Tuesday, January 28, 2014


The hot topic on campus these days is a cold one. That is to say that everyone is talking about the weather, which has been very cold. Tomorrow the high is supposed to be around 20 degrees Fahrenheit, much higher than it has been the past few days. The Nordic ski team has a Classic skiing sprint relay in the afternoon--fingers crossed we don't get too chilled! We'll be working hard.

About a month ago, Isabel and I were in Austin. The weather was much nicer there and we both got to ride several times over break.

Jones was good for me. We had a pretty high number of stops at fences but worked through it pretty well. Over the course of those several lessons I got back my feel for him, which was nice. I also worked in some of what I've been learning at Stoneleigh. Stoneleigh is where I learn effective riding. Then I can put it into practice in Austin. I still have a lot of stuff to work on but my seat is way better and I think more clearly in the saddle.

As I said, it's cold up at school. And once again, I miss Austin. I've been going through old photos on my hard drive and finding shots from over the summer. At this time in the Northeast, one doesn't get much sunlight, so it's nice to look at pictures shot in the heat and remember how it feels to be sunburnt and sweaty in short shorts and a tank top.

Rusty and Pepper's pasture is a great example of grazed-down Texas grassland. Pretty, but the grass doesn't grow back very fast.
That's almost enough wishful thinking for today, but I also do miss Jackson. Thinking about summer too much can be very dangerous, as I'm finding out now. It can distract you from whatever you're doing. In my case, homework. It's had to find the motivation to work hard when the prospect of spring and sun is so tantalizingly close.

Isabel has been thinking about trail running next summer when we're in Jackson. There are several trail running groups in the area, of course, and many of them cater to people of all experience levels. And there is nowhere else where I'd rather run. Last summer on one particular hike, she and I double-timed down the trail from Phelps Lake into Teton Village in an attempt to beat our parents, who were set to pick us up there. We did beat them, and the most fun we had was when we were running, despite the fact that we both had on backpacking boots and heavy packs.To prepare for that possibility, I'm planning to run track again this spring. Depending on how my shins feel during the season, I should be in good shape to trail run with Isabel in summer. Last time I ran on the track team, I did not have a good experience. But this time should be better.

At this point, I think most people are ready for the sun to come again. Sugaring is around the corner! After that, it'll be spring. Ben T. is going to be here in mid-February. The Nordic ski season won't last too much longer, and then the team will start helping at the farm. I haven't been able to get down there much lately; probably I've gone twice since winter break ended. That's a little crazy. Soon! This Sunday will be a good day for it.

Ben picking up sap along the Northfield main road sugaring route, my personal favorite