Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Postcards from Helvetica

After almost a month across the Atlantic, I haven't sent any handwritten notes to Mr. Haberberger's 6th Grade Reading & Writing class. Fortunately, I'd been picking up postcards, and writing notes while traveling from Davos to  Andermatt, Switzerland, and the Italian mountain towns of Seiser Alm and Livigno. With an eleven-day on-snow training camp coming up tomorrow in Ramsau am Dachstein in Austria I had a rest day to catch up on trips to town and the post office. With Mr. Peck having moved from Peshastin, Washington to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, I wanted a class closer to my hometown to connect with. Fortunately, Carl Haberberger and his wife Anastasia moved back to Leavenworth, with Carl teaching down at Orchard Middle School, a two-minute spin on the bike from my parent's house.

A nice benefit from getting to travel is seeing the different architecture that places in particularly harsh environments foster. In tight alpine valleys like the Engadin in Switzerland, not to mention the difficulty of reaching an Italian town like Livigno in the winter months - or a four month ag growing season - towns that now mesh luxury with high alpine have centuries-long history of regional poverty. This made building dwellings where form followed function more than a design ideal. When I see the architecture of places like these, I wonder what my friend-turned-architect Syndicate Smith would have to specifically say about each of these places. When I see a house of his making with his trademark clean simplicity, I can't help but think he's been inspired some by various alpine architecture. 

Last time, I wrote a little report from Nordic Weekend in Andermatt. The final race. the "berglauf" finished atop the Gotschener Pass, beside this lake. I stiched together several photos to try and capture the scene in more detail. At the top, I ran into some Americans from Boulder, Colorado cycling through the Alps for the fourth time. I could tell, though, they were more than a little uneasy about all the flooding and destruction going in their Colorado backyards.

Coming back from Nordic Weekend, I step my first steps in the Swiss National Park. If I was king for a day, I'd make sure there were than just the one national parks here in Switzerland that sits beside Zernez and the Ofenpass. I think Teddy Roosevelt, for whom this blog is named after, would agree as well.

The Breaking Bad finale awaits on Sunday. I know my mind wanders from time to time to try and glimpse the future of the destruction on Walter White. What about yours? 

Finally, a cool little story about Alan Webb and Shalane Flanagan getting all In The Arena with Portland State Cross Country.

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