Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Grind

I love to drive. I just plug in a good book (four this trip), turn on the cruise control, and veg. I really enjoy seeing our country, close up, and meeting new folks wherever we go. This is my second trip across the US for ski racing and lots of folks look at me like I’m weird. Of course, I got the same looks when I drove to Alaska for US Alpine Championships two years ago… until Mount Redoubt erupted then stayed active and I had the only reliable way home.

In addition to being fun, driving saves us money and simplifies things from my perspective. For instance, this trip would have involved another plane ticket, lots of excess baggage fees, rental cars, etc. And then there’s the pleasure of dealing with the airlines and TSA. I’ll stick to driving whenever possible. Scott flew across country, which allowed him to spend more time at home. His trip to Vermont (where he linked-up with the Team) took all day and involved three flights. Fortunately he only had carry-on bags to worry about.

As you might have guessed by the title of this blog, the drive wasn’t as relaxing as I’d hoped. Watching the weather closely, I left home the afternoon before I’d planned in an attempt to beat a vicious cold front. I never quite got away from it and sort of “surfed” the leading edge. As a result I was in high winds with very limited visibility the first three days, averaging only 50 MPH. Fortunately I broke out in Michigan, then spent two days in driving rain and thick fog with temperatures in the 40’s. Anyway, I arrived in Quebec one day ahead of Scott.

From a race perspective this rain is a good thing. It appears these folks got a lot of new snow recently. With all this rain it’s settled and smooth. If it freezes we’ll have a great ice layer. If it doesn’t the snow is now ready for salt to harden it. Either way the athletes will have a good race surface. With nothing else to do tomorrow, I’ll continue this travelogue.

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