After the 10/15km Skate race on Sunday we stayed in West Yellowstone for another few days to get some low key, team-in-the-woods training. While a few of the other teams stuck around for a few days doing 4 hour long skis, we kept it pretty light and made time for a belated Thanksgiving on the Monday after the races. We cooked a turkey spatchcock style even though Rosie wanted to throw it away because our refrigerator had stopped working midway through the week. The turkey as well as most of our other perishable food had coasted through at least three days of near room temperatures in our ice box. In fact the only thing that kept the fridge remotely cold was that we had been cycling milk from outside on the porch into the refrigerator periodically so that it didn’t freeze. It was kind of a sorrowful sight. We even had a repair man come at one point to look at it but he seemed kind of arthritic and maybe had spent too much time around the snow-machine fumes at his snowmobile rental shop down the street to know much about refrigerators. Needless to say he didn’t fix it and Rosie made sure that everyone knew that she didn’t think any of the food was safe. In any case, we did manage to pull off a happy Thanksgiving dinner. We even were graced by Erik’s kids and wife, whose flight had been cancelled that morning because the airplane door had snapped off due to a sudden drop in the temperature in Bozeman from 45 degrees down to -15.
Training over the next few days was relaxed and mostly easy except for a threshold workout in the middle of the week. We had Heidi Widmer and Allyson Marshall from the Canadian National team for dinner one night, and afterwards had an epic off-the-cuff guitar concert that included the bluegrass version of “Gin and juice.” Packer got hooked on guitar and also learned “The Cave,” which has been echoing in all of our heads for the last few weeks. And we serenade Rosie Brennan for her birthday with “Everything is Awesome.”
Finally on Thursday morning we were ready to leave. Because of a storm, we went the long way around through Idaho instead of shooting strait North to Bozeman. We crossed the Nose Pierced Trail (Nez Perces for y’all Frankophiles), where 3,000 Columbia River Indians fled the US govt. when it tried to force them onto reservations, and the grave site of Chief Winnemuca (aka “Bad Face”) and his daughters. Man, we passed bitter some ghosts on that drive.
After browsing the cowboy stores in Bozeman and buying groceries, we arrived at our VRBO house at dusk. Our spirits were tired, but the house is a ski-in castle complete with an elevator to the clouds (that we were advised not to use or we could incur “serious injury”), a mini bar, hottub, and anthology of Clint Eastwood movies on VHS.
Skiing today was excellent despite it being 45 degrees and wicked slushy. I had to ditch my one-piece spandex race suit and ski in a t-shirt and shorts. I don’t handle the heat so well. We’re set to jet tomorrow though–this race is more in tune with the lunar cycle than last weekends’.