Hitting the Road: West Yellowstone in All Its Glory (Photos)

I’ve been on the road for a couple of weeks so far, and it’s time for a little update!  My mom and I headed to Bozeman in late November, early enough that I would have a good amount of time to acclimate before our Thanksgiving races.  We did a quick dash through the delicious (and kind of expensive) Bozeman Coop, and then did the beautiful drive to West Yellowstone through the Gallatin mountains.  After a rough week of training (the regression from skiing to roller skiing and bounding is never going to feel good in November), it was fantastic to get on some soft snow in West Yellowstone!!  Here is the first part of the week in photos:

 We got into Bozeman and did a quick run in the morning before driving to West Yellowstone.  It was pretty obvious that we had reached the West!

We got into Bozeman and did a quick run in the morning before driving to West Yellowstone.  It was pretty obvious that we had reached the West!

 It was so fantastic to get onto soft, pliable snow in West Yellowstone after skiing on ice in Anchorage and subsequently regressing to November rollerskiing.

It was so fantastic to get onto soft, pliable snow in West Yellowstone after skiing on ice in Anchorage and subsequently regressing to November rollerskiing.

 Just a fun old-timer that we saw while walking around West.  I suppose that qualifies as an OIM... Only In Montana?

Just a fun old-timer that we saw while walking around West.  I suppose that qualifies as an OIM… Only In Montana?

 Have you ever heard of boxed water?

Have you ever heard of boxed water?

 Trying out different layering techniques in our new Craft uniforms- the pants are so comfortable you don't have to wear anything under them!

Trying out different layering techniques in our new Craft uniforms- the pants are so comfortable you don’t have to wear anything under them!

 Happy to have some good snow!!

Happy to have some good snow!!

 I was signing cards at the expo when my family showed up. Naturally they all had to have personalized ones, and they had to have better personalizations than each other too.

I was signing cards at the expo when my family showed up. Naturally they all had to have personalized ones, and they had to have better personalizations than each other too.


After a few days of Mom and I holding down the fort in a very quiet West Yellowstone, my Alaska Pacific University teammates arrived.  The Faulkner family also arrived, all of my mom’s immediate family and their kids, which made for perhaps the best thanksgiving dinner of my entire life.  I’ve never had a big loud family Thanksgiving shebang before, and let me tell you it was LOUD.  And so incredibly much fun that I still can’t believe it’s over.  I got to ski with my cousin Gavin for the first time, and it was fun to share a little bit of what I’ve picked up in the ski world.  We bombed some really awesome downhills on Dead Dog, didn’t fall, and had a great time!

 Beautiful trails on my ski with Gavin

Beautiful trails on my ski with Gavin

 Cousins cruising!

Cousins cruising!

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 The APUNSC ski testing machine, in action, in a snowstorm!  In the week leading up to West Yellowstone it's always a push to learn this year's new skis and figure out what you may want to be racing on after Thanksgiving.

The APUNSC ski testing machine, in action, in a snowstorm!  In the week leading up to West Yellowstone it’s always a push to learn this year’s new skis and figure out what you may want to be racing on after Thanksgiving.

 This is the best part of West Yellowstone, everyone skiing in the streets when there's a snow storm!

This is the best part of West Yellowstone, everyone skiing in the streets when there’s a snow storm!

 This is my APUNSC ski family, we're stoked on our new Craft race suits!

This is my APUNSC ski family, we’re stoked on our new Craft race suits!

 Andre and I are APUNSC's resident Alpina people.  It's great to have boots that stick to the basics and always fit!

Andre and I are APUNSC’s resident Alpina people.  It’s great to have boots that stick to the basics and always fit!


The actual races were pretty fun.  I wouldn’t say that I was rip roarin’ ready to rumble, but I put down some good efforts and ended up a respectable 7th in the skate sprint and 6th in the skate distance race.  Rosie B, my APUNSC teammate, started out strong with a win (the BIG “W”) on the 10k day, and new- and old-time Junior Nationals- teammate Chelsea Homes whipped out a skate sprint the likes of which we’ve never seen from the erstwhile distance specialist.  It was a solid weekend of racing, and I was so happy to have my giant Faulkner cheering squad out in force!

 Faulkner-Rorabaugh cheering squad, out in force and making a lot of noise!  This was by far the best Thanksgiving I have ever had, thanks to these awesome folks

Faulkner-Rorabaugh cheering squad, out in force and making a lot of noise!  This was by far the best Thanksgiving I have ever had, thanks to these awesome folks

 Sorry Andre, I had to put this in.  Andre held down the bottom of the sprint loop, ready to hand out poles if needed.  He sent me this snap chat of Rosie and I leading our semifinal.  Thanks Andre!!

Sorry Andre, I had to put this in.  Andre held down the bottom of the sprint loop, ready to hand out poles if needed.  He sent me this snap chat of Rosie and I leading our semifinal.  Thanks Andre!!

 I was also very happy that Noah got to join the giant family Thanksgiving this year! I'm not sure how he felt about all of us and our rambunctious noisiness though...

I was also very happy that Noah got to join the giant family Thanksgiving this year! I’m not sure how he felt about all of us and our rambunctious noisiness though…


Needless to say it was a bit of a letdown after all that excitement, but it’s been a good couple of quiet days in West Yellowstone with my APUNSC buddies.  We’ve made a delicious thanksgiving dinner (Sunday, after the races and stress were over), we’ve had some extremely high quality singing sessions with Lex Treinen on the guitar, Rosie Brennan had a birthday, Sadie Bjornsen finished college with a 20 minute online presentation, and everyone seems excited for Bozeman SuperTour racing this weekend!

 Rime ice on my glasses after a 0ºF ski, it was the oddest weather...

Rime ice on my glasses after a 0ºF ski, it was the oddest weather…

 Lex Treinen's awesome crust on our joint pie effort for APUNSC thanksgiving.  The pies were delish, if I do say so myself!

Lex Treinen’s awesome crust on our joint pie effort for APUNSC thanksgiving.  The pies were delish, if I do say so myself!

 Hanging out in Morning Glory Coffee on Rosie's birthday (hence the balloon), watching Sadie wrap up her final project at Alaska Pacific University!

Hanging out in Morning Glory Coffee on Rosie’s birthday (hence the balloon), watching Sadie wrap up her final project at Alaska Pacific University!


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