In less than 10 weeks, I'll be on snow out at the Yellowstone Ski Festival in West Yellowstone. I've been looking forward to getting back to West Yellowstone every since the first time I went three years ago. Every college cross country ski team in the country is there, along with US Ski Team members, masters athletes, racers, and wannabes. It's the scene. There's so much energy that you can't help but get enthused!
Of course, I'm out there for a purpose: To get in some early season skiing. Most importantly, I want to practice my diagonal stride. It takes me a little while each season to get comfortable striding again. Because we rarely have good tracks in southeast Michigan, I frequently feel less than adequately prepared to stride in the first couple races of the season.
I do occasionally diagonal stride on rollerskis, but it's just not the same. There are so many more variables to deal with on snow: kick, side-too-side sliding, hard vs. soft snow. Even though most of the early season classic races are mainly doublepole events for me, getting my striding down is a priority.
I'd also like to work more on my skating. After all these years, my V1 is finally coming together and I'm anxious to climb a few hills on snow.
Plans are to flying into Bozeman on Thursday night, November 15, then drive to West Yellowstone the next morning. On Wednesday night, November 21, it's a return trip to Bozeman, and a plane out the next day, on Thanksgiving.
Alas, I'm missing Thanksgiving dinner with the family (my plane doesn't arrive until close to 10:00pm), but I'd pre-arranged permission to be gone...
Greg Worrel and I are taking advantage of the Michigan Cup Special Rate arranged by Curt Peterson at the Yellowstone lodge ($69 for a room with frig).
Here's a few articles from my last trip: