So spring is certainly on its way. As is the fashion in Bavaria, the feet of accumulated snow that we had last week, has retreated so quickly, it is as if it was never there. I sense this is not the case back home in NH, from the pictures Mum has sent me over black berry messenger. This week was busy for us, but considerably more fun than most, as we have been able to ride every day, except for the days I was in the field.
These riding adventures started last weekend. Nate and I planned to get our friend Chris off the indoor trainer for good last weekend. On Saturday, we had a chilly yet uneventful ride through the rolling hills in the direction of Weiden. Sunday, was much more eventful than Saturday due to the propensity of Grafenwoehr weather to be as unpredictable as New England's storm fronts. When the three of us started out on our ride, although cloudy, the air was dry and not very winding. We were enjoying our ride, yet seemed a tad dismayed over the increasingly darkening sky. Despite the potential for bad weather, we continued to ride only to be caught in the most impressive of snow/ sleet storms. We suffered through over ten miles of misery with precipitation that felt like razors hitting us in the face. When we finally made our way home, and took off our shoes, my feet were so swollen from cold that they looked liked like sausages with toes!
Despite bad weather and very icy conditions, Nate and I braved the cold to ride over lunch of Monday. On Tuesday and Wednesday, my company went to the field for some training. It is the battalion commander's guidance for us to gain experience in a more classic style of warfare than we are used to fighting, as he is trying to prepare us for less traditional deployments which may come down, such as for Africa or Eastern Europe. In otherwords, we are learning how to be the Army of the 80's. Although foriegn to many of my Soldiers, ROTC has prepared the officers for this task just fine. The infinite knowledge of my 1st Sergeant and older NCO's has proven indispensable. We convoyed out to the field site (with a slight detour, thanks Sam). Once out in the muddiest place I have ever seen, we set up our tents, camo nets, etc. and started digging in. This may not seem to be much of a process, but when you sink up to your knees in mud (Bean would have HATED it), it is not very easy! After spending the night, and teaching some different skills to our Soldiers, we packed up and started home, but not before Sam's platoon baptized him in the mud, as it was his first field exercise with the unit.
The rest of the week was uneventful, except for a poorly timed flat tire on Nate's bike over one of our lunch time rides. Luckily we were not far from home. Yesterday, we attempted to ride again with Chris, hopefully under better conditions. The weather held out, except for some killer wind. We wandered around our favorite ride routes and discovered many more. We climbed over 3/4 mile vertical, which was quite impressive, seeing that we rode less than 40 miles. We did see some great old ruins on top of one of the taller hills we climbed. Riding makes the week pass so much more quickly, and hopefully the weather will cooperate! Hope everyone will get a dose of spring like we did (not that we expect it to stay that way!).
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Monday, February 15, 2010
So here we were minding our own business, cross country skiing. On Saturday, we trekked out to our favorite skiing location. As usual, we waxed our skis and got under way. Quite a few other skiers were doing the same. We made our way onto the trails and were enjoying some great cardio adventures, when all of a sudden we heard some funny noises. Dogs panting and people yelling is not usually what one hears while going out for a peaceful ski in the woods. Miller and I turned around only to see a team of dogs and a musher (I think that is what you would call a dog sled driver) barreling toward us. We promptly got out of the way of the dogs only to see another team following. It seems we had stumbled our way onto a dog sled race course. I say stumbled, but apparently, all the other skiers had done the same. The mushers thought nothing of us skiing, so we took that as a a sign that they would ignore us, and we would ignore them. So we skiied, taking care not to step in any dog poo, while they made sure their happy wagging teams did not run us over. It was fun not only to ski, but to see all the different teams of dogs, some composed of the average small, but sturdy husky mixes, to malamutes to one team of just ye olde mutts. Just another surprising day in the life of the Millers!
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Nate and I are two very busy people. So what is the best thing to do with our free time? Stay busy of course! As usual, the work-week has provided us with little to no time for relaxation. Luckily for us this weekend is a four-day training holiday. With ample time to do as we please, we have decided to redecorate. As Mum and Bean are very familiar with, when I get bored, I paint. I am not talking about impressionist or cubist works of art, but walls. We have decided that we are sick of our dimly lit, but nicely floored bedroom. Not even hard-wood can keep me in that room for much long, so we have decided to relocate our sleeping quarters to a brighter, yet much hated room in the house. So as those who have visted our very humble (and wicked crappy....no, don't give me the same junk about us having a nicer place than most 23 year olds....face it, I am too elitist to be happy with the "better than most" idea of things!) abode know, our formerly yellow room was by far the least used room of the house. I hated everything about it, the flooring, the light fixtures, and most of all, the color. I detest yellow with a passion I cannot describe. I think it may have something to do with the fact that blonds never look good in yellow....unless we are talking about gold, that is entirely different story (hint, hint, my hubby dearest). So we decided blue was the way to go, Blue bedrooms are inviting and calming, so off to Self-Help we went to pick up some blue paint. After about 18 coats of paint as thick as glue on the worlds oldest and junkiest wall construction, we are finished with the bulk of the work.
On an entirley different, and hopefully more coherent note, yesterday, like last weekend, we went skiing. Skiing in Mehlmeisel, a town about a half and hour away, has given Nate a bit more confidence on the slopes than our other Alpine adventures. I always seem to forget that the man is deathly afraid of heights. In my opinion, the best way to get over a fear is to face it. Hence skiing. Luckily for him, there are also cross country ski trails in the area as well, so we can do that when I am not in need of an adrenaline rush. The trails in the area are great and well groomed, and best of all, free. While the paint dries, we will be heading off there today! I hope everyone has been enjoying the weekend. Also, If you like what we write or just want to say "hello," please post a comment so we know that you all are reading our often-times pointless blog!
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
So this week has been hectic. Very Hectic. Work has been super tiring, but as usual, there is very little that can be done about it. Luckily, we have truly been enjoying our weekends. This Saturday, Nate and I spent a great day cross country skiing. We were able to ski on some fresh powder through some really great trails. Although we spent our time switching who was in the lead to break track, it was still a ton of fun. Later in the day, we went to Liam's first birthday party at the Oradat's house. We had a great time, where luckily Jennifer and I share a love of scrabble, and were able to get our scrabble fix for a while. After three games and far too much food, Sam (one of my fellow ICTC LTs) gave us a ride home in his super ghetto, yet functional low rider, which he bought from a super sketchy South American, for far too much. After far too little sleep, Nate, Chris and I embarked on a great adventure.
With a 0530 wake up on a Sunday morning, the three of us piled into the VW with as much warm clothes as we could carry to head to Tabor, Czech Republic for Cyclocross Worlds. Upon arriving into one of the more sketchy cities in the country, we boarded a bus to be transported with many other cyclocross fans to the race course. First up was the women's race. Our American ladies did not do as well as we had hoped they would, but it was still a great time cheering them on. Katie Compton, who was in the running for the win, had to bow out in the first lap due to an ongoing injury. It was still exciting to see Marianne Vos power through to a great victory over the hometown favorite Katerina Nash. The men's race was even crazier! Tim Johnson, despite a poor start moved up into the top 20, along with Jamie Driscol (who we formerly raced with in the ECCC). Our other guys didn't do as well, with a truly poor performance from Ryan Trebon. Throughout it all, we enjoyed freezing our rear-ends off in the super cold weather while eating bratwurst and drinking Budvar Budweisser (which is about as nasty and tasteless as the American version). Chris enjoyed himself heckling and cheering. Nate took a ton of great photos, and I got to talk to a photographer from Cycling News. All in all it was a great time! We are looking forward to when World's is in Germany next year!