Sunday, July 13, 2014

Alaska Camp with the Ladies

Last Sunday I left Minneapolis for the first time in over a month! It's crazy to think about how much time on the road Brian and I spend, how much we want to just stay in one place for a while after the season is over and than how excited we are to get back on the road and do it all over again!

Camp Time!
Back into the clouds!
This time my travels brought me to Anchorage, AK to attend the USST/ APU and invited guests Training Camp. This camp has been held for the past 4 years but this is the first time I have been able to make all of the details work out so I could join. Last year Brian and I went up to the glacier in August with the Sun Valley crew and I had a blast. I knew this was opportunity I couldn't let pass me by.

So far we have completed the first week of dry-land training here in Anchorage. The sessions were extremely high quality and everywhere you look there were girls who have been in the top-ten on the World Cup, the World Championships and even the Olympics!!! As awe-struck as I am to be skiing along side them, or mostly behind, everyone of the super-stars here are extremely humble and down to earth.

A super fit group of ladies ready for bounding intervals.
World Champion, World Cup Winner and 3 X Overall Sprint World Cup Winner Kikkan Randall sporting her LLBean tote with me on the way to strength! 
Besides the great training partners I have also been exposed to a true "Alaskan Experience" this camp! My first encounter with any wildlife on this trip was actually a Grizzly Bear, this also happened to be the first time I have ever seen a Grizzly Bear in the wild. We were on a group distance run Thursday afternoon, not very far from town, when Matt Whitcomb yelled out "Bear". We all stopped and looked up the hillside to see a huge Brown Bear looking back at us. He moved slow and stuck his nose in the air but seemed like he would rather be on his way than bother with any of us. Thank Goodness! If that bear wanted to, he certainly could be down next to us in a heartbeat!

I was a bit intimidated about running I stayed Very close to the group!
The past couple of days have been filled with various other animal sightings including a mama Black Bear and her cubs and a mama Moose and her calves...all right from our dorm windows on the APU campus!!! Our 4 hour O.D. hike yesterday also allowed us to see some Dahl Sheep off in the distance scurrying along some steep rock outcroppings!

Mama Moose and baby

Mama Moose had a huge nose!
Today is our first off day and the day we fly into Eagle Glacier! This will be my second time in helicopter and I am a little nervous but also really excited. Today I am spending some time with the Moon Family. Stacey and Cheryl have been extremely generous and opened up their home to Brian and I for this trip and I am watching the Soccer World Cup from their comfy living room waiting for the call to head down to Girdwood! Lots of skiing to be done next week and I am looking forward to relaxing back here at the Moon's house when I get back into town :)

Off Day Waffle Party with the Girls!
Our Norwegian guest Celine Brun-Lie brought brown cheese from Norway to share!

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