Saturday, January 29, 2011

Snowshoe Race Photos

Yay, the photos from last weekend's Bigfoot Snowshoe 10k race came in!  I tried to pick the ones where both of our eyes are actually open, but with all the powder flying around, it was kinda tough.  Alaina is COVERED in snow by the end!

And they're off

 Always chasing that girl.

 You should see what the OTHER girl looked like.

 This is the best.

 Finishing together with big smiles.  Life is very good.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Snowshoe Race Start

I found one pic so far of the snowshoe race start, and I'm glad it's just as wildly snowy as I remember.  That's me in maroon just above "Sadler" and Alaina in...wait for it...maroon as well, over to the right with "phy" on her. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Kahtoola Michigan Mountain Run

I just found out about this super fun adventure run on February 6th of this year.  Might just pull the trigger on this one, because hey, how often do you get to run up a ski course, right?  The 8k distance is two loops of this. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sleeping Bear Dunes Snowshoe

Sleeping Bear Dunes is a National Park 45 minutes to the west of Traverse City.  We've been wanting to get to this park since moving to Michigan to see the hundred foot sandscapes.  I guess we didn't think the first time would be in the winter, but it was still spectacular.

This area got hammered with snow.  Luckily the roads were empty.

This is a scenic drive they close in the winter jut for XC skiing and snowshoeing.

Sing with me: "the hills are alive"

Interpretive snowdance

Pine forest-y goodness

Ah, back at the start when we still had energy.

Cody got a serious workout in every step.

Huh, didn't see any bikes this time out.

This must be one of those Russian maps with the funny hats.

An homage to Vermont.

Oh deer.

We blazed all of this ourselves through 2-3 foot drifts.

Don't eat the yellow snow!

Unstaged.  This is what every step was like.

Frozen lake

Ice fishing

All day smiles.

Nice snowbeard.

Scenic overview parking lot.  Where does all this snow go when it melts?

Long winter shadows

The view was totally worth it.

Sand under there, I promise.

Peninsula out past the water

Where are all the purported bicycles?

Cody is up to her armpits trying to keep up.

Hark! I see sand.

Dunes rule.

Losing steam 1.5 hours into this hike.  The sun lifted spirits.

Did I mention there are hills?

We really want to bike these roads.

Finally a downhill.


When will it end!  We miscalculated the distance back to the car. 

Top 5 all time pic of Cody in her element.

Back to the glorious pines after 2.5+ hours

We love the winter

 And we love a tired puppy.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Bigfoot 10k, Snowshoe Hike, and Blizzard Wine Tasting

January is a great time for a weekend getaway, especially when it's all the way up to tropical Traverse City, MI for a 10k snowshoe race.  We found a Super 8 that is dog friendly at the cool price of $35 a night and trekked on up north.  The race is put on by a local store, Running Fit, and they put on a very fun, low key show.  We rented some hiking snowshoes from UM for a good weekend rate, though next year I'd like to find a racing pair that are a little narrower for running.

This was my first time ever running on snowshoes and Alaina's second as she'd taken them out for a spin on the golf course the night before the race.  As we lined up at the start line and chatted with a very friendly crowd, Alaina spotted a runner girl she knew and said "HI!"  This girl runs a 2:50 marathon, which is nearing Olympic Trials for women, so we knew that winning the female category today was out.  Oh well, time for fun.

The first 10-15 minutes is pure snowy chaos.  It is the open water swimming of running.  Everyone is kicking up powder all over the place and you can't see a foot in front of you, so you just throw one shoe in front of the other and hope for the best.  After one 5k loop, Alaina said she wanted to stop but I convinced her to rally the troops and forge on.  But I loved every single second.  When we neared the finish line I asked the volunteers, 'which way to the 15k?'  Hehe.  So much fun.

This is usually a cross country skiing trail.

Alaina shows off her 2nd place female cup in front of a toasty fire.

I was the good husband keeping spirits warm on a single digit day.

I'll post the race pics from the official photographer when they come in.

After gorging an entire pizza, we went out for more snowshoeing at Sands Lake Quiet Area.

Alaina catches snowflakes.

Ah!  Bigfoot sighting!

Traverse City has over 2 feet of snow.

Cody was our fearless leader.  What else is new?

These trails were well-blazed and ripe for the hoof.

Still smiling after an hour race.

Just a sample of all the snow.

Is that pure joy I see on your face?

We met this group building igloos and XC skiing for the weekend.  We need to make friends with THESE guys!

All the amenities of home...sort of.

Those are designated XC ski tracks on the left and snowshoe trail to the right.

What doesn't kill you...still hurts.

After all that 'shoeing, it was time to hit the wineries.  Lovely blizzard, eh?

Stay toasty.

There were actually a few other crazies out there.

Peninsula Cellars, a converted school house.

They let Cody romp around, so we really liked these guys.

Some days call for a stiff Port.

Chateau Grand Traverse

End of the tour.  Chateau Chantal.  Best Pinot Noir we've had.

Helluva way to end the tour.  Click this one to see the vineyards in the background.

 Icicles outside Right Brained Brewery.