Saturday, February 09, 2013

up north, one more time

Several points.

Up north, they don't run away from the cold. This morning, downtown Wausau was abuzz.

DSC00983 - Version 2

Second point: if you stay at a place that is not a b&b then you have to fend for yourself if you're looking for protein in the morning meal. I look up on the Internet where Wausau people go for breakfast. Mint Cafe. Okay. We go there.

DSC00980 - Version 2

Eggs and blueberry pancakes for me. I know I'm in for a long run today. I need a solid morning meal.

We're on the trails (at Nine Mile Park) by 11:30. So one more point: the weather people tell us it will be a dry day. They are wrong: light snow accompanies us for all the time we are out on the trails.

DSC01002 - Version 2

I have to admit that we are the more laid back skiers. Unlike us, sportspeople at Nine Mile take their skiing seriously. Most everyone passes us -- we are too pokey, too not dressed for the part. (Compare us to him: color coordinated no less.)

DSC00988 - Version 2

Did I mention that today's run is the same one we did last year? It's the 20K and from what I read here on the blog, it took us nearly 5 hours to complete it then.

DSC00997 - Version 2

Will we find it harder now that we're a year older? Will it demonstrate our fitness? Out unfitness?

We have small bottles of water, but these empty out fast. After, we replenish them with fresh snow.
Why doesn't it melt in the water?? What's wrong with this snow?? I expect no answer. I leave for you the most basic Qs about life, skiing, and the ways of frozen slush.

Halfway through the 20K Ed tells me we ought to rewax. Okay. A pause. I welcome a brief respite. There are a handful of shelters on the 20K. It feels so fine to be out of the wind for just a few minutes.

DSC01006 - Version 2

The snow keeps falling, the wind picks up a bit.

 DSC01017 - Version 2

My cheeks grow very red.

DSC01012 - Version 2

Ed's beard ices over.

DSC01014 - Version 2

Twenty kilometers. This year we do it in 4.5.  At least we're not rapidly declining into some permanent state of disrepair.

DSC01019 - Version 2

Or are we? It's dark on the drive home. I'm at the wheel and I realize that that ribbon of highway is hard to pick out at times. I slow down. Ed looks at me -- are you alright?
I remember so many trips across the country where I was the driver, where I would push forward at all hours, wanting so much to get there. Apparently that's a thing of the past. For me anyway. I pull over at a rest spot. You drive -- I tell the ever up for a challenge Ed. He loves the dark hours. I'll always prefer good visibility. Clarity. Light.

Sometimes it's good to have various and even incompatible talents.

We pull into the farmhouse driveway with a pizza picked up at our beloved Roman Candle.

You didn't fall once today, I tell Ed.
You made it without losing anything, he responds.

 Isis runs over to the farmhouse the minute he spots headlights in the driveway. Where have you been - he seems to be asking, not without accusation.

Up north. Where the wild things roam, I tell him.

P.S. to Up North

Ocean readers with young children, you have no excuse!

Up north (or, for us Madisonians it's up north!), the whole family takes to the trails!

DSC00912 - Version 2