At last, an end of season update. So, this year has been eventful. I don’t even remember how many triathlons I raced this season, but the highlights were definitely a win at the local Grizzly Triathlon (biggest pool swim triathlon in America), 5th at Ironman Coeur d’Alene, and 7th at Ironman Wisconsin. Soon after that, I bought a house and got sucked in to home improvements. I got a few bids to have someone do the work, and it about floored me what they wanted, so I decided to just do it all myself. So now I got to work from 7:30 to 5, then work on the house from 5 to 11pm, sometimes squeezing a quick run in. I’m making a big training room/bike shop/ski tuning bench area in the basement, and a laundry room/gear room. Now that that’s pretty much done other than paining and putting the floor in, I started ripping out a bathroom, and have built a new wall to make it bigger, and will start sheetrocking it tonight. The Alpine Utility Pants are great for construction, and way more comfortable than Carhartts.
I can’t wait until it’s done to start training for real again, since next season is creeping up quickly. As for the winter, there is almost enough snow to get out on the skate skies here in town. I plan to target two 50k ski races here, one in Seeley Lake and one in West Yellowstone again. And try the Boulder Mountain Tour in Sun Valley as well. I’ll keep you posted on how the Nordic season goes.
It was Thanksgiving weekend, and everyone I know was enjoying the long-weekend. There wasn’t enough snow to get overly exuberant in the mountains, and even my friends that work seasonally were trying to enjoy the calm before the storm. Unfortunately I was being tormented by the prospect that my ship was sinking and I could do nothing about it.
Five years ago, I created Alpine Ambitions as a simple, personal blog to document my adventures while living in Slovenia. Living in Slovenia required me to become more independent as a guide, and the site became my method of distinguishing myself. For five years, it was the outlet for all of my creativity and energy. It was the root of all my success, and also the source of so much of my frustration. But undoubtedly, it allowed me to get where I am today.
MK in the Green Belt: Germany’s Grünes Band (Green Belt) is a nature reserve established along the former Iron Curtain. The 870-mile corridor peaks on the Brocken at 3,743 feet. This pic was snapped 14 miles south of the summit at an elevation of 802 feet. M’s Trapper Henley and Original Mountain Pant kept me comfortable from bottom to top (and back).
I was sound asleep one early Saturday morning, tired from a whole week of work and late nights – when a large buzzing sound awoke me.
Since it was a Saturday morning, I was determined to sleep in for once. Plus, I had a big ride planned for the rest of the day, for which I would need all the energy I could muster. However, the buzzing sound had other ideas as it grew in intensity, until it was so unbearable I had to get up (it was as loud as sitting next to a lawnmower). Looking out of my bedroom window, all I could see were the swirling black clouds – a long line of it leading to my carport (much like the trails of evil spirits you see in cartoons!). Soon the black clouds grew in density, coming close enough to my window that I could work out what it was…
Bees! And there were 10′s of thousands of them. I quickly went around the house, making sure sure every other orifice in the house was closed before retiring to my room to do some work. Within the hour the sound had stopped, and the clouds had disappeared. Wondering outside to my carport, all was calm and there was barely a bee in sight. Curious, I took a quick tour of my carport, only to find where the bees had now taken up residence...in my kayak! My kayak, a 300 liter creekboat (liquid logic jefe) had gone from being empty to being full of bees in less than two hours! However, as I approached the kayak, a big swarm of them suddenly appeared, sending me running back into the house. I was due to head out on a ride in an hour, but my bike was right next to my kayak – what was I to do?
Suddenly, I had a plan…my MK Alpine Utility Pants! If they could hold up to blackberry thorns, thistles, granite rock and barbed wire…surely they could hold up to a few bee stings. So, donning the thickest clothing I could find, I soon realized that my beloved MKs were no where to be seen. My plan had failed. Unwilling to be beaten by the bees, I created a few home made smoke bombs, threw them into the garage, and ran in to rescue my bike.
Let this be a lesson to you all: If you are going to leave a kayak in your garage for more than an hower, make sure you have your MKs handy (I wish I had the Stagecoach Jacket with me too)!
THEY SAY carp are the “poor man’s bonefish,” but I’ve caught them both and I have to disagree. If anything, bonefish are the rich man’s carp! A native of Eurasia, carp have been both table and sporting fare for our European brethren for many centuries, but they’ve only recently been recognized for their amazing potential as gamefish here in the States.