Snow and Rattlesnakes

FasterSkierMay 27, 2009

My training camp in Bend was very successful. The US Ski Team was great with helping me find a place to stay and offering training opportunities while I was here.

After 7 beautiful and 1 cloudy/snowy days of skiing I couldn’t be happier with the progress I have made and the new focus of my training for the next year. The skiing was almost perfect (especially if you like klister!) and the trails were filled with skiers from all over the country so the company was great too. The focus of the camp for me was on testing skis and getting in some early season volume. I was able to participate in a few interval and testing sessions with the Methow Valley Olympic Development Group and the US Ski Team which was great! It is always great to hear feedback from a different perspective from time to time.

Towards the end of the week an old NMU teammate, Melissa (Orem) Shwartz came to visit with her growing family. It was great to catch up with her and laugh about the “good old days.” I hope to see her again this year and especially come race season!

Yesterday I took a hiatus from Mt. Bachelor and traveled north to Smith Rocks. This is a beautiful State Park that is a rock climbers paradise! I brought along some bounding poles and found the nice paths perfect for some bounding work!

I quickly realize how much of a city slicker I really am! Cruising around the city alone at night… not a problem! Running alone with Cougar and rattlesnake signs…Big Problem!

I asked a few people if there were really rattlesnakes and cougars in the park and everyone seemed to think the signs were not necessary, but as I ran along the path I couldn’t help but think how perfect the dry dessert landscape would be for a backdrop to a snake!

I followed the path (headphones off! so I could hear if something was nearby) and made my way up and over the ridge! I met some great folks and saw some amazing scenery! The skiing was probably great again but I had the best time cruising through the volcanic cliffs and river valley.

Just when I was happily cruising along the trail near the river, a man ahead held his hand up to stop me. “Rattler he said!” Of course as frightened as I was to encounter one unexpectedly this was a great opportunity to see one up close. So I carefully walked over and stood next to him as we watched the beautiful snake slither away. It was AWESOME. I tried to snap a few photos but they do not capture how cool the snake was. The man told me it was coiled on the side of the trail just moments before.

So now I am leaving Bend, which has become my new favorite training place, for the concrete jungle of Minneapolis!

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