The rest of Colin’s $1 (continued from his Jackson 30k adventure the previous day)
Back in Hanover, I hung up my wet clothing, threw on my slippers, and helped Papa Bear prepare some delicious Indian food with stir fry to the soundtrack of Saturday night’s Prairie Home Companion (Live in San Diego!). Boy, is it good to be home. As we lay around that evening, digesting our spicy meal, my father mentioned in passing how we wouldn’t have to leave until 14:00 the next day to get me back to University. 14:00?! Why, that was more than enough time for a Sunday morning OD at the Green Woodlands. What an idea!
But wait, it gets better. With the bit of snow in the Upper Valley, and the news that the classic leg of the New Hampshire series had gone down that very Saturday, my JNT instinct picked up on the perfect conditions for a full-blown, all-exclusive, 100% organic Ford Sayre post-race OD at the Greens. By golly, I would have been a fool not to pop an email to Scottie inquiring on such a possibility. Well, the email was not sent a minute prior before the reply came flying into my inbox: Yes, Colin, you picked the one Sunday of the season so far that the JNT are to have their first real OD at Greens!
Needless to say, I jumped like a Kangaroo out of Hell, storming downstairs to wax for the occasion. A sanded base with ironed in binder and wax was the prescription.
7:00, bright and early, I was up with the sun to enjoy my last New England morning. There’s something about my circa 1950’s University residence room that can wear a person’s spirit down over time.
1 bowl of cereal + 1 banana – 1 bladder’s worth of urine = ready to pilgrimage to the Greens. With my ski clothes on, I waved goodbye to Papa Bear & Brother Bear and leaped to the car, skis and poles in hand and water belt strapped to my waste. I then promptly removed said water belt as driving would have proved an arduous task with it still fastened to my body.
We hit the trail, checked that wax and warm clothes were not lacking, and were immediately almost caught up in the slowest automotive accident of the decade as Bob rounded the corner in his Swiss Military transport vehicle, skiers slowly scrambling to clear a pathway for him. Off we went, scrambling up the hills and avoiding the occasional dirt patch or stick that was encountered. Double poling and engaging the upper body was today’s focus as we made our way up the road, around carriage, and out to Mudget’s cabin.
After cliff bars and water, we rallied our strength and took to the much-anticipated downhill, skiers flying down the hills and through the air as if it were the John F. Kennedy Airport. I can say I saw my fair share of spectacular, earth-shattering crashes on the part of Enrique Lindhal, our teams very own Nordic daredevil [and today’s photographer].
Onwards we pushed, the pack striding out to Smarts Mtn. on a proper tour of the Greens perimeter. Up we climbed as the wax wore thinner and thinner. I encouraged a couple of our own to persevere, even when reverting to their primal instincts for skate skiing seemed far easier for this seemingly-interminable hill climb. Striding to the site of once Smarts cabin, many of us collapsed in the snow. Adam, who claimed he was still full of energy, seemed a little more knack erred than he was letting on:
We basked in the high morning sun and then headed out, shooting down off of Smarts mountain. I can admit to almost loosing my bearings and going flying off that icy hill. Skiing in southern Ontario this year, devoid of New England’s wild hills, has left me soft! Zipping along the last of the pond loop, we used the long flats to focus on the art of double poling efficiently. As Dennis put it, if your head and shoulders go forward and your butt pushes backward, that’s simple physics: you neutralize momentum! So, keep those hips forward and engage that core.
U16’s, accomplished for the day, headed back to the cars while I tagged along with some of the U18’s to do a victory lap around the Carriage Loop, pushing our OD time to a solid 3 hours as we swept back to the parking lot and returned, thrashed by that long ski, to our warm & hospitable cars.
A “big boy” the likes of myself could not have asked for a more rewarding weekend. Thank you, Scottie & Dennis, for those Sunday afternoon OD’s. They mean the world to me!