Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Happiness is frozen and dry

Date: Dec. 26 and 27
Total mileage: 43.0
December mileage: 398.1
Temperature upon departure: 26

Today, for the first time in the month of December, I had real, actual, nonfiltered sunlight in my eyes. For three beautiful miles around the north corner of Douglas Island, I actually had to squint as the unobstructed sun slid over the tips of the mountains. It was one of those famous partly sunny sinkholes that open up between the weeks and weeks of dripping gray. From these momentarily clear skies descends colder air ... refreezing the puddles, slush pots and soft snow. On days like today, I can go for a two-hour ride wearing a single layer on my legs and just two on my upper body and feel toasty warm. And I'm so excited about being dry, the pedaling doesn't even feel like work.

I finally sent in a check for the Susitna 100 this afternoon. I know I decided to do it a couple of weeks ago, but this is really the point of no return (which is why I put it off until the end of the month.) Now it's either go, or make a really big donation to the Flathorn Lake Brownies and Paella fund. I also mailed a check for Geoff. He's entering this year's 100-mile race. On foot. That's right. Running. 100. Miles.

I like that I can feel almost normal in the company of people crazier than I am. I'd call him absolutely nuts, but deep down I know that if I drop the exhorborant entry fee and airfare and vacation days and gear purchases on this thing, and I show up on Feb. 17 and the trail is covered in two feet of new snow, I might just ditch the bike and do the race anyway. I'm going to bring my snowshoes and backpack just in case.