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Archive for February, 2010

In Estonia!

28.Feb.2010 by Hannah Dreissigacker

After my travel nightmare getting home from Madison, I wasn’t very excited for the travel portion of my Estonian adventure.  And sure enough, it was another series of fiascos! Luckily my luggage made it to Burlington the day before I had to leave.  But my flight from Burlington also got cancelled the same day.  I ended up driving with my mom to Newark to make my flight to Stockholm.  I only barely made it onto the flight with the help of a very nice Continental guy who hot rushed my bags and put me through the employee security line.  Then I missed my connection to Tallinn, and also discovered that my bags had only been checked to Stockholm.  It took a solid 3 hours to convince Estonian Air to check my rifle, but I finally got put on standby for an afternoon flight to Tallinn.  During my 6 hours in Stockholm, I got to watch the end of the Olympic Nordic combined race on TV, with Billy Demong and Johnny Spillane going 1-2.  I was pumped!  It was by far the high point of my 30+ hour traveling experience!

I finally made it to Tallinn though, and met up with most of the rest of the U.S. team to get a ride to Otepää, where we would be racing.  We moved into our funny little hotel, which we would be sharing with the Russian team! No one seems to speak much English, and Estonian is pretty crazy—a lot like Finnish, and not a lot like anything else!  Now the fun part of the adventure had begun!

Now that I’ve been here for two days, I’m finally feeling a bit less jet-lagged and a bit more settled in.  Today was our first day skiing and shooting with all of the other teams there, and it was pretty crazy!  It made me realize that I’ve never been to a real competitive biathlon race, because I’ve only ever raced in the U.S.  It was exciting and scary to see all those other girls from other countries, and I felt a overly official in my Adidas U.S. biathlon stuff.  I was a bit too excited and shaky whenever I came in to shoot, and missed lots of targets.  I’m going to have to work on that!   The first race is Tuesday, so I have tomorrow to try to calm myself down out there.  I’ve never really been nervous for biathlon races before, so I’m going to have to try to get back to that laid-back place and just enjoy the experience!

I’ll try to post again in the next few days with some pictures, though the internet might be too slow for uploading them.


27.Feb.2010 by Lauren Jacobs

This past Thursday I drove home to Maine to do some frantic packing-up/giving away/recycling of stuff in my room at my Dad’s house. It turns out that if you have lived in the same house your entire life (and saved as much stuff as I do) you end up with a lot to clean out when it’s time to move. The cleaning wasn’t too fun but it was great to be home and see my Dad’s new house! On Friday afternoon I headed over to North Conway to meet up with Pepa and Anna for the BKL Festival.

After some shopping with the Queen of Shopping on Friday night it was time to get down to business on Saturday morning. There was a lot of concern about the new venue for the Festival, a place called Stark’s Hill in Fryeburg. Apparently the parking lot was in a junk yard. And it was muddy. And the trails were covered in branches from the previous day’s violent wind storm. I didn’t see the trails on Friday, but I can tell you that by Saturday the venue was absolutely gorgeous. Once you got past the entrance and walked up the trail to the stadium, you were greeted by snow covered, well-groomed trails set among towering pines. Many enthusiastic and tireless volunteers were available to keep the chaos (somewhat) controlled. In short, the organizers did an amazing job with what was certainly a stressful situation.

Having started skiing at the age of 17, I had never had the reason or opportunity to attend a BKL Festival. It was amazing. The sheer numbers of kids out there skiing and loving it was awesome to see. I was so happy to be a part of such a fun event and it was great to see our BKLers racing hard in their biggest event of the year. Congrats to everyone on a great job! Also, it is nothing short of a miracle that the starters, parents, and coaches are able to get all those kids around the course in what appeared to be a very organized fashion. Very impressive.

Photos will do the day more justice…


The beach themed parade

The beach themed parade

Ani's creative use of a busted beach ball

Ani's creative use of a busted beach ball

Most of the NEVT gang...

Most of the NEVT gang...

More of the NEVT gang...

More of the NEVT gang...

The racing commences

The racing commences


The guy in the skirt is the starter. He must have lost his voice by the end of the day but he did an amazing job getting hundreds of kids in line at the right time.

The guy in the skirt is the starter. He must have lost his voice by the end of the day but he did an amazing job getting hundreds of kids in line at the right time.


After the racing I headed back to Vermont to get ready for the Stowe Derby on Sunday. Update on that soon!

We’ve got the Fever.

26.Feb.2010 by Tim Reynolds

Birkie Fever.  Things are heating up here in northern Wisconsin- the Birkie is tomorrow morning, bright and early.  We’re planning a 5:45am departure from our cabin in Springbrook, just south of Hayward.  It’s a fair haul to the start line up to Cable, and we’re going to be navigating it along with 10,000 other skiers.  It’s guaranteed to be a complete mess.

Ollie and Matt are resting upstairs- their fever seems to be much more severe than my own.  Matt has had a cold compress on his forehead all night trying to stave off the effects.  Don’t worry Pepa- this certainly doesn’t count as another sickness for the year, unlike that time Matt went snow blind.  Ollie has been taking on fluids like the Titanic trying to keep the numbers on the thermometer low.  Compliment that with a large dose of ski porn and he should be right as rain after crossing the finish line tomorrow.  Just what the doctor ordered.

Check back in to see how we’ve coped with the lingering symptoms- race tomorrow, dinner at the Sawmill, and up bright and early again on Sunday for the even long haul back to Craftsbury.  Pin it?

A flying fiasco!

23.Feb.2010 by Hannah Dreissigacker

Back in the fall when we were flying out to Bozeman, Ollie wrote a blog entitled “adventures in air travel”.  It was about how his boot bag got lost in Detroit.  I’m not even sure that qualifies as an adventure.  Also, I just one-upped  his “adventure” like none other.  So as a fun little exercise, I decided that it would be interesting to list everything that went wrong with my trip home from Wisconsin, just to see how long it got.  Here, for your reading pleasure, is that list:

  1. I started the trip off in a bad mood because I wasn’t happy with my races in Madison, and I was already feeling torn about not going to the Birkie, and not seeing my friends there.  I also felt like it had been a bit of a waste to go out there, since I wouldn’t have gone if I’d known I was going to just come back after the Madison races.
  2. I arrived in Detroit to discover than my flight to Burlington had been canceled.
  3. It was 9:30 at night, so the outbound flights were winding down for the night.
  4. I made a desperate attempt to get on a flight to Manchester, which failed.
  5. I waited in a Delta help desk line for a long time.
  6. There were no other flights to Burlington until Tuesday night (it was Sunday night at the time).
  7. The cancellation was due to weather (though it was clear in Burlington), which means that I couldn’t get a free hotel room.
  8. I also couldn’t fly with another airline, unless I wanted to buy new tickets—also because it was a weather cancellation.
  9. Finally I got the last seat on a flight to Montreal Monday morning. (I guess this was maybe actually a good thing…).
  10. The shuttle to the hotel at which I was given a slight discount took almost an hour to come.
  11. By this time it was almost 1:00 am.
  12. It took over an hour of waiting to get a ticket printed for my new itinerary the next morning.
  13. While on my flight to Montreal on Monday morning, I realized that I didn’t have my jacket with me any more.
  14. I’d somehow left the jacket in Detroit.
  15. I felt very dumb and hated myself a lot.
  16. The $300 check that I’d won at the Supertour was in the pocket of the jacket.
  17. My luggage didn’t come to Montreal.
  18. The baggage claim tags for my luggage was in the pocket of my jacket that was in Detroit.
  19. So far the baggage has not been located by Delta.
  20. I get to fly again in 3 days!

I think that’s just about it.  I realize that this was a very negative blog, and though that is highly reflective of my current mental state, I should probably try to make it a little less biased by my brain chemistry.

THE HAPPY PART: In reality, I have a lot to be excited about!  Halfway through our drive out to Madison, I found out that I’d made the team for the U-26 World Biathlon Championships! Really this should be an awesome trip, and a great chance to get some more biathlon experience and see what it is like to race in Europe.  So I’ll have a few days back here in Craftsbury to train and shoot and then I’m heading across the pond to Estonia!