Saturday, January 5, 2008

Happy New Year!

Much has happened since my last post. I was really excited to get to spend a couple of week in Alaska. Since I only make it home two or three times a year I savour every moment I get to spend with my family and friends.

Despite a thin snow cover in the Anchorage area, I was able to ski on the hillside trails just outside of Anchorage. In the picture below you can see downtown Anchorage with the hillsides as a backdrop.

This next picture was taken from the Flattop ski area looking out over the City of Anchorage and the Cook Inlet. Although temperatures dipped pretty low on several occasions, it's hard to complain about the cold when you get great views like this.

I took this picture on my way home after a ski as the sun was setting about 3:45 in the afternoon. I don't recall if that was the shortest day of the year, but it was sometime around the 21st. For Alaskans, December 21st is the hump day. There aren't many hours of sunlight in the middle of the winter, but by Christmas the days are already getting longer again. For those of us who love the snow that just means more time to play outdoors and, for those that don't, there's at least a feeling that spring isn't too far away.

I got to spend Christmas at home on the Kenai Peninsula. There wasn't much snow there either, but my brother and I did manage to ski our 'sectret' trail from the house out to the bluff overlooking the Cook Inlet and the mountains on the other side. If you look closely an ice flow is visible behind the tug in the foreground. The Inlet is home to numerous gas platforms and tugs like the one pictured are always plying the waters in case of an oil spill.
Well, that's it on pictures for now, but I'll post more soon. I'm back in Lake Placid until the first week in February when the bulk of my race season kicks off. I'll race almost every week during February and March. In February I race in Vermont, New York, and two different locations in Quebec. An in March I'll race in the National Championships in Minnesota followed by the Canadian National Championships in Vancouver, B.C. This month I have plans to race cross country races in the Lake Placid area, but we're experiencing extremely warm temperatures right now that might wipe out the snow. I'm crossing my fingers that doesn't happen, but in the East you never can tell.