Come September you start thinking about where the final dryland training camp will be.  Before you know it its October, by mid-October the Canmore Nordic Centre has rolled out Frozen Thunder and (if we’re lucky) the real snow comes by the first week of November.  It always amazes me how fast the last few weeks of training go by.  Our final and upcoming camp was to be in New Mexico.  A repeat of last year based on the success we had there.  The majority of the time this year would be spent in Santa Fe, with a few days in Albuquerque.  The weather was incredible.  A ‘cool’ day was a high of 25C.  The ‘hot’ days, or by local standards the ‘warm’ days, were highs of 35C.  The nights were starting to cool off.  It was quite a sight to see the Aspen leaves change to yellow.  I have to say the Fall on the East coast is a touch more picturesque with the reds and oranges.  Still amazing to see a valley of yellow and green.

Santa Fe is really wonderful city.  A really unique flare of old Spanish buildings, a Mexican influence with a backyard filled with mountains and forest.  Walking through the main plaza was a different experience for me.  There are a lot of little cafés, bars and restaurants.   Quite a few of the shops are high end fashions, usually Western style, sorry New Mexican.  The remaining stores are not actually stores but art galleries.  The galleries are filled with really beautiful paintings infused with great color.  I chanced a peak at one piece and was scared into not looking at any other price tags.  To be fair the piece I looked at was big enough to replace a complete side of my garage.  The price of $65’000 pretty much matched its size (10x16ft).  It was a pretty amazing piece of art.

The Albuquerque skyline was a little different than last year since we came two weeks earlier this year.  This move earlier meant we flew home the day before the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta.  A few mornings a handful of balloons could be seen but not the 250+ that launched within an hour like last year.

After a most memorable adventure last year up Santa Fe Baldy and around some neighboring valleys.  We returned this year several times, summiting Baldy twice.  We spent a fair bit of time on the road up to the Ski Basin and the wondering trails that seemed to be everywhere.  Waving to the World from Santa Fe Baldy at 12’630ft is pretty cool, and windy!  A change from last year was the fact that cows were no longer allowed up the trail.  Or so someone thought so and with a permanent marker wrote that on the No Camping signs.

Training went extremely well, with solid improvements from last year.  Looking forward to getting on snow and putting the entire training season together to see what happens.   Barring some major heat wave, I’ll be on snow skiing in less than a week.  Following that it is only a matter of days (really) before the fresh flakes begin to fall in Lake Louise or if I’m really lucky, in Canmore.  Let it Snow, Let it Snow!

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