It’s July 4th, 2013. It’s raining in Anchorage, Alaska. I’m a long way from Spain. Back in my real world.
In January, while snowboarding in Spain, I had a little mishap: I tore my ACL and medial meniscus. Bummer… I limped around for a month and thought it might heal. I finally got an MRI and found out the bad news. I decided to keep snowboarding since the damage was already done, and it was surprisingly almost easier to snowboard than walk (my mom did lug my snowboards and all my gear from Alaska, after all!). I had some great days on my split board and at the resort. My last day in Spain I rode the lifts of impressive Baqueira/Beret resort in Vall de Aran.
Eating lunch in the backcountry in Catalunya is different from lunch in the Alaskan mountains. It’s better. Fresh baguettes, sausages made by one of my ski buddies from a pig she slaughtered earlier in the season, cheese from local sheep’s milk and fresh tomatoes rubbed into the crusty bread – beautiful.
A couple days later Dani and I drove his awesome Fiat camper van to Baqueira/Beret Resort where we mobbed the groomers and dodged the hordes of gapers (it was supposedly a French holiday) with his two rippin’ skier buddies. We rode without stopping for the better part of a day and only rode one lift twice!
In early March I said goodbye to the amazing friends I had made in my little valley in Spain and I boarded a plane to England where I would stay for the next month and a half with Lillian, Oscar and Estela. Due to travel insurance policies, my knee surgery would not be covered if I returned to Alaska and I could not imagine living with my knee as it was for much more time. I was functional, but the things we take for granted in our knees – walking without a limp, straigtening my leg, jumping, running, kneeling, dancing, etc. were painful thoughts for me.
Luckily, I could still ride a bike. The week between my arriving in Eastbourne, UK where my beloved Long Haul Trucker was waiting for me in Lillian’s garage, and when I went under the knife was awesome. Southern England is an amazing place to get lost on a bike.
Reunited! My first ride in months was a little foggy and so great.
I ate freshly-baked meat pie with mashy peas, cheddar mashed potatoes & red wine gravy. Washed it all down with a pint of English cider – it’s not pretty, but it is delish! I sent this picture to a friend in Spain and he replied with a good-natured “The English don’t know how to eat!”
It was a blessing in disguise getting to spend such a long time with Lillian – more time than we’d spent together since our college days more than a decade ago. 3 year-old Estela was my very effective little alarm clock every morning and my activity buddy throughout the day. Oscar, originally from Barcelona, and I spent many hours talking about the great and not so great things in Spain, often over a vermouth or English ale.
Now I’m back in Alaska! Working working away at the family restaurants, catching up with friends, relishing in the amazing mountains surrounding me and, as of two weeks ago, riding my bike again!!!
My ride home from work last night at 10:30 PM
I rode to Girdwood for a wedding last weekend.
On my way to work one early morn.
A beautiful sunset ride at 11 o’clock at night
LOVE being home!