Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Thank you ~ may I have another?

Yup, another 40-mile week of running!  After a long week of work (I worked six out of seven days, only taking the Monday Presidents' Day Holiday off from work), I ran 6 miles in the basement on the treadmill Friday night, followed by 14 miles on the treadmill on a snowy Saturday.  I had wanted to get out and test another one of the new Nathan packs, but it was too cold, snowy, and icy out.  I watched Skyfall (the most recent James Bond movie) and the two hours and twenty minute run on Saturday flew by!  I was able to crank up the speed during the action scenes and felt really great during my run.

Then Sunday morning rolled around and I was committed to ski touring but didn't want to get out of bed.  The new snow and high winds made me nervous about the avalanche conditions, but after dragging myself out from under my cozy covers, I checked the forecast and it didn't look so bad.

Off I went to pick up my touring partner ~ we explored a new canyon, one we had hiked around in with the dogs and had looked at last year as a possibility for ski touring but never made it back to.  We were at the parking lot at 8:30 am.  Three and a half hours later (ugh) feeling cold, tired, and very hungry (all I could think about was bacon and eggs with home fries), the 20 miles from the previous two days of running on the treadmill had caught up to me.  I almost bailed out halfway up the mountain, and choked back some tears at one point.

My hard work was rewarded.  (Well, more like the hard work of my partner who convinced me to get up to the ridge line at the top, and the others who passed me who broke trail for us.)  Some of the most amazing powder skiing I've ever skied.  18 inches of fresh, perfect fluff on a perfect slope.  I'm not too proud to say it ~ I was the caboose this fine day.  But I'm so very glad I got out.  It was an amazing day.

Halfway down the canyon is where things go interesting.  I swore I was following my partner's tracks, but somehow I got off-course and ended up way too far to the left.  He came and found me, wondering where the heck I was going, and we tromped through the deep snow in the flats and through brushy bushes to get back over towards where we could exit the canyon.

Many tree branches to the face later...  we were skiing out the creek bed to the main trail.  I managed to get stuck cross-wise in the creek bed a couple of times, but was not too exhausted to get myself out.

We made it back to the car, and got to the cafe for our bacon, eggs, and home fries 10 minutes before they closed.  The wait-staff was not thrilled to see us come in right before the doors locked, but we ordered quickly without menus and ate fast, left a healthy tip, and were not too much trouble.  They were vacuuming around us as we finished up our meal, but it was kind of like when you were a kid sitting on the sofa and your mom came by with the vacuum and asked you to lift your feet up for her.  I love that place.

One more rally and we took the dogs for a walk on the snow-covered golf course to end the day.  And a nice sunset to boot!  I was tired on Monday morning from all of my fun-having, but it was all worth it!
Snack time and new skis ~
Start of the day ~ not tired yet, and still smiling ~
View of the Salt Lake Valley below ~
Quiet aspens ~
Majestic peaks ~
Feeling the ache, close to the top~
Top of the Canyon ~
Glittering snow crystals caught the sunlight
as they broke off of the surrounding flocked trees ~
The hills that we skied ~
Sweet, patient dogs ~

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