Read on for the athletes' experiences on the first three days of the training camp:
Day 1: Rendezvous Run by Maya
It is important to see the same thing through different lenses sometimes. And since I have only seen the Rendezvous Trails through winter lenses, it made me have a double take when we ran through them a few days ago. In the summer Tele Hill seems a little less menacing, while in the winter we have all had a moment that we almost (or did) had a crash and burn from gravity pulling us quickly down. In summer you don’t worry about the hills quite as much, but the bugs really were a different story. It took me a moment to realize how wet that area is, even if there isn’t still water, the ground is wet enough to harvest a swarm of skeeters. When you stop running if even for a moment, skeeters swarm any exposed skin and leave you smacking your body frantically.
But there is something different about the arena in the summer that isn’t quite as unique in the winter. The way the sunlight dances through the trees onto the ground, and the smell of wildflowers makes it more of a calm place. And in the winter the arena seems to be in a somewhat constant stream of tense anticipation, from shots being fired at the range, to a race or sprints about to begin. So on the run I saw a place through opposite lenses.
An interesting thing we saw on our run ( not myself I am yet to see a one a BBNT training camp) was a bear. Apparently this furry creature when it saw us sat down and and peered back. Luc describes it as a : “ cartoon-like cuteness.” However following this pleasant encounter, Jackson Daniels went on to say almost endlessly about how he could “ definitely take on that bear”. Which after much contemplation as a team, later the next day Emma decided we couldn’t talk about any hypothetical bear-human fights whatsoever. And our attention was diverted to wildabeasts (aka bison), who were a frequent sight on our way to Red Lodge.
At the end of our run we had to gather wood to burn so we could make dinner. But the unfortunate thing about this is that the skeeters has followed us up until this point and the chance to slow down and throughly look for wood was no longer an option. For a few frantic minutes we gathered as quickly as we could and chucked it into the van, but the parasites would not let us part. And once we were in the van a good chunk of the swarm had been trapped in the van with us. Next we were smacking the windows aggressively. When the water had finally settled and the panic gone, the windows were tastefully decorates with the smushed bodies of skeeters up against the windows.
Day 2: Yellowstone Day by Elise
After a night of camping we woke up at 6:00, and got on the road at 6:40, heading to Yellowstone National Park for a run. Before running we walked the boardwalks around Grand Prismatic getting us inspired to further explore the park. We were out for over two hours, traveling 10 miles and visiting three sites along the trail including: Fairy Falls, Spurt Geyser and Imperial Geyser. The first site we reached was Fairy Falls. We had a fellow tourist take a photo of us in front of the waterfall.
And the run continued leading us along a boiling creek. Large bones sat on the shore and large clouds of steam loomed ahead. Spurt was off in the distance spraying a small fountain of water into the air. Imperial was a two minute journey from Spurt. We ran up to find it spraying water high in the air splashing back down into a large pool. Mud pots bubbled nearby which was immensely entertaining to us. We ran along a trail of switchbacks until we could see the fields and geysers below. Running back we stopped at everything again to take it all. Ending where we started hungry for both lunch and more park adventures.
Day 2: Yellowstone part 2 by Luc
On Friday, following our awesome run, we had the chance to experience Old Faithful go off. It was absolutely amazing! I’d always thought that Old Faithful was the only geyser around there, but I was way wrong. The team walked around the boardwalks and got to see so many different kinds of geysers. There were small and bubbling ones, to ones that would go off relatively quickly and went pretty high. My personal favorite was the Beehive Geyser. Although we didn’t get to see it go off, the sign about it told us that it could go up to 200 feet in the air! The geysers weren’t the only things there, though. There were a handful of hot springs and pools around the entire area, filling up the spaces that geysers wouldn’t go.
After we got our fill of geysers, we drove an hour to The Yellowstone Falls, an impressive waterfall in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River. People were getting vertigo looking over the brink of this waterfall bacause of how high it was. On the sides of the fall, there was still snow, despite the 80 degree temperatures. Not being too afraid of heights, I was able to get some pretty nice pictures of the fall up close and from far away, both looking amazing.
Having these experiences on our second day was a good sign of the things that are to come on this trip. Looking at the house we are staying at and the mountains above us, I am super excited to see what happens to us next!
Day 3 by Ted
After getting to the house late last night the coaches let us sleep in this morning (a very welcome but rare occurrence on training camps) after a late breakfast of eggs, potatoes and sausage we geared up for a 2 hour classic rollerski. The ski started in rolling farmland and we were followed by a herd of cows for a few minutes before heading up a gradual uphill, little did we know that on the other side of this peaceful hill loomed a massive downhill that surely would bring road rash and bruises to many. Luckily Wilson was ahead of us and was able to save us from our impending doom by driving us to the next flat. When we got out we had left farmland behind and were now enveloped on all sides by picturesque mountains. A roaring river snaked along the road providing a relaxing soundtrack to the rest of the ski. As we skied we ventured
further and further into the mountains and into a steep valley with incredible scenery. By the end of the ski we were all in awe of our incredible surroundings and many of us wanted to keep skiing. But with coaches promises of returning to the same road very soon we all piled into the van and drove to the river to soak our feet. It was definitely one of the most beautiful skis we have done in my recent memory and i can’t wait to get back out there.