Camp has ended and now it’s time to recover a bit and let all those hours of training (and a few hours of racing, too!) sink in. I flew back home to Minnesota for 4 days after our time in New Zealand was up, and now I’m on my way back to Vermont and my SMS training buddies. Here’s a mostly-photo blog of some of my favorite photos and memories from the last few days of camp!
I’m not someone who usually has their nose pressed to the plexiglass oval of the airplane window, but on the flight out of Queenstown to Auckland, NZ, I couldn’t tear myself away! If you look carefully, you can even see the snow farm from the airplane. We’re the huge patch of snowy mountaintop and what really stands out is the winding dirt road up to the trails from the valley.
In our last week of training, we were fortunate enough to race in some FIS races with the Aussies and South Korean teams.
There was a classic sprint, a 10km mass start classic and a 5km skate. I raced the first two and cheered for Liz and Simi in the third before heading off on an AMAZING crust cruise! The day before had been really warm and sunny, melting the snow into a smooth layer before freezing up into a fast crust overnight. You could take one step and glide 5 feet!
It was a bluebird day and I skied myself up to the summit of the Crown Range mountains and overlooked the valley on either side. The mountain range at the Snow Farm is breathtaking and the para-gliders I met up on the ridge agreed with me.
The morning that we were set to fly out, on our never-ending day – we crossed the date line so although we traveled for close to 30 hours, it was technically only a 12 hour travel – we got up reeeeeeeeally early. Why not make a long day even longer? Right. Exactly. Early mornings aren’t really my thing, but for a 6:30am sunrise ski, I’ll make an exception.
We hiked it up into the mountains, in the same direction I took my crust cruise earlier. There was a ton of fog up there, making us a little snow blind!
Then, right as we got to the top and turned around to come back down towards the lodge, the sun came up and started burning off fog. Within 10 minutes, the mountains cleared up and we had a beautiful clear view all the way down!
I wanted that ski to never, ever end. We found fun natural terrain to play on and Newell showed off his cat-like jumping skills. It was such good skills practice for me, and by the end of the ski I felt so comfortable on my feet and was turning and jumping much better!
Sadly, the ski did have to end, but our friend Steve who runs the Snow Farm made us all outstanding flat white coffees to send us off in style! Then I was off. Travel was going really easily until I ran out of time in a connection in Houston, after doing customs and bag check and security. I was in one of those awful panic-filled sprints through the airport, backpack banging against my shoulders as I got to the locked and closed gate. I am not ashamed to say that there were some frustrated tears. Luckily, I thought to stand at the gate window even though I know that as a rule they never open the gate. But this time someone saw me! Since I probably looked like an unaccompanied minor with my hair in braids and glasses on, they let me onto the plane and I finally made my way back home.
Having a few days with my family was wonderful! I got to go out on the St Croix river with my parents, and all of us jumped off the boat! I was the only one attempting a backflip from the deck, and as a result I was the only one who had a red slap mark on their arm after rotating too much.
We went to the Guthrie theatre as a family, which was really fun. My younger sister Mackenzie is really into theatre and the arts, so, like skiing, this is something we can all enjoy together! I’m really excited to see her perform in a lead role she landed in a show when I visit home again in October.
I love to cook and garden, so it stands to reason that I’m unreasonably happy when I get to cook with things FROM the garden! Plucking cherry tomatoes, kale, beets, green beans, cucumbers and zucchini and cooking up pasta sauces and salads with them for my family was so fun.