-paralysis which required that I sit myself up in bed each morning using my arms. By the end of June, as NENSA’s junior development camp was underway at the Outdoor Center, Pepa thought I was ready for my first roller-ski intervals. Of course she was right; I managed to evade both physical catastrophe and mental ruin, staying ahead of most, if not all of the J2 age group participants. In early July, I survived my first “speed week,” comprised of at least seven (7) interval sessions, including my first 15km running race. Admittedly, the comments section of my training log from that particular week contains the entry, “OMG HORRIBLE,” but hey, I made it. It had been a struggle for me to finish those 80-minute roller-skis when I first came to Craftsbury, but on the last Sunday of July, I completed a 3-hour and 45-minute death march roller-ski odyssey to Lake Willoughby, closing out my first “volume week” with a grand total of 20.1 hours of training success. The comments for that day were “Felt good! Surprise.” I am capable now now of things that I never would have thought possible a year or a month ago, or even yesterday. Most days, in fact, I find I do at least one impossible thing before sitting down to lunch!

My days and hours off from ski practice have been flooded with a torrent of exciting, new activities and opportunities to learn. Writing this blog entry is undoubtedly the most time I’ve spent indoors since coming to Craftsbury. In the garden I have learned to seed, weed, water, identify, harvest, wash, and store no fewer than 15 kinds of edible plants. Thank you, Anna Schultz! I fulfilled a life-long dream by assisting in the care of 4 piglets at Hosmer Point, the summer camp down the lake which is newly affiliated with the Outdoor Center. I fed them at least once every day, and cried honestly upon their recent demise. Brian Gluck, the Outdoor Center’s carpenter and maintenance guru, taught me that every life form is worth crying over, and also how to put on a metal roof. In the evenings, after spending some quality time with my porcine friends at Hosmer Point, I often partook in whatever absurdity was underway at camp. Most notably, perhaps, was my on-call appearance at Carnival Night as a gypsy fortune teller. I knew I had succeeded when two weeks later, on the last night of the session, a camper confided to me: “My fortune came true!…About the treasure!!” I can only hope that my achievements in gardening, farming, and fortune telling might be equaled on the trails come wintertime.

My first impression of Elinor’s hasn’t changed; it has been supplemented by gems like that time we stayed home and cooked local beef and artichokes and sweet corn in the middle of the summer and sat around the campfire in the yard eating it all, and how on days when we were up early enough we could see the cloud of morning mist floating in the valley between our house and the Creek Road, and the way the house smelled when our ingenious Vermonter girl teammates made and preserved 10 jars of pickles during hurricane Irene, and by finding scrawled messages by the communal phone like, “Pat your uncle Bob called he says congrats on the big win.” It is true that the deer flies were abominable (and immune to deet) for approximately three weeks in the middle of July, and it seems that the power goes out for a day or so at least once a month here, and the staircase scent did for a brief time become truly intolerable due to an unfortunate and critical misunderstanding of our septic system’s layout. But for the most part, the grass isn’t greener on any side that I know of. Here’s to hoping that my summer of firsts was the first of many. Happy Fall!

Posing proudly with the world's first documented Beet/Swiss Chard cross-breed, grown in our very own organic garden.

Posing proudly with the world's first documented Beet/Swiss Chard cross-breed, grown in our very own organic garden.

Susan (Left), Hannah (vintage skating costume), and I working together in the Climb to the Castle roller-ski race up Whiteface Mountain in Lake Placid.

Susan (Left), Hannah (vintage skating costume), and I working together in the Climb to the Castle roller-ski race up Whiteface Mountain in Lake Placid.

High Rollers: Susan and I "working" at Casino Night at Hosmer Point.

High Rollers: Susan and I "working" at Casino Night at Hosmer Point.

Feeding Spots his last supper.

Feeding Spots his last supper.

Roll Run Row

11.Sep.2011 by Hannah Dreissigacker

For roughly the past two years, the GRP skiers and SBTC rowers have been talking about the doing a “Craftsbury Triathlon”.  It would be the ultimate test of the well-rounded Craftsbury athlete: a rollerski on the Creek Rd. from Irasburg to the end of the pavement, followed by a run back to the center on the dirt roads, followed by sculling to the end of the lake and back.  Each leg would take somewhere around 25 minutes for someone who was fast at the particular activity, and potentially much longer for someone who wasn’t.  Finally, after all these years of talk and speculation, the dream became a reality and the inaugural Craftsbury Roll Run Row was held this past Friday.  Here are some pictures of the day.

Tim and Pat came in together after the running leg.  But would they stay together for long?

Tim and Pat came in together after the running leg. But would they stay together for long?

The rowing battle didn't last for too long until Tim flipped.  Larry coached him back into the boat.

The rowing battle didn't last for too long until Tim flipped. Larry coached him back into the boat.

Lynn ran the running leg for the "masters" team.  They were missing a rollerskier, so their win was unofficial.

Lynn ran the running leg for the "masters" team. They were missing a rollerskier, so their win was unofficial.

Ethan made up a large deficit after the frist two legs to take the win.

Ethan made up a large deficit after the first two legs to take the win.

Claire sported a Belarussian rowing uni for the race.  She almost caught Pat in the row and took 3rd overall.

Claire sported a Belarussian rowing uni for the race. She almost caught Pat in the row and took 3rd overall.

John Graves was 12 minutes behind after the rollerski, but plowed through the competition in the row to take 5th.

John Graves was 12 minutes behind after the rollerski, but plowed through the competition in the row to take 5th.

Dylan climbs back onto the dock after jumping in to save the seat  that fell out of his boat.

Dylan climbs back onto the dock after jumping in to save the seat that fell out of his boat.

Megan got to the dock and said, "Pepa, teach me how to row!"  By the end of the row she was doing great with some coaching from Larry.

Megan got to the dock and said, "Pepa, teach me how to row!" By the end of the row she was doing great with some coaching from Larry.

All of us hanging out after the big race.  It was a long hard race.  I think the winning time was around 90 minutes.

All of us hanging out after the big race. It was a long hard race. I think the winning time was around 90 minutes.

Wild Alaska

7.Sep.2011 by Patrick O'Brien

After a week of some pretty incredible skiing on Eagle Glacier Rosie and I loaded up her new car to head out on a road trip for several days. I wanted to experience Alaska. Real Alaska. This kind of Alaska. Although I didn’t have the former governor of the state as my guide, Rosie did a wonderful job showing me the sights and attractions that wild Alaska has to offer. The following are some pictures from our time in Anchorage and the Kenai peninsula.

View from Flattop out over Anchorage

View from Flattop out over Anchorage

Flattop

Flattop

Looking for cheap entertainment? Try hitting up Anchorage's sand dunes

Looking for cheap entertainment? Try hitting up Anchorage's sand dunes

Or the Air history museum. Lots of historical planes on exhibit

Or the Air history museum. Lots of historical bush-planes and helicopters on exhibit

Good thing I didn't try to fly this guy to the glacier...

Good thing I didn't try to fly this guy to the glacier...

Hiking up alongside the Exit Glacier

Hiking up alongside the Exit Glacier near Seward

View looing out at the 500 square mile Harding Ice Field

View looking out at the 500 square mile Harding Ice Field-white as far as the eye can see

Lots of animals on the trail

Animals everywhere

This guy gave Rosie and I a scare when we were running down. He was far to satiated on berries to be scared off by our calls of "Hey bear" so we just waited for him to lumber off and take a nap

This guy gave Rosie and I quite a scare when we were found him around a corner of the trail when running down from Exit Glacier but he was too busy getting fat for the coming winter on berries to care about our presence

Camping in the shadow of Mt Marathon. Wanna run up and down this as fast as possible? Give it a try next 4th of July (if you get registered that is)!

Camping in the shadow of Mt Marathon. Wanna run up and down this as fast as possible? Give it a try next 4th of July (if you can get a bib that is!)

Checking out some of the sea stars at the Aquarium in Seward

Checking out some of the sea stars at the Aquarium in Seward

Sign for the Climate Change poster- sponsered by BP of course!

Sign for the Climate Change exhibit- sponsored by BP of course!

Great trails around the area

Great trails around Seward

But some of the bridges need a little bit of repair...

But some of the bridges need a little bit of repair... watch that first step!

Lots of Silver Salmon

Lots of Silver Salmon

returning to spawn near Seward

returning to spawn near Seward

I coudn't figure out why the sea life center was so packed until I saw this monster in port on the way out of town. End of the cruise line for a bunch of fanny-pack clad American tourists

I couldn't figure out why the sea life center was so packed until we saw the cruise ship that had made port on our way out of town. End of the cruise line for a bunch of fanny-pack clad American tourists

Trying to get the off-shore rescue suit on in under 30 second. I failed miserably

Trying to get the off-shore rescue suit on in under 30 second. I failed miserably

My favorite house from the whole trip- a converted fishing trawler sitting high and dry on the "Homer Spit"

My favorite house from the whole trip- a converted fishing trawler sitting high and dry on the "Homer Spit"

And of couse, too many Moose to count!

And of course, too many Moose to count! These guys were in the driveway right when we got back into Anchorage.