Monday, September 7, 2015

Happy Labor Day

Happy Labor Day!  I celebrated in perfect style today by going for a ski! I'm currently in Ramsau, Austria with my Craftsbury Green Racing Project teammates.  The weekend's snowstorm settled and we were greeted with fresh powder on the Dachstein glacier for the first ski of our training camp.  Despite the wind ripping across the glacier creating a fast tailwind in one direction and a brutal head wind in the other,  it was so much fun to be sliding across the snow, enjoying the best part of the job.

Labor day also traditionally marks the end of summer so as I put on my ski tights, jacket, gloves, hat, and buff this morning, I quietly bid adieu to a great summer.  The season seemed to get a late start this year with a very cold and rainy June followed by spending most of July in winter in the southern hemisphere.  But when I returned from New Zealand, I walked off the plane into a wall of Eastern heat and humidity and I couldn't have been happier!

Summertime at home in Vermont is my perhaps my favorite time of the year.  I quickly made a goal to swim every day until I left for Austria, a task that proved not much of a challenge.  The Craftsbury Outdoor Center is located on Big Hosmer Pond, making it easy to jump in and cool off after steamy training sessions.  I live in a cottage on Little Hosmer and frequently went for a quick swim in the evening before bed.  My parents live near Lake Willoughby and there is a big pond in the woods behind our house so it was always easy to find swimming locations when I was home in Barton.  I love the feeling of floating in the water for a long time, cooling my body temperature off after sweating like crazy in a hot training session.

Another reason I adore summer is the plethora of fresh fruit and vegetables, (of course interspersed with maple creemees galore!)  The payback for the hours spent planting, weeding, and preparing in the garden, hits hard in August.  We were over our heads with summer squash, zucchini, basil, kale, and cucumbers.  Every morning I started my day topping my yogurt and granola with fresh blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries.  Corn on the cob was ready to go before left Vermont.  And despite a late season tomato blight, we were still picking ripe cherry tomatoes off the vine and eating them like candy.

Finally, the past month has been a great opportunity to spend time outside at home with friends and family.  Eben came home for a week early in the month and then Elsa and Linden were in Vermont a few weeks later.  Alice Nelson, a friend from my days at Burke visited for a wonderful weekend of catching up.  And after spoiling myself with a new mountain bike, Pat and I have been been exploring lots of new singletrack around Vermont.

Here are some pictures from the past month.  Check back soon for more Austria updates.

Double rainbow over the Craftsbury Outdoor Center
Thunderstorms brewing
Morning mist rising off of Little Hosmer Pond
Dirt road cruising in the Northeast Kingdom
Rolling with Caitlin along Willoughby Lake
Heading out for an OD run with Eben

Family picture on the summit of Mt. Mansfield after the Race to the Top of Vermont.  This 4.3 mile race climbs up the toll road on Mansfield and has turned into an annual summertime sufferfest for me  This year Linden and Elsa finished their vacation travels with the race, Dad hiked up to cheer, and I was psyched with running a fast time up the mountain. 
Pat is psyched to ride!
Mountain biking with my new Santa Cruz
We built lots of fun new singletrack at Craftsbury this summer that I recommend everyone check out!  Here I am riding with Sheldon and Ollie on "Woodward's Wheelie."  
Cooling off in the river after hard rollerski intervals.


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