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And then, third summer arrives

My mind has been so much more at ease this week than last, when I couldn't shake the jitters and couldn't conceive how I was going to survive four more months of pre-Iditarod anxiety. For my own purposes of coping with an unruly mind, I consider it just another shift in chemistry. Perhaps t...

Winter closes in

All of my favorite weather happened this week, and yet stoke fell flat. I couldn't quite understand the reason. Maybe fatigue? Is the strength stuff is starting to wear me down? Not enough protein? The skin on my upper legs and ankles broke out in a rash, which I've come to associate...

Moving is winning

Beat accused me of being a glutton for punishment this week. “You’re going to start the ITI totally broken.” "I am not. This isn't even close to overtraining. Conditioning is important. And it's still less time per week than I managed for most of the summer."It's true, though, that ...

Love too much

 As I ramp up training for the 2020 trek across Alaska, I have been focusing more on my "mental game." When approaching any endeavor that's intimidating and frightening and seemingly impossible, the two most important tools in our mental arsenal are confidence and motivation. I am sadly qu...

Bikes won't love you forever

 Over the summer, thanks to limitations brought on by an MCL strain, I developed a solid base of cycling fitness. This came together for me in a satisfying way during the Summer Bear race, where I held on for a finish when 75 percent of the field didn't. I stepped off the bike that warm and ...

Shoulder season bites back

This past summer seemed like a charmed one. It arrived late enough that it never wore out its welcome. Despite embarking on lots of day-long bike rides and not a small number of high mountain adventures, I was never caught out in a thunderstorm. (After June 21, that is. I was battered by a...

Lucky 13

Dad and I first crossed the Grand Canyon together in 2004, when I was 25 and he was 51 years old. In one of those mundane yet still-jarring realizations, I acknowledged that someday, not all that long from now, I'll be the same age as he was then ... if I'm lucky. If I'm even luckier,...

Jochpass to Bierstadt

Our three days in Valais was a magnificent crescendoing finale to this year's Alpine étude, and I probably should have left it that way. But I was greedy. We climbed the Barrhorn and returned to Beat's mom's house via an unexpected train shuttle through a 17-kilometer tunnel and a three-hou...

... I suggest you keep looking

After wrestling with indecision for far too long, we found a final Euro-adventure to enjoy together — three days in the canton of Valais, meandering in the shadows of the highest peaks of Switzerland. We couldn't settle on one valley to concentrate our limited time, so we chose three. Si...

If there's just one thing you wanted to see ...

After Beat finished PTL, we spent the next two weeks visiting his family in northern Switzerland. Both Beat's mom and brother live in a relatively rural region along the Aare River, which meanders beneath the Jura Mountains. This area always feels subdued after the grandeur of the Alps, ...

Wrestling the restlessness

Our last few days in Chamonix were relatively quiet. On Friday morning I was only beginning to rouse after yet another 5 a.m. bedtime when Pieter turned up at our shared apartment. His leg had not improved overnight, and he was barely able to limp around the small living area. Beat and Daniel co...
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