Sunday, September 26, 2010

North To Chevak!

Most men (runners) take the straight and narrow.

A few take the road less traveled.

We chose to cut through the woods (tundra).

Locals watching the race.

Alicia's Pep Rally

We were given a heroes send off by the school Thursday afternoon. The team exploded into the gym sprinting around to the tune of 'We Will Rock You'. They lined up in front of their peers shared their name and why they joined CC. This first rally of the year and ever for Cross Country was organized and executed by Miss Weaver! (Quyana!) She had students from grades K-12 yelling out new cheers, spinning around on hockey sticks, scooter boarding across the gym floor and shooting baskets. She even made a slide show of the runners from last week's Bethel meet. It was an awesome way to get us psyched up for our Region 1 South meet in Chevak, Alaska. We left the following day traveling the 150 miles north of Quinhagak to the land of wind blasting sand and much later rising sun.

Stuck In The 207 Again

I tried to sneak on to the highly coveted 2 propped, 9 seater, rumored of being so great that some would choose it over a craft with a beverage service...that's right, back by charter demand: The Caravan. When the 2 flying chariots landed to swoop us sway, I'd be lying if I didn't say I greedily set my sights on the 'Caravan'. I reeeeeeeeeeaaaallly wanted to ride in that posh plane. Besides, hadn't I paid my dues last week in Bethel, relinquishing my seat to Jon and taking the 207 then???? Right: Team at the Chevak School Playground. Surely I'd earned my Caravan seat, after all wasn't I the coach all season. Feeling deserving, I sneaked on and quietly tried to camouflage myself into the copilot's spot. Hunkered down and peeping out the larger than normal 207 sized window (I picture Ani when he knows he does something wrong and hopes I don't notice), I couldn't miss Jon's 6 foot 8 frame lumbering back toward the Caravan shaking his head apologetically in my direction. The 207 pilot was on his heels motioning to me to get off the plane. "Ahhh, Come On!" I whined hoping that would sway him, it's annoying to me. (Obviously providing a great example to my runners about what is important in life. Lord help me.) My tantrum didn't work anyway. The pilot eyed me like a father would then matter of factly instructed, "He's too big. Doesn't even fit. You're it." "Yeah, yeah." I mumbled making my way down the aisle of the first class varsity ride. Left: Team at one of Chevak's 3 stores. I moped back to the puddle jumped and slinked aboard with dramatic sighs. "This is no fair." I pouted to the very unsympathetic pilot and I buckled my belt, "I had to ride in the 207 last time." You are probably thinking...."Seriously Rachel??? Is this what it has come to????" You're not alone. I was thinking it too. I just couldn't stop the words, they kept oozing out of my mouth I sounded more like a 5 year old spoiled brat. "Seriously there's gotta be perks to this air traveling gig!" I tried to justify my behavior. Right: A boardwalk in Cevak. One of my middle school girls was none too happy for her 207 seat either so we decided misery loves company, by the time we landed we were both over it. . That's when I had to hope beyond all hopes that God isn't done with me yet.

Sun, Sand and Wind...

Chevak looks from the air a lot like Quin. We circled around the runway similarly a few miles from the village. Left: Chevak School. We spied the big white truck speeding along the gravel road in a cloud of dust to pick us up. Right: Walking the course. It was different in that the box of the truck looked like a cattle hauling bed which we would be loaded into and transported back to the school upon. Chevak has 3 stores and a fancy new school. The people of Chevak were so very friendly, more than once as we were wandering the sandy wind blown roads and boardwalks woven between houses, people poked their heads out their front doors to greet us "Hello! Welcome to Chevak! Enjoy your stay!" Thanks we would reply and smile. Left: Still walking the course. Then the school staff put on an Eskimo dance for all the teams and had a ceremonial prayer to bless the runners. The teacher whose room we stayed in even stopped by later in the evening to give us cinnamon popcorn she'd made. Chevak is a very hospitable village.

CC Season 2010 is a Wrap

It was hard to believe the season was already ending with Regions being our last meet. Also hard to imagine that last year in Dillingham we had our first weather hold from a snow storm. Left: Runners at their mark! No snow in Quin yet but lots of wind and cold. Rumor has it that they had snow in Anchorage though. Right: Teambuilding. The kids raced their hardest and all finished well. The race was up a hill, around a little tundra lake, across a makeshift bridge, and down an old runway. They had to make 2 laps, it was tough competition but not one gave up! Way to finish strong Seahawks. Our finishers were for the high school girls: 59th, 63rd, 65th and 67th. High school boys: 46th, 49th, 56th, and 74th. Our middle school boys finished: 8th, 16th and 17th. And our middle school girl came in 3rd. Though we did not make it to state they all ran their best races and made me very proud! Good work team. That brings our season to an end.

Above: Racing Below: Finishing

Hair Salon/Freezer Open for Business

Last night Jerilyn and her girls stopped in to Salon Ray-Chel. Yup, I got to cut their hair. They liked it as they left last night. I only hope that consensus continued today;) Fannie and family stopped in to put some of their freezer overflow into my current space friendly freezer. I now have an entire swan greeting me each time I open the lid to get something out.

Shout Out To: Grampa and Lori Happy Birthday on the 28th! Thanks to Jon for taking all these great pics and letting me steal them off his camera. And to Gus and Columbo I just got your package in the mail this afternoon (Monday) guys keep making me cry. Quyananaqva...thank you very, very much what blessings you are to me.

"The God who has girded me with strength has opened wide my path. He made my feet like the feet of deer, and set me secure on the heights." - 2 Samuel 22:33-34

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