I've seriously slacked on the blog since school got out. My intention was to start up blogging again once I wasn't so stressed and crabby about school. Turns out, it took a few weeks of decompression to get there (much longer than any previous year of teaching).
My first week off involved sleep, more sleep, and even more sleep. I would sleep in until 11:00 am, eat breakfast, read for an hour, then take a two hour nap, only to go to sleep for the night around 9:00 pm. I was really hoping that wouldn't last the entire summer, causing me to sleep away my precious time off, and luckily a week of that seemed to do the trick. Chris, in an attempt to taper before the Divide, was remarkably understanding and even cashed on a few naps with me.
Last Monday, the 8th, Chris, Jill from Juneau, and I left Denver with the car packed up and pointed toward Montana. We had a nice day of driving and ended up staying for the night in rockin' Great Falls, Montana (which holds some unfavorable memories for me). The next day, we zoomed across the border and were in Banff, Alberta before we knew it. We dropped Jill off where she was staying and Chris and I checked into the same apartment hotel that we stayed in last year. We stocked up on some groceries for the week and settled in for a nice vacation. Over the week in Banff, we visited some unbelievably beautiful places such as Lake Louise:
The Crowfoot Glacier:
and the hot springs (no pictures because our Colorado whiteness in bathing suits could only harm the camera).
We even managed to spot some elk, a porcupine, and a moose-butt. That was exciting!
We also got to have an outstanding dinner on Thursday night, at The Maple Leaf with Joel. Joel lives near Boulder, and despite living so close, it apparently takes us to all be up in Canada to get together! It was fun catching up with him and eating some really good steak!
Before we knew it, Friday was upon us and Chris and I were driving to the YMCA in Banff for the start of Tour Divide 2009! Chris was calm, cool, and collected and ready to head out for his big adventure.
After I kissed him off at the trailhead, I found myself on this seemingly annual trek of driving 18.5 hours from Banff to Denver by myself. This year was a bit easier to drive away from the race start, although not much. As I got going though, I fell into a groove and enjoyed the drive (despite ANOTHER night's stay in Great Falls).
Since I've been home, I've been trying to resist the urge to obsessively refresh the Tour Divide Leaderboard. My ability to track Chris's progress via the internet is both a blessing and a curse. He certainly would not be "encouraged" to do such crazy adventures without my ability to check in on him in the wild west. On the other hand, I find myself getting sucked into the Leaderboard, refreshing it even when I know there's nothing new to see. I did pretty well on Sunday at getting out and riding my bike, thinking I may have actually matured past the obsessive SPOT-tracking. Monday, however, found me unmotivated to do anything, huddled on the couch, depressed and lonely and SPOT-refreshing like a mad woman. Luckily for me, Chris got the opportunity to call, and his enthusiasm and excitement about the race got me off my butt. I eventually visited a friend's new baby and had a great dinner with some out-of-town aunts.
Today I was determined to not get sucked into the computer and I'm happy to say that it's 3:30 and I've only loaded up the Leaderboard four or five times. I managed to get myself out of bed in a reasonable time, make an awesome breakfast, then set out for a great ride at Marshal Mesa with my most reliable training partners: me, myself, and I. I went out expecting to ride some easy but big miles, but ended up only riding about 12. In that 12, however, I sessioned the one technical section of the trail for nearly an hour. I could get the lower part, get the top part, but never seem to link them together in one solid run. I hope to go back at least a few more times before Chris gets home and try to perfect it. Then, when he gets home, I can show off my new mad skillz! Just as I was cruising back to the car, Chris called from Helena! He sounded good and was grabbing some food before heading out. I was happy to get to talk to him!
Buffalo Creek with Mr. Nice
When I got home, I showered, packed up a picnic lunch, and took Turbo out to the park for a bally-playing-picnic. It was really nice. Finally Colorado seems to have found its sun today, while the last month has looked a bit like Seattle. The sun does wonderful things for my mood at least!
If you want to follow Chris along his Divide journey, check here, here, or here.
Now? Apple pie, lemonade, Cash Cab, and maybe even a nap!!
P.S -- ABSOLUTELY LOVE MY NEW BIKE!!!!!!!