by Jennie

Old Quebec

On Saturday night a couple weeks ago, post the Bozeman sprint, the house was a bustle with packing and  making plan B travel arrangements. I decided to head home early to Vermont, but wanted to watch the Quebec races, especially since home is only an hour from the Canadian border. I was elated when I called my home club coach of NorthEast Nordic, Fred Griffin, and found out that he was taking his group of highschool skiers to Quebec for a school trip, and to experience a World Cup. I couldn’t have thought of a better group to raise my spirits and to spend that bittersweet weekend with.

After a long day of absurd air travel (MT, NC, FL, PA, to Quebec…what’s your priority, time or money?), I landed in Canada, ready for an adventure.

6:30 am to 10:45 pm airport day. Polaroid with Santa? Why not…

I have been to Quebec a few times, but have never stopped by the church Sainte Anne-de-Beaupre. You don’t need to have a religious affiliation to appreciate its grandeur.  As you sit and listen to the silence, the surrounding art is mesmerizing and full of detail and history.

If you have ever gone to a NE Nordic camp, you’ll know that it’s custom to hit the ground running. Our first excursion was a 3 hr run along side an icy river bed trail. Fred teaches his kids to embrace challenges, but proceed at your own risk, and  to be smart about the situation.  One day, when I’m coaching a horde of athletes, this will be my approach too.

Due to lack of snow, the rest of the long weekend was packed with a choose-your-own-path hike up the mountain for about 3 hrs, a group strength session, a bounding technique workout, and lots of morning yoga.  However, these excursions don’t hold a lit candle in  the memory bank filled with images of our 4am ski.

As thirty groggy highschoolers stumbled into the parking lot, the buzz of excitement to ski in the dark on the nearby golf course grew. Scattered headlamps tromped into the field, and the moon lit the untouched snow blanket for the rest of us. Why 4am? Why not! There was finally enough snow to classic ski, and we had to leave late that morning, so 4am gave us the option to ski again at 8:30am. Not something I would usually do, but I will remember it forever. Needless to say , many kids pass-out in between workouts.

Of course, time spent watching the World Cups was very exciting. You have read all about it already, so I won’t go into detail, but it was awesome seeing those girls kicking some Euro butt. ‘Merica.

Picture by Julia Snyder

Kikkan during the team sprint

As an elder on CXC, I failed at teaching Diggs how to open a Champagne bottle. Then again, I don’t think I know how to properly open one either. Kikkan, please, show us your ways. That was one of the best things I have ever seen. (Reader: if you dont know what I am talking about, just look for pictures of Quebec awards ceramony.)

I am now in Vermont, enjoying my short time here as time flies before I head to Utah for US Nationals. It finally snowed, so I can now sing Christmas carols without feeling misplaced.

Merry Christmas Everyone (:

Thank you Joel Woodward for taking some great pictures in West Yellowstone!

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