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Training Log Archive: Swampfox

In the 7 days ending Jan 1, 2017:

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Sunday Jan 1, 2017 #


Headed out noonish for some skiing and running and, mostly, to enjoy the low sun before it got lower still.

I skied long enough to get the flavor of the place and to check out the crowd, which today included a friendly amount of snowshoers and about the usual amount of snow bikers. So far we still don't have any snow biker gangs, though I am hopeful.

Then I went running, partly on nicely tracked snow bike trails, and partly on snow drifted trails blocked off to tire traffic by numerous fallen pine trees. It was heavy going except for the parts where I had been preceded by moose, and even though their footprints were partially drifted in, they still offered better footing for me when I could fit my shoes in.

When I was finishing up and back at my truck, I decided on a whim to add in just a little bit more down the hill form where I was parked. A lucky decision, because I came across a very large moose which was also checking out the scene. It had no antlers, but the odds on guess is it was a bull.

Came home and had some dinner while watching some videos of Billy Gibbons running through some old ZZ Top numbers with an Australian chick (Orianthi.) Holy cow! Mercy!

Now I can't decide if I want to head to Texas first or to Australia, but I'm leaning down under.

Saturday Dec 31, 2016 #


Another very nice day--pretty much a repeat of yesterday, with full sun, blue skies, and just a few degrees cooler. Also a repeat of yesterday insofar as I got out and biked, skied, and ran. So fine!

I think I will switch back to my "less good" skis (a pair of combi skis where it doesn't matter as much to me what the state of the bottoms are) for the time being. There is plenty of snow in the woods, however, not plenty of snow on many small sections of the trail net, thanks to wind scouring, tree removal, etc. It would seem like grooming would include moving some of the plentiful snow in the woods to some of these sections that are hurting, but that's not what usually happens.

Friday Dec 30, 2016 #


An unusually fine, late December day where winter relented for a few minutes, and it was possible to score a trifecta (biking, skiing, running) in total comfort. Didn't even need long pants for biking. Not going to be like this next week!

Wednesday Dec 28, 2016 #


The favorite thing I've seen this week (so far), has to do with railroads. Statistics for last week's rail traffic were out today, and total traffic for that week this year was up 27% over last year. As a way of understanding the difference, the report included this explanation:

"Please note: Christmas Day is not included in the current week this year, but is included in the comparable week in 2015. Therefore, this week's traffic volume is somewhat overstated compared to 2015."


Skied and then ran snow trails. While skiing, it felt colder than I had anticipated--which I attributed to a still pretty strong wind. Once I returned home and checked the temperature, I realized another reason it felt colder was that in fact it was colder than I realized.

Then, to mark the (basketball) contest of the evening, I made Air Force pizza, using great care to craft a scene using bits and pieces of red chilies and mushroom stems, depicting the fiery mid-air collision of two Air Force falcons. I doubt that the collision of two falcons actually results in flames, and probably it's just a mild explosion of feathers, but I took artistic license. Zoom zoom, zoomies.

Tuesday Dec 27, 2016 #


More wind today, though not as much as with the past 2 days. I only saw one tree while skiing that was blown down today. The groomer with some spent the day trying to clear the trails, but still didn't get entirely done--Summit Loop hasn't been cleared yet, and I know there are at least a few trees down on it, too.

Went running after skiing, and even on just a short section of multi-use trail it was easy to see the multi-use trails are a total disaster. It will take a while to clear them off. In the meantime, considering the numerous necessary detours off-trail for fallen trees, it's much better to be running than biking!

Monday Dec 26, 2016 #


Just back from skiing, getting home as dusk was meeting nightfall. The current temperature in town is 19F while the "feels like" temperature is 4F. This was one of those times when it really did feel much more like the "feels like" temperature; I wouldn't have guessed it was still as warm as 19F.

It was hard to tell how much new snow we got up top. In places every single flake of new snow had been scoured away and in other places there was some pretty good drifting.

It was obvious the stronger winds that were kicking up towards the latter part of my running yesterday did not abate during the night, and hit the pine forest at Happy Jack with devastating effect. Just on the parts of the trail net I skied on today there was at least 39 trees that had come down across the trails, and there was a huge amount of various debris strewn everywhere. So, while the new snow mostly buried the debris from the prior wind storm, now we need some more snow to bury the new batch of debris.

After these two pretty big wind storms, it might seem like all the trees that were ready to fall down have been blown down, but I am not at all confident that is true. The amount of trees that have blown down so far still only represent a relatively small percentage of the dead trees still standing. And sometimes live trees blow down, too.

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