Sunday, September 23, 2012

Big Foot

The smoke continues to haunt the Valley so we took Highway 20 about 40 miles west this morning.  When we leave Mazama and head up the Pass in to the Mountains there is a good 70 miles before the next town or services.  This area is pretty much all National Forest, National Park or National Recreation Area.  I remember reading Pete Vordenberg's book growing up and he talked about a crazy friend of his who spent his summers scouring the Pacific Northwest for the elusive Big Foot.  Those guys were training further south in Trout Lake, WA and I wonder if he ever made it North in search of the big hairy guy.

Ready to Roll
Almost every long ski we have done this year we have had the good fortune of vehicle support for dry clothes, spare gear and ride back down the mountain.  Thank you to everyone who has supported our skis over the years.  Today was an early morning and we were self supported.  I brought my bike to set up a shuttle, but we decided to take our chances with hitch hiking from the top.  Many times this has worked quite well, but every so often drivers just think you are an Alien with sticks and drive on by.  The unknown at the end of the ski can lead to some poor recovery.  We made sure to ski with plenty of water, clothes and food to make the wait as comfortable as possible.  Days like today really help make me appreciate the countless times: Scott, Igor, Andy, Mom, Dad, Chad, Alieta and others have run support. The pack wasn't too heavy though and I think the extra training weight is good for us.  Some day we will race the Norweigian Birkebeiner and be ready to roll.  Plus, I have found that Solomon makes a fantastic ultra light backpack.  The pack is made for running so it is ergonomically designed for activity and adjustable it almost every way imaginable.  I have used it with a CamelBak for most of the summer because it allows me the luxury of drinking without having to stop.

Caitlin heading up the North Cascades Scenic Highway
We skied the first kilometer together because we thought we might have seen some strange tracks crossing the road while we were driving.

Big Foot?

Kuzzy often recommended to visualize  'skiing like Big Foot' while working on classic technique.  It works particularly well while tracking him.

Caitlin enjoying a good homemade turkey sandwich and dry clothes after a great ski.

Sometimes things really work out well and as I reached Rainy Pass I took my skis off as a train of cars approached from the other side and stuck my thumb out.  They all drove right on by.  A bit further down the road a car  near one of the trailheads a car did pull off the side of the road.  I walked towards it knowing that once I expained my situation surely I could get a ride back down the mountain.  As I got closer I recognized that the person was my good childhood friend Leah.  She was heading up to run the Maple/Heather Pass loop but offered us to use her car for the shuttle.  Huge thanks to you Leah.  We had to be a bit creative because of the smoke in the Valley, but the day worked out pretty well.  Now it is time for a little strength session indoors.

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