Sunday, June 26, 2016

Tanning, Summer 2K16

Hey team-

I'm late to blog duty which is bad. But it's also good because I've enjoyed two weeks without sitting at a computer. Currently writing on my phone from the back of a van. It's  the first leg of transit on route to Seattle and four weeks of biking down the Pacific Coast.

Which leads to my blog title. Many of you know I seek an (un)healthy combination SPF 8 and sunshine and so far this summer has afforded me excellent opportunities.

My dad and I rode bikes from Flagstaff, AZ to Santa Monica, CA

Gummies came along for the ride.
The start of my finest body of work

I highly recommend.

Since then, I've had three weeks of ski training, shorter bike tours, and perfect-weather Overland leader training.

Training trip--lots of high viz in store this summer.

Looking ahead, I'm hoping for some more sunny days of safe riding. I'll tap back into the outside world in four weeks for an update on the tan lines. Much love til then,
Luke

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Greenleaf Hut


I hope everyone has been having a wonderful summer.  Earlier this week, Olivia and I went to visit our dear teammate Hannah Benson at Greenleaf hut.  This is Hannah's second summer working in the Whites, and I was eager to finally witness Hannah in action.  We left Monday morning from Boston and found Greenleaf hut inside of a literal cloud.  We were freezing and could even see our breath inside the hut.  

Olivia and I helped to make the sign for dinner which was a delicious beef stew with pasta, fresh bread, split pea soup, salad, and brownies with cream cheese frosting.  We were so grateful for the hospitality of the hut and enjoyed meeting Hannah's hut croo.  A group from Canada was staying in the hut, and Hannah really enjoyed practicing her French even though they had a different accent.


Olivia and I slept upstairs with all the food just in case we got hungry in the middle of the night.  

In the morning, we woke up still in the middle of a cloud with roaring winds.  Three inches of rain had fallen over night!  It looked pretty miserable outside, but after a lovely breakfast and a skit in which Hannah was a trash bird, we decided to head outside.  We hiked to the top of Lafayette which is about a mile from the hut.  It was pretty windy but we could almost see the top of the cloud.  We had planned on hiking along the ridge but changed our plans due to the poor weather conditions.



After summiting, we returned to the hut for lunch, and Olivia and I packed our stuff to head down the mountain.  We hiked into the valley and it was a beautiful 65 degrees and partly cloudy.  Looking behind us, we could see the top of Lafayette.  I couldn't believe how quickly the weather could change.  Olivia and I decided to continuing hiking through the valley and up the other side.  We had to use our hands to climb up open rock faces and ladders past Lonesome Lake and to the top of Cannon.  At the top, there was a beautiful 360 degree view of New Hampshire.  Both of us had never hiked up Cannon.  

I highly recommend going to visit Benson this summer!  It was such a blast and Benson is a wonderful host.  


Monday, June 13, 2016

Howdy

Greetings to all my fellow Nordic Ephs and our wonderful fan base! I hope this post finds all of you enjoying summer so far with all your various adventures.

I personally stayed on campus after finals to get started with my senior thesis research in biology for a couple weeks. That was sweet because I got to hang out with the dearly beloved Eliza, Josh, Olivia, and Laura before they unmatriculated up and away from Williams, never to be heard from again. Except for, not really, since they all promised to come visit next year!  Yay :)

Other than that, though, thesis research was sweet if not rather uneventful.  The high light was probably this adorable baby deer I saw out in the field. Accidentally woke the poor little guy up when he was about 5 feet away from me, but he was still pretty friendly, regardless.

Sassy lil fellow, huh?

After playing with baby deers and getting a little thesis work done I headed directly out to Bend! Elowyn and I both got in last Wednesday to meet (Sarah) Becker who had gotten in the night before and our new housemates Alayna Sonneyson, Marion Woods, and Iris Pessey (all from UVM.) We're living in a farm house, just outside of the city, so we share the property with a few other people, dogs, cats, chickens that roam free, cows, horses, and one sheep (named Reba). Needless to say, it is a killer squad. 

A good portion of the humans on the farm are training with the Bend Endurance Academy, which so far has been a fantastic opportunity to explore Bend and get some excellent training in. Here's a bit of photographic evidence, in case you were skeptical.

Here we have the current Williams/Bend girls ready to slay our first BEA practice.

We skied up Mt. Bachelor and got some much needed downhill practice as well. Limited falls and we only got lost once!!

Unfortunately training doesn't quite pay all the bills. This is Becker and I deep into the job-search, apres-ski. (PC: Elowyn)

It's going to be a great summer, I can feel it.

That's all for now, thanks for reading!
Xoxo,
Tsaina






Sunday, June 5, 2016

Happy Graduation!

Although we've all known it was coming, today officially marked the graduation of our Class of 2016 Williams Nordic Skiers. A happy, happy graduation to Olivia, Eliza and Josh!

While I have dearly missed the graduates of the past two years, it seemed especially hard to wave goodbye to this year's seniors. Having only known Williams alongside them, it's difficult to imagine what the fall will be like without their ready leadership and companionship. But, that is not to say that this weekend wasn't a celebratory occasion, these three and their fellow classmates, have so many great things ahead of them!

Unfortunately, I don't have many photos of the ceremony due to some inclement weather. But here are a few shots from some photographers at the event. Given the original forecast (essentially 100% rain), many called it a "graduation miracle"!

A colorful spread of umbrellas. Many spectators also donned
purple ponchos, making for a sea of purple in the stands. 

A shot from behind the stage with looming
 rainclouds.

The Class of 2016 flag.

I made the quick trip up to Williams for the ceremony Saturday afternoon and arrived back home late this evening. While it sounds like some have started off their summers with some awesome adventures, I've had a slower but restful start at home. However, Jude, my youngest brother who is finishing up his eighth grade year as a homeschooler, has kept things interesting. His latest stints have included learning how to juggle and bringing home this little guy.  
A little shy at first.
Crawling right across my keyboard.

A little while later, Jude released "Sammy" to a nearby pond. 

All the best for a spectacular summer!
Hannah



Saturday, June 4, 2016

Gettin' Western

After things wrapped up in Williamstown, I immediately headed west (yes, immediately, ask mom, she was less than excited about the scant twenty-four hours I had at home). With my brother Zane (a Colby College Skier) riding shotgun, we hit the road and didn't let up until we landed on Ben Corwin's doorstep in downtown Denver. Ben was kind enough to host us before we headed to the University of Colorado Boulder Mountain Research Station in the Front Range outside of Boulder. I am writing a geoscience thesis next year on snowmelt and groundwater connectivity in the alpine and subalpine zones in this region of Colorado. At the station we met Professor David Dethier, who has been a steadfast supporter of Williams Skiing since three pin bindings were the norm, and we spent the week placing remote monitoring equipment in streams and springs and measuring snow fields. Most days were balmy: in the 40's. But! Skies were clear - for the brief moments it was not snowing or hailing. Suffice to say that winter has not relinquished its icy grip on the Front Range just yet. 

 (From back to Front): David, Zane and I escaping a snow squall at 10,000'
 Zane and David Traverse Upper Como Basin
 Winter treated the Front Range well this year. Pictured here is a stream gauge Zane and I dug out from under 207cm of snow.
Measuring discharge amidst a hailstorm. 

From Denver, we turned our wheels west once more, Portland, Oregon bound. In Portland, we spent a few relaxing days with my paternal grandparents before completing the final leg of our journey to Bend, OR. I am spending the month of June in Bend before heading back to Colorado for three weeks in July and then, ultimately, back to Williamstown for the end of July and August. 

What a month to be in Bend! A strong snow winter and cool spring has left the Cascade mountains blanketed in a strange substance not oft seen in Williamstown these days: snow. So far, I have skied almost every day I have been here and just wrapped up a 3:15hr over distance skate ski with Jackson Hill from CU Boulder. The conditions were glorious: perfect spring snow, seventy degrees, and well-groomed trails. Can't ask for much more than that in June. 


 View of Mt. Bachelor from a crust ski to Broken Top Mountain on Thursday morning.

The groomed track at Mt. Bachelor Nordic Center this morning. 3:15 of glorious skiing!


A selfie taken by Jackson Hill of Parker MacDonald (Bates, right) and I (left) on our ski this morning. The Vail team is in town training and it was nice to have some NESCAC company out on the trails. 

I'm excited to be putting in some good training hours here in Bend, on snow and off, but I cannot help feel somewhat less than myself without my teammates. I find comfort in imagining them training hard, picturing Eli Hoenig drinking a tall, 16oz recovery drink on the Sudbury estate, envisioning Braden Becker applying aloe to his sunburned body after a "short" 27 hour run, and knowing that we'll all be together again soon. 

With love for my fellow Ephs everywhere, 

JF