Update from U.S. Nationals 2009 Anchorage, AK

 

It’s cold up here.  Not that cold, really, but -15° is a far cry from warm.  That hasn’t hurt morale though!  No – this is the best team atmosphere I’ve ever seen on one of these trips (and I’m a veteran of four, now).  Don’t get me wrong, every trip has a fond place in my heart, but there is a level of energy and professionalism here that hasn’t really been rivaled before.  A little surprising, considering three of the four BNT kids here are first timers.  But then again, it’s not – they’ve all been to Junior Olympics and they all have their goals firmly fixed in front of them, a strong base of training behind them, the and the experience to put it all together.  So with George Cartwright of Lander, Wyoming and Sam Naney of the Cougar Mountain Racing Project, we have a tight, well run team.

Warm home cooked meals stave off winter chills.  The way we roll up here is to bring as much food as we can: large trays of pre-cooked deliciousness, baked goodies, and other assorted some-cooking-required food stuffs.  Then with a little help from our friend the microwave we eat gourmet food on a shoestring budget.  One thing can be said about all of our trips: there is always enough food and it is always delicious (and regularly healthy – the cooks in the kitchen are very mindful of things like that, thanks Monica and Maria!).  We also can’t fail to mention the Taco Stand, as Gene single-handedly bankrolls the first night’s meals and lunches for the better part of a week from his world famous restaurant.

And so with Ben and Scott in the wax room working hard to give us the best skis on snow (and we have this week NAILED – at least that’s the word on the street) the rest of us are just settled in to wait out the frosty weather.  But like I said, against all odds morale is still high.  Don’t get me wrong, everyone here WANTS to be racing, but we’re rolling with the punches like I’ve never seen a team roll.  No friction, no ill tempers, just a constant reevaluation of the plan and professional execution thereof.  Nothing left to do but stay warm and healthy and prepare for tomorrow, because it’s race day!

Dakota Blackhorse von Jess