Homeland with Ben Saxton

It’s almost time to head out to West Yellowstone for the first races of the season. This is the time of year marked by rapidly dropping temperatures, rapidly accumulating snow, and goodbyes with teammates that are headed to Europe for the next 5 months.

We were able to say goodbye to our teammate Noah Hoffman when he stopped in nearby Putney VT to visit his coach Zach Caldwell (from whom I stole this photo.) Our coach Pat is from Putney, and his folks had all of us over for a farewell dinner along with the staff of Caldwell Sport.

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In Stratton we held another sendoff event for the T2 team at the brand new student building on SMS’s campus. We had about 100 guests come to the send off including several former Olympic Skiers such as Bill Koch and Bob Gray. The school-kids acted as our waitstaff for a dinner cooked by the school chefs Carol and Rick. Stratton is one of the most supportive communities I’ve ever been a part of, and getting a chance to share an evening with so many of them was the perfect note on which to leave Vermont.

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The day after the SMS sendoff, I flew back to Lakeville. I was lucky enough to get a few brief days at home before the final leg of the trip out to Montana. Even though I love spending time on the road, the long stretches of travel are always made better by the visits home I am able to fit into the race schedule.

My family’s dog Kabby was sincerely disappointed when her running buddy Erika didn’t come home with me. After Erika stayed here for the SuperTour last year, I think Kabby expects her to be here every time I come home.

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Minnesota was lucky enough to get a decent amount of snow when the last big storm front came through, which means that for the first time in my life I was able to ski in Minnesota before the annual West Yellowstone trip began.

Elm Creek had the snow guns blazing, which made the conditions a little slow, and caused a little bit of mustache-icing(if you can call it a mustache.)

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Tomorrow I get on a plane and fly to Bozeman where I’ll meet up with my SMST2 teammates and get the season underway!

-BS

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