Monday, January 16, 2006


After the unexpected "volcano day" on Friday, today I had to put in extra hours at work to catch up. The above photo is about two weeks old now; it's funny to me that some of my favorite photos take a while to find a home.

I finally connected with Adrienne Albert, a California-based composer who is writing a symphony about the Homer area. She visited here last summer to absorb some Alaskan ambiance and gather inspiration for her composition. In August, she toured a sun-soaked coastal town teeming with thousands of tourists and overflowing in a glut of halibut, clams and salmon-fed bears. She decided to come back last week to see Homer in January. She wanted a full-spectrum perspective. What she got was a frozen tour of hoarfrost-coated boreal forest, a volcano spewing gray ash into the sky and a rather nasty cold. All I can say is, I can't wait to hear the finished product.

I had 75 minutes between my last page and the "King Lear" dress rehearsal, so I went to the gym. All the good machines were full, so I had to run on the treadmill for four miles before I was able to switch over. I hate running on treadmills. They hurt my knees, even more so than real running. But I have one month now until the long, hard, slog, so I came up with a couple of goals:

1. This weekend and next, I'm going to try and do one 8-10 hour, leave in the dark/come home in the dark trail ride that incorporates several miles of pushing through softer snow.

2. I'm going to do some more cross-training and intervals to keep my heart rate high for extended periods of time. A high heart rate is hard to maintain when I'm working on my handling on the snow trails, so this might mean a few more rides on pavement or the trainer.

3. I'm going to pray and pray and pray for an extended deep freeze. Tim tells me that the Susitna route is really soft right now. I'd love to see that trail as hard as Interstate 80. I don't care if I have to spend a day sucking down 20-below windchill. I just don't want to walk my bike for 100 miles.

And so it goes. Thanks to everyone for the good advice and well-wishing. Time to sleep.