Thursday, July 26, 2012

On the Road Again with Bridger SF

With the summer's heat coming to the city, the last couple weeks I started spending a bit of time paddleboarding the Great Salt Lake. It's been interesting to get to know one of the world's most extreme ecosystems a bit better, and a very underused one at that. It's really true, you can just bob along in the salty, briny water left from the ancient Lake Bonneville.

On my last night in Salt Lake there was a little electricity in the air. It might have had something to do with Albert, an old college teammate, calling my living room home for a night before the DesNews Marathon. He put down a 2:40, though I think he was hoping for more. Mr. Wint wants to toe the line at the next U.S. Olympic Trials. I sure hope he makes it.

After the marathon, I packed up the apartment as quickly as I could.  The time has come to say goodbye to Utah, until U.S. Nationals in January, and perhaps just as importantly, in May when I start back up on the graduate studies. Could I have just one semester before sporting the degree? That would be nice...

Anyways, back to the present day. After packing up, it was time to hit the road and join the Bridger Ski  Team in the Canadian Rockies. For over a decade the club comes up to Canmore for a late summer training camp. After putting in 935 solo miles, I rolled into the Alberta town a little groggy and out of it, only to find out the Banff hill climb awaited next morning. Good times. And loving it. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Anchor's Down: A Book

With it being finals week here at Westminster College, perhaps a little book reading is in order for us all.

Until the next time, -T*

Monday, July 2, 2012

Canyon Country, Utah

With the weekend came my chance of escape. If not from the summer's triple-digit heat, from the city, from the daily routine, for the rock and sand and serpentine labyrinth of Utah's canyon country.

My two compatriots for the trip were Tony & Louie Ronzoni. Here we trade in stories as we make our way down, down, down, the White Canyon in Utah's Emery County.

At the depths of the White Canyon, the walls reach ever-higher as the slot canyon walls narrow to little more than my body's width. Wind rushes through. Pools of water eleven feet deep stand from another day's flash flood. It's a mandatory splash and swim endeavor through sections like these.

After two nights, two days, and three canyons it's time to head back up north. We wind our way up through Highway 6, by the watermelon farms of Green River, beside the train tracks of Helper, Utah (named for the extra locomotive engines needed to lead the freight headed up Price Canyon to the peak at Soldier Summit). Here, the sky turned dark, mean, and red. It was the kind of sky where you could stare straight into the sun. We drove down the old-main drag of Helper. It's a mostly forgotten place, though with much of the charm left in tact. Filling up with gas across from the boarded up Piggly Wiggly and liqour store I catch the conversation of two Carbon County locals.

   "Wonder when dis forest fire's gonna clean up?"

   "Sheet, maybe it'll burn it all down and den it'll all be built up better den before."

    Half a minute passes. The second one continues, after pulling a fresh pack of Marlboros from a   carton, and lighting up.

  "I don't mind it none. The way we smoke and the way we'd a worked, dis don't do nothing to me." 

  "Yeah, I reckon yer right."

   Coal miners, they are a hardy breed.


 Finally, I have to give my props to the ITA Athletes putting it all on the line for the opportunity to make it to London and represent themselves and the USA at the Olympics. Your stories and your grit are something to be much admired. Bonne Chapeau.