Summer appears to have come and gone while we were away adventuring in Chamonix, France. The crisp air and cool evenings are invading the weather pattern which is always bitter sweet in my book. I made my first apple pie of the season this week but still longing for more days of lake swims and warm sun on the skin.
I will write a more thorough recap of the summer but for now my heart is still in France. Andrew and I ventured over to the Haute Savoie region of France to lose ourselves in the picturesque views, ancient glaciers and mountains. We have been wanting to check this off of our list for awhile now. We chose a week that coincides with one of the ultimate trail running festivals and events in the world. UTMB - aka Ultra Trail Mont Blanc. The main event is a 170 km epic tour around the Mont Blanc range that takes racers from France to Italy and Switzerland while they gain and lose 30K in vert. There are 4 other 'shorter' races for the more normal people :) Andrew and I had media credentials so we were able to chase the leaders through the night to track their 19 hours of fun - we were up close and personal with some racers we have idolized over the last few years of being ultra running fans!!
This trip was special on a few levels. I spent my teenage years and early 20's traveling through this region and all of Europe but haven't been back over since I retired from the USST. I spoke with a fellow ski team alum while I was over there about how different a 'filter' I had over my eyes this time. I had a challenging time toward the end of my professional ski racing career and I feel I left a little bit of myself over across the big pond. Going back to that world as a more confident and mature person, I felt I could confront that confused girl that I associate often with my memories on the team. A piece of a puzzle was found that had been missing.
And we fueled the adventure fire. This region has views straight out of a fairy tale book.