Last Day of the Races!

After a long season of driving up into the Cascades, XC racing has come to a close for high schools in Oregon! This past weekend, we were in Bend on Mt. Bachelor for the 2009 OHSNO State Championship Nordic Races! The photos will tell so much more! In this shot (one of many I took during the melee) kids from different teams are attacking one another. The mass snowball fight lasted more than 45 minutes, involving more than 100 skiers!
My handsome husband, George, and I rarely have photos of us together. We scored on this one!

My view after a hard day out, on my way back up to the lodge. Mt. Bachelor ahead...

My son and his friend. Erin and Collin have been competing together for several years.


Night Races and Hot Pursuit

Last Thursday, we sped up into the mountains, again, after school. It was "Night Races" time at Hoodoo! My son and 11 other kiddos bucked up, scrambled to finish homework during the drive up, and braved a cold night to race against some of Oregon's best XC skiers in the dark. It was magic. Last year, the course was blinding. There was a blizzard, with snowbanks 19-23 feet high. We couldn't even see the lower windows of the lodge. This year...cold, but no wind nor snowfall.
Start of the boys' race. Lined up and ready!
The lodge glows at night. Brad and my son, Collin (right) after the race. Yeah, so the "Valley Kids" can't really compete with those boys who started skiing at the age of 2, but it's so fun!
Hot Pursuit!
A Hot Pursuit Race is spectacular. Racers have a mass-start, beginning on Classic-Style XC Skis. They race for approximately 2K on these skis, up a mountainside, essentially. On the slope of the mountain, they'll come across their "Skate Skis," stop, take off their classics, put on the skates, and continue on the course for another 3K. We were at Teacup Lake Nordic Ski Area on the edge of Mt. Hood. BEAUTIFUL!!! Our 4th trip here this year and it was THE BEST! Snow began falling just after the race ended and we relaxed in a warm, woodstove-heated cabin!
The race started at 11:00 a.m. The kids had to stand at the line for almost 15 minutes, which caused many of them to "meltdown" and get cold.
Here is my son, coming off of "Wahoo!" From this angle, you really can't tell how tall the hill is. I had to ski through the backcountry to get to the hill so I could catch some shots. He zipped by quickly!

Lunch in the lodge, but a warm fire. It's pretty primative, relatively speaking. No running water or restrooms. There are smelly outhouses outside that the kids try to avoid for as long as possible.


Another Skate Race Under His Belt

Drove another load of kids up to the Cascades today! We left at 6 a.m. and made it to Mt. Hood by around 8:45. Freezing fog was a big issue during the drive. As the sun rose, we came across this view...Here's Collin (my son) during the "transition"section of his race. It's uphill at this point, which requires an excellent skate stride. He zoomed by, heading downhill, much faster than I could imagine going. Ah, youth...
And, finally, here we are..."The Moms." We provided food for over 200 people! It was only 18 degrees out, so we were, at times, a little miserable.