Monday, September 12, 2005

10 days of no work and all play!

A week simply isn't long enough to fully remove yourself from the day-to-day work groove and into one of leisure... or maybe it's tough to get into a leisure groove when your vacations are packed full of backpacking, endurance racing, etc... or maybe it's just that vacation goes by way too fast no matter what you're doing - especially when it's fun!

Our vacation started-off with some bad news (the thursday before last). A close friend is going through some tough times and it was hard to leave him when he needed us most... we spent friday evening together, then had to leave him to cope on his own when we left saturday for our much anticipated week-off... he was in our thoughts throughout and we both wish he'd come with us, but it just didn't work-out like that.

We arrived in Niskayuna, NY, to stay with jenn's mom and ron before heading-up to the Adirondacks for 5days of backpacking. I brought my road bike and got-out for a 3hr rip on Sunday morning before leaving for the mtns around 2pm. The road riding in Niskayuna is fantastic! Every type of ride - rolling, big hills, flat... minimal cars and frequently wide shoulders. I guess the only drawback would be the long winter when deciding where to live (other than boston)... i rode at exceptionally higher speeds than normal, with hrm within reasonable limits - a question plagued me, though, will my new-found form fall-off if i miss too many days backpacking?

Our trip in the Adirondacks was superb minus one dislocate knee. Excellent weather, no bugs... there was a new ordanance that we had to carry canisters for food due to the bear's recent ability to cut-down bear bags by cutting the tie-off ropes with their claws, then scooping-up the bags when they hit the ground. We didn't have a canister - and spent sunday night straining to hear a bear cut our tie-off line over the sound of a gurgling stream. No worries, though, no bear incident and on monday we changed our itinerary and headed deeper into the park to grab a couple "free" bear canisters at the interior outpost.

It was weird going from the loose backpacking style of the Appalachians - where i've never been concerned with the fuzzy lumps of black fur and muscle called black bears - to a more intense grizzly-bear style of thought - where you cook in different clothes than you eat in, you cook far from where you sleep, etc... but the canisters worked and the bears went back to their normal way of life. Black bear sightings are rare and magical moments... I've seen one in the wild twice. Once with cubs when i was young and once in Glacier NP where we came almost nose to nose with a juvenile, who couldn't care less about us - and sat eating berries while we waited for him to clear the trail.

On Tuesday, after an amazing day of backpacking, we headed down off Algonquin (one of the tallest in the Adirondacks) - a 3000 vertical foot hike jammed into a couple miles - to Lake Colden and the most beautiful spot i've been at in the park. Near the top of the descent, Jenn's knee snapped backwards as she stepped down. Luckily, the kneecap didn't snap-over and stick to the side, but popped-back into place (mostly), but the damage was done. Tendons had been strained and it immediately began to swell-up to the size of an orange. The pain was intense for poor Jenny, who remained calm and knew there was only one solution. Down. Since her kneecap hadn't slidden off to one side, she hiked-down to the lean-to and then out of the park the next day on her own pained power - then to the doctor! We hope she can rehab it with strength training, but surgery may be necessary to avoid this in the future... it's a real bummer for her - and for her season, as the running season is now officially over for her... we're just hoping she can be back for the ski season.

We did however, have a couple wonderful days backpacking together... and after staying with her mom for another night on wed, we were back in boston on thursday night to take her to the doctor on fri morning... then off to the Churn and Burn 24 that afternoon, where Andy and Harry were competing on Saturday-Sunday.

Harry rode an amazing race - very strong, steady and smart - and finished in 4th place with 150miles of technical xc under his belt! A fantastic performance. I don't think the other folks there knew he was 18 either! A real nice race. What's really solid is his easy-going and friendly demeanor during events. I can get a bit worked-up, it's good to see folks stay calm as they get it done.

Andy rode a fantastic 12 hour race - unfortunately it was a 24. It was his first effort at a 24 and his fueling plan was all over the place - and his energy levels crashed at midnight - but after refueling and resting he got back out there to hammer-out another 4hours in the morning to record 120 solid miles of dirt riding. If he's into the scene, he'll be a serious podium threat in his next outing - as will Harry.

Pictures of the hiking trip and the Churn and Burn to follow...

My form seems to have not been done much harm, minus the 5lbs i gained eating so much on vacation! i managed to get-out more on my bike than expected - including 6 laps of ghost riding at the churn and burn by Gary Goodvibes... then a nice indoor session yesterday evening to check form, open-up the legs and set-up the week for this weekend's EFTA race...


Post a Comment

<< Home