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Training Log: Swampfox

In the last 7 days:

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Monday Jan 18 #

Note

3" or so of snow fell overnight, and this was enough to take care of a good number of spots that had been bare on the ski trails. It will still take at least one bigger snow to put things into normal mid-winter shape, but at least things are a good bit better than just 3 days ago. In the higher up woods, the snow is now too deep in many places to run through without really working hard.

Skied for 2 hours and then added in some running after that. On to Cowboy basketball.

Sunday Jan 17 #

Note

Skied in the very early afternoon and then headed down the Happy Jack highway to Pelican Bay to get in an O' run. This was probably a mistake insofar as it was quite windy and a good portion of the road between the interstate and the ski parking was iced over or getting that way. But I had planned to do this yesterday and deferred it to today because yesterday it had been even windier, and usually the only bad stretch on the Happy Jack highway is the portion connecting the ski parking lot to the interstate.

So off I went, and it turned out there were lots of bad stretches on the way to Pelican Bay. Not horrendous, but definitely calling for much reduced speed. At Pelican, stepping out of the truck, it felt like entering a wind tunnel. It wasn't cold in terms of ambient temperature, but the wind had some chill well dialed up. There was snow cover 97+% of the time, but only a few places where the drifts had to be walked through. I was never really cold, but it felt chilly almost the whole time. I ended up cutting out two small pieces of the course in order to get back to the truck before dusk--really didn't want to have to drive back on iced roads in the wind after dark.

On the way back home and about a mile down the road I got confirmation that it really hadn't been the best idea to drive to Pelican Bay. There was a single vehicle wreck--some kind of passenger van or large SUV off the road and flipped over, looked like it hadn't happened all that much earlier, but early enough so that 4 sheriff vehicles and ambulance were already there, and two more plus a fire engine passed me heading towards the wreck on my way back. All that made me slow down even more. Hopefully nobody was injured, or, if so, not badly.

Saturday Jan 16 #

Note

Woke up as it was first getting light out, and when I checked the clock on the wall, it said 4 o-clock, which was way too early for it to be light out. So I rustled out of bed quick as a ginger snap and looked out the windows to see...snow! I went back to bed as quick as a leek leaf, and when I woke up and got up for real later, saw the snow had amounted to only a dusting.

Up top was a different story, however. There was about 2" of new snow. That's not much, but in a snow thin year like this one I reckon that's the equivalent of about 3' of fresh snow in a regular year, so it was a pretty decent snow.

The snow hadn't been rolled yet and required some work, at least with my skis, and I stayed out for about 2 hours before switching over and doing some running. I expect some sore arms tomorrow--maybe good practice for when I'm in line to receive one of the vaccines.

Windy enough to blow lots of snow across the highway for melting and re-freezing excitement, but not windy enough to bring down trees. The majority of the trees downed earlier in the week have been chainsawed and removed, but the more remote trails still feature some fine beetle kill tree specimens down across them.

Friday Jan 15 #

Note

Given there was a tiny bit of new snow yesterday, I pulled out the skis to inspect the trails. Managed to find several concealed rocks and dirt bits, and with those successes in hand I switched gear and spent the rest of my exercise time running.

Thursday Jan 14 #

Note

Big time windy today and chillier, maybe 20F for the high in town, effectively much colder than that because of the wind. I made the assumption that not much snow had fallen higher up so skipped skiing and ran longer again. As I was driving up a big cloud of something was sweeping in at ground level over the Range from the north and was just reaching Happy Jack. It turned out to be fog/cloud with some light snow. There was about 1/2" of new snow on the ground where sheltered, but of course the wind prone sections of trail were completely scoured. A good number of trees were down across the bike trails where I was running, and I could tell that some trees had fallen across ski trails as well. Good stuff.

Wednesday Jan 13 #

Note

Thinking the snow too thin and grim, I skipped skiing and ran longer instead, this time down the valley behind Vedauwoo. I started off thinking I would stick to trails, and after a few minutes of that and seeing how thin the snow cover was, I decided to run in the frozen marshes as much as I could, and complement that with some slope style running when necessary.

On the way back I spotted one large moose just at the edge of an aspen grove. I was going down a slope with some stuff underfoot and had to keep an eye on that, but I was downwind from the moose and far enough away that there was no chance I was going to catch its attention from there. Just as I saw the moose, I had to look down to get past a few sage clumps or whatever it was, and when I looked back up a nanosecond later, the moose was gone--just like that! I ran through the aspens and out into a big open slope on the other side, sure that the moose would have stopped somewhere in sight, and was surprised that even with a very big view, there was no moose anywhere.

Most moose these days aren't so shy around here, and many can't be bothered to move off when you get near them. This one wasn't one of those.

Rock n roll wind all night long with blizzard conditions part of the time. But the snow was mostly in the air and going horizontal and not stopping to settle down, so that by morning most places had a dusting at most. The bulk of the snow must have ended up in Iowa or maybe Illinois in that wind.

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