XCFeedsLife away from Finland

Avatar SusanDNovember 8, 2010

Two weeks ago, the rest of the Green Team piled onto a plane for Finland with a bunch of ski bags that weighed exactly 50 pounds.  I waved to them as they drove away from Elinor’s and I felt a little lonely not to be joining them.  I decided to go to biathlon trials races instead, and was  eagerly awaiting my trip to Canmore, Alberta for those races.  However, I had 2 long weeks ahead of me first, and a very empty house.

Little did I realize how much I could cram into those two weeks…

I started off by driving to Lake Placid, where I trained with the national biathlon team.  During the few days I was there, I worked a lot on my V1 technique and I made some big improvements in a few days.  Now I’ve got to transfer that to snow.

The OTC was very busy with a lot of bobsled, skeleton and luge athletes in town.

At night at the OTC: Bobsled athletes sand their sled runners in preparation for National Team Trials Competitions.  My roommate when I stay in Lake Placid, Jamie, is on the left.

A night at the OTC: Bobsled athletes snag a bite of pizza and sand their sled runners in preparation for the next day's trials competitions. They were up past 1 in the morning. My roommate when I stay in Lake Placid, Jamie, is on the left.

Rather than linger in Lake Placid for Halloween, I wanted to return to Vermont and take advantage of the NEK’s last weekend of fall turkey season.  I hunted on both Saturday and Sunday morning in the pastures of East Albany.  Watching turkeys awkwardly fly out of their roosting trees at sunrise on a snowy fall morning is a magical experience.  On Halloween, I shot my first turkey and it now awaits Thanksgiving dinner from the back of my freezer.

turkey!

Halloween evening was pretty chill.  I figured dressing up in full camo in the morning was costume enough this year.  The Hanson’s had a great get-together down in the village with lots of yummy food and treats.  Anders generously shared some of his trick-0-treating loot with me.  Thanks buddy!

CNSC practices have been a lot of fun, and everyone is looking forward to snow.  Last week we had a obstacle course biathlon practice, which lasted well longer than the typical hour.  I saw a lot of awesome shooting that afternoon.  We tried some prone shooting with the new cuffs, and the group handled this challenge very well.  We also practiced evaluating wind flags on the range and taking off our poles quickly.   If any of the kids want to help design the next biathlon obstacle course let me know.

CNSC kids on the range

CNSC kids on the range…

...and at the scope

…and at the scope

Last week’s other big project was wintering the house.  Anna had the wonderful idea of hosting a workshop open to the community to teach energy saving winterizing techniques.  The basic ideas were to reduce drafts in the house and increase insulation.  Warm air produced by the heating system needs to get to living areas as efficiently as possible and be kept there.  We plugged up holes in the foundation with spray foam, covered the windows with a plastic layer, plugged drafty doorways, and inspected the oil burning system, among other things.  We didn’t get everything done that we wanted to, but I learned a lot in the process.

In the basement, we found a pipe coming out of the heat exchanger that needlessly spewed hot air.  We blocked it off with duct tape.

In the basement, we found a pipe coming out of the heat exchanger that needlessly spewed hot air. We blocked it off with duct tape.

An extra layer of plastic over the windows creates an insulating layer of air.

An extra layer of plastic over the windows creates an insulating layer of air.

Anna making some yummy homemade doughnuts

Anna making some yummy doughnuts to share at the winterizing workshop

Suddenly I realized that those 2 weeks had flow by.  And they were hardly lonely or boring.  I barely had enough time to pack my bags before I was on a plane to Canmore.

Canmore is a most beautiful place.  It has two of my favorite things: sunshine and mountains.  I am psyched to be here, even if it doesn’t have much of another favorite thing: snow.  Like Munio, Finland, Canmore stockpiled snow from last season, but they rolled it out almost 3 weeks ago.  The weather warmed up, and it melted.  I missed the memo- I expected them to still have snow.  Everybody else packed rollerskis, and I didn’t.  At least there are enough around to borrow.  We have cold weather in the forecast, so they should be able to make more snow soon.

The sad remains of Canmore's Frozen Thunder (aka, stockpiled snow).  I hear there was great skiing here 2 weeks ago.

The sad remains of Canmore's Frozen Thunder (aka, stockpiled snow). I hear there was great skiing here 2 weeks ago.

Coach Jonne at the scope

Coach Jonne at the scope

It's still a paradise, even without snow.

It's still a paradise, even without snow.

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