I’m fresh back from the AK Regional Elite Group camp in Palmer. Heather, Kelsey and Jordan received invites to the 20-athlete camp and had a chance to work with US Ski Team coaches Pete Vordenberg and Pat Casey, and train alongside a great group of many of the top juniors in Alaska. The week’s training involved a lot of roller skiing with a heavy emphasis on technique and technique review, coupled with a strength test and an uphill rollerski time trial.
In the midst of all of this training, Thursday afternoon afforded us some time off, an opportunity to recreate, clear our minds and get away for a couple hours. As the self-appointed fun coach (appointed after the fact – in fact, I appointed myself just now), I took it upon myself to come up with a fun activity that would give us a little local flavor (cultural experience). Since the camp was taking place in ‘the valley,’ there were some natural options: explosives, firearms or internal combustion. Upon review, however, firearms, explosives and internal combustion are either not safe, not easy to come by for an afternoons recreating, or incapable of interesting 20-30 skiers for an adequate portion of said afternoon.
So, we settled on some good ol’ fashioned bowlin’ in the bucolic hometown of our now former Governor Palin. Northern Bowl looked like the sort of place Joe Six-pack could hang out at, unfortunately for the owners, it was just us that afternoon. After a couple of games, and some intriguing styles of play it was clear that we should stick to skiing.