23 September 2009
You know you are on a 5 hour roller ski when you’re positive you are looking at a real-live giraffe but it turns out to only be a horse. This happened to me about half-way through our wicked long over distance classic ski today. It was just for a second, but I could have sworn it was a giraffe. I decided then I should probably eat something. But besides this “close encounter” with wildlife, it was a great ski!
There were a few rain drops as we started but it ended up being pretty nice for the rest of the ski. Rolling through Barton was interesting. I got a few words of encouragement from passing cars and a couple people stood out to watch us slog up that giant hill heading out of town. That giant hill just kept going…and going. When I finally reached the top, I thought for sure there would be scary, screaming downhills to deal with on the other side. It was a pleasant surprise to find only gently rolling, relaxing downhills.
Arriving at the shores of Lake Willoughby was by far the best part of the ski. Even with overcast skies it is a beautiful area. The mountains just drop straight down into the lake and Route 5A hugs the east shore, so we were afforded with great views the whole time. We passed the trail head to Mt. Pisqah, which I definitely want to hike now. After about a half-hour of skiing south along the lake, I turned around in an attempt to make it back to the beach at exactly the 5 hour mark. This was almost perfectly successful. I rolled up to the van a little before the 5 hour mark but just as the rain started to come down. Off went the skis and on went the running shoes for a little jog along the beach. There was a little attempt at a Chariots of Fire impression in the run, but mostly we were going too slowly to be very effective with that. Ida, Tim, Ollie and I braved the shallow but nicely sandy waters of Lake Willoughby for a refreshing dip before climbing back into the van for the ride home. It was a great ski…and the 25 hour week continues!