Of the many ways in which I'm training for Leadville, going on an Alaska cruise the week before the race ranks right up there with loosely limiting myself to one dessert a day and riding my ebike to work. Don't be fooled by my unconventional training methods. I've been thinking about Leadville a lot. Sometimes, I'll study a map of the Leadville course while stuffing down a jelly donut. It may seem odd, but I take comfort in the fact that my contradictory behavior falls within the range of normal human experience. What's really odd is that I'm nearly overlooking a pleasure cruise to Alaska while anticipating my day in Colorado when I'm going to feel pain. A lot of pain.
But, as the great philosopher Stephen R. Covey said, let's put first things first. My parents want to celebrate their 50th anniversary by going on a cruise to Alaska with all their progeny - 5 children and 9 grandchildren. Here's what I'm looking forward to:
Family - My parents and siblings all live in Southern California, so I get to see most of my family only a few times a year. Our family is odd in that we all get along with each other and like each other. I don't know of a single serious dispute any of us have had with each other as adults. My older brother did some awful things to me when we were kids, but now that we're all grown up, we get along.
Food - I have never been on a cruise before, but I hear that you can walk around any time of day or night, plop yourself down in a restaurant, and order food. There are even a few nicer restaurants that serve fancy food. Then again, how fancy can cruise food be?
Celebrating the Diversity of the Inuit Culture - I'm hoping to see totem poles and a lumberjack competition.
Nature - I'm not sure a cruise is the best way to celebrate nature. It's kind of like appreciating the Mona Lisa by looking at a postcard. Still, I hear there are gorgeous mountains and glaciers and whales and bald eagles and that kind of thing. Maybe we can get out on a couple of treks.
Relaxing - I hope we can drop the boys off at Kid's Korner and read and eat and drink and get in some quality hanging out time.
Whitepass Mountain - One excursion lets you ride a train from sea level up to the top of a mountain at 4,000 feet and then ride bikes down the mountain. So I'm going to skip the train part and ride a rental bike up to the top of the mountain and, hopefully, back down. It's kind of like training.