Monday, January 21, 2008

20 Skyline "Mini Vacation"

Unfortunately we brought our camera this weekend sans the battery, which was left in the charger in the living room at home. So no photos! You know what that means - something EPIC was bound to happen....

After 5.5 hours of driving, we arrived to a winter wonderland in Lost River. We had heard it snows quite a bit in Mazama, but we had NO IDEA our cabin would be encased in snow and 5 foot banks would line the driveway. First order of business - dig out a spot to park the car. Only one car can shimmy down the roads at a time so we went into digging over time to make a spot. Ryan did the majority of the work while Josh and I got the cabin lit up, plugged in the radiator and schlepped our gear inside.

This was our first time to the cabin in the winter - so we weren't sure what to expect as far as heat goes. It was chilly those first few hours - but after we tucked ourselves into bed for the night, I remember waking up sweaty and wondering who turned up the heat? Thank goodness our cabin was nice and toasty! Night time lows were in the teens with day time highs were mid twenties!

The next morning we got up, made the obligatory Krusteaze wheat and honey pancakes and bananas and some tea and headed out to do some back country skiing. At first we thought we would drive to the point where we could park down Lost River Road, which turned out to be about .10 miles from our cabin. So we piled back in the car, geared up and headed off directly from the cabin. We ended up skinning for about 3 hours straight - only to climb out Hart's pass area and up a crusty icy sketchy slope. Unfortunately the snow was shit - and we had made more tracks without much elevation gain, which meant a long slow skin back to the cabin. All in all we sweat our asses off for 5+ hours. We got in maybe a dozen turns. Well more like Ryan and Josh got in several turns - I chickened out and snow plowed the entire crusty way. Actually, I take that back. I made about 5 turns - and adorned three face plants! (Accompanied by giggling like a little girl the entire time.) I like to make things as easy as possible and with grace.

We returned to the cabin and had an amazing chili aroma - we planned ahead and put some ingredients in the slow cooker. It was a perfect way to make up for some bunk skiing. Josh brought some scotch - which was used as a dare during our heated game of "Asshole." The rest of the night was spent recouping from our long skin.

Our plan for Sunday was skate skiing. On Thursday night Ryan went and bought skate skis, poles and boots and Josh rented some at REI Friday night on our way out of town. Since the Methow has the second largest network of skating in the US we decided to give it a whirl. We drove down LRR to Mazama, went to park where you usually do in the summer, when all three of us simultaneously realized we were driving on the groomed trail! Ryan stopped immediately, and Josh and I jumped out to push us out of the tracks we had quickly sunken into. Luckily no one saw us - but how embarrassing! Just across the road, was a huge berm hiding the dozens of cars in a parking lot. Whoops. Now we know. I'm still shaking my head while chuckling.

We quickly found out the Methow Valley Nordic costs $20 per day per adult for access to their groomed trails. You mean we have to pay $60 to ski on a trail some jerk just drove through? Ha! Luckily we forgot our wallets back at the cabin so we sought the free trails - and dog friendly ones to boot! Makiah happily jogged behind Ryan and I a full 8.3k! It was a killer workout. REI only rents super duper racer skis and they were a little difficult to try skating on - but Josh rallied and made the most of it! Ryan of course picked it up and was skating circles around me in no time. He's the most amazing off the coach athlete I have ever met. Inspiring for sure!

Back to the cabin we went, ate lunch, packed up and headed home around 3. It took us about the same time to get to Mazama- a long five plus hours. Ryan thought it was worth- especially for his "mini vacation." He needed it too - on Friday his company let go 1/2 of their field workers as a means to cut back. Crazy! We're already contemplating going back this next weekend.... and after reading the ride reports from fellow teammates about freezing their asses off and doing indoor trainer rides - I think that 5+ hour drive doesn't sound that bad after all!

Hope you had a good weekend...

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