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Training Log Archive: Swampfox

In the 7 days ending Feb 9:


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Sunday Feb 9 #

Note

More snow overnight, a few inches in town, an unknown quantity at Happy Jack which I will just put down as "more". Went up at around noon to hopefully beat the Wee Ski crowd, only to find that Wee Ski had been cancelled (too much snow?). Still a good idea though, because even without Wee Ski, the parking lot was almost completely jammed with heavy overflow--30 or so vehicles parked along a very snowy Happy Jack Highway. But there were two vacant spots near the trailhead, so lucky me!

I skied for a for a while and said hello to some people I knew, said hello to a whole lot of people I didn't know, said hello to two dogs I knew, said hello to a number of dogs I didn't know (including a cattle dog what was mostly interested in trying to sneak up on me real low to the ground so it could herd me up), and ignored one really grumpy looking person. One person said hello to me who obviously knew me, but I couldn't place them at all. That probably happens a lot to presidential candidates, and even though I'm not running for office, it happened to me too.

I didn't see anyone I wanted to sing "Hello There" to, which was probably just as well. It isn't the same without Bun E Carlos.

After waiting as long as possible, I switched from skiing to running. The reason for waiting was to maximize the amount of foot and bike traffic that would precede me on the trails, hopefully firming up the trails. And it worked. I found some nice segments to run on with only one small section across a major snowfield where a little postholing was called for.

Even though it's late winter, it's early in late winter, and early spring seems very far away for now.

Saturday Feb 8 #

Note

A small amount of snow fell overnight in town, but again there was a good bit more up top. Trails were soft and slow. Someone had driven Graham B's car up to the parking lot, probably to make it seem as if Graham was out training, but of course he wasn't actually there.

Coming back on Summit, someone said hi as I was skiing by them, and I realized a few steps later it was Doug B, so I turned around and joined him. If Doug hadn't said hi, I would have kept right on going with no clue it had been him. It turned out his original plan had been to drive up I-70 into the mountains to some ski area (I forget where) but when he checked before leaving, he learned traffic was horrendous, so he drove up to Happy Jack instead.

It really sounds like you don't even need to check traffic on I-70 on the weekends in the winter, and that you can safely assume it is always horrendous, and getting worse. That's probably why people have private jets and stuff. Or else just move up to the mountains and be done with it.

After dropping Doug off at the parking lot, I went back out and ran trails. They were softer than yesterday despite today's traffic on them, but it was still good. When the trails firm up again, it will feel so easy running on them!

Friday Feb 7 #

Note

In keeping with the pattern for the week, it snowed several inches overnight, and another half inch or so in the morning. Up top, it was a good bit more snow, and while the trails had been rolled, they were soft. I skied at a moderate pace, and then ran afterwards until past nightfall. The snow bike trails were even softer and even slow running was not easy. In all, about 3 hours of exercise. It must have added up because after dinner I did some work reading for an hour or so, until the thought came to me that lying down and listening to some music for a little bit seemed good. I went right to sleep, and by the time I woke up from my brief, little "relaxation" 2 1/2 hours had gone by. I must have been tired.

Thursday Feb 6 #

Note

It snowed all day long up top while there were just occasional snowflakes falling in town. Trails by the end of the day were soft and deep with new snow and had the appearance of being ungroomed.

I returned to the parking lot after dark, only to find both the high school and middle school buses were still in the parking lot, with lights on but making not attempt to move. One was stopped halfway up the incline leading out of the parking lot, and I couldn't figure out why it was stopped there--it didn't look like it had gone off the pavement, and it would be odd if it had broken down right there. There seemed to be enough room for the other bus to get around, but I wasn't positive, and it kind of looked like there might be a bunch of snow in the gap, and maybe driveable and maybe not. So what was going on? Were the roads closed by drifting snow?

I got in to my truck and changed shoes, since I was going to have to do that anyway, and while I was doing that, someone walked in front of my truck, and I thought I heard them say a wrecker was coming--though now I'm not sure if I just imagined that or not, because I don't know who they would have been talking to, or how I could have heard them over the wind.

After I got done changing shoes and putting on a different jacket I tried to assess the situation as best I could. I really wanted to wait and see if any of the couple of other vehicles in the parking lot could make it out before trying myself, and I wasn't in a hurry. Very soon, a large pickup came down the highway, and parked on the other side of the road. It was followed by a new school bus, which turned into the entrance of the parking lot and stopped right there. I figured there was going to be a passenger transfer from the old buses to the newly arrived bus, but nothing happened. The wind kept blowing and snow was everywhere. It was hard to see.

Then another large vehicle came down the highway, and I could tell as it got closer it was a super sized wrecker. The new bus backed to the other side of the highway, and the wrecker drove into the parking lot, turned around, and then drove up alongside the bus that was halfway up the incline. I could see two people getting out of the wrecker, and they started walking around, but it was hard to see exactly what was going on. And then, after a minute or two, the bus that maybe was stuck or maybe wasn't started moving, and just drove right up out of the parking lot as if nothing had been wrong at all, with the wrecker just sitting by it the whole time. Then the second bus drove out of the parking, than the third bus--which never did do anything--drove off, too. Followed by the wrecker. As the wrecker was leaving, a snowplow came down the highway, and turned into the parking lot. I had had my truck running for a while by then, and as soon as the plow was out of the way, I drove up out of the lot as well.

I never did find out what had happened with the buses. The whole thing was weird from where I sat.

Wednesday Feb 5 #

Note

Mid-winter ends today. At least around here it does. If I say "late winter", I can almost hear Cheap Trick singing "Hello There".

Note

Not as cold as yesterday, but still colder anyway, because of the return of Mr. Wind. Skied for about 2 1/2 hrs, and it was a good day to be outside. Some snow was falling out of ice fog at the end, and making it feel extra warm.

Towards the end of skiing, I ran into Randy, who was re-fueling a snowmobile. I commiserated with him; this morning he couldn't get any of the snowmobiles to start. It's kind of funny that they don't start well when it's cold--kind of the opposite of me, as I don't start so well when it's hot.

Tuesday Feb 4 #

Note

High of about 8F on the day, and by the time I finished skiing, it was -4F in town. Quite pleasant out once I got warmed up however, thanks to nearly still air. Sun intermixed with large banks of fog that slowly and silently moved through the area, with very fine snow falling inside each fog cloud. Everything was heavily rimed up at Happy Jack. Other than two pairs of skiers right at the trailhead, I saw absolutely nobody for the 2+ hours I was out. Really beautiful.

Monday Feb 3 #

Note

Effectively quite chilly today, with blowing snow in the air all day, high of about 13F, and strong winds. Roads weren't great and the interstate was closed west of town. I made the decision I would avoid all that and stay home rather than risk the drive up to the Summit, and burned a couple of calories on my indoor cycle instead.

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