My friend Kate has lived in Cordova for quite a while now. Kate was an all-star ski racer out of Fairbanks a while back, and when it was time for college she chose the right color - green. But it wasn't UAA's shade of green. It was Dartmouth green. After a successful college racing career she spent some time racing for the Rossignol team, chasing the elite circuit around before moving back to Alaska and settling in Cordova - one of the prettiest little towns you could ever wish to see.
|Here's a picture I took in Cordova one time.|
Karin is another friend of mine. She lives in Switzerland. The first time I ever met Karin, it was at Kincaid Park, about fifteen years ago when I was introduced to her by her University of Denver teammate, Tara. I'd known Tara for many years because she grew up in Anchorage and distinguished herself by beating her friend Kikkan Randall time after time, after time, after time (four times in a row for those keeping score) at the Alaska State High School Championships. Neither Kikkan nor anyone else of that generation ever managed to win a high school state championship during that time because Tara won them all.
A few years later, after graduating from University of Denver, Karin moved to Bozeman, Montana to get a master's degree in exercise physiology while skiing professionally for Rossignol. Kate was Karin's Rossi teammate and they graciously let me tag along for a little pre-championship high-altitude training camp (based out of Karin's apartment in Bozeman in 2006) when I suddenly got the urge to race at the US Nationals that year.
So anyway, I was sitting next to Kate on a flight out of Cordova a few months ago when she told me she was moving to Unalaska, a remote industrial (fishing) outpost in the Aleutian Islands, and she mentioned that Karin was going to come from Switzerland for a visit. A few months passed, and I found myself, as I often do, sitting in the departure area at the Anchorage airport, waiting for a flight to Unalaska that would never go because of - as always - stormy weather in the Aleutians. Predictably, the flight was cancelled and as I was leaving the airport, Karin suddenly appeared out of nowhere and told me she had been waiting for the same flight! She was stranded in Anchorage for at least the next day while she tried to figure out how she was going to get to Unalaska. Not having seen Karin since that time many years ago when I stopped by her house in Davos for some Spätzli, and with a suddenly very free schedule for the afternoon, we decided to jump in the car go for a day hike.