Feel free to reply to my thoughts, experiences, and whatever comes out of this head of mine. blah blah blah

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Italian Adventures

After the Val DiSere races ended and we heard Kitz was cancelled I started driving toward Innsbruck, Austria via the Frejus tunnel. Our plan was to have two days off then start training in Untental, Italy. I didn't feel like spending my downtime in Innsbruck. I wanted to see something new. As I was driving I was wondering what I could do? Where could I go? Then right above me there was a sign! Yes a real sign that said Venicia. And I remembered my friend Carlo lives there. So I gave him a call and he wasn't there but he was a hour and a half away in Cortina D'Ampezzo. Which I hadn't been to either. So I decided to head up there, sleep and hike around the National Park the next day and then head to Venice that night. I had my plan and I was on my way.
For some reason my FM transmitter broke when I let my parents use my car. I only had one CD in the car which my friend Charlotte gave me and it was getting a little old. So I got out my Ipod and head phones and kept charging toward Cortina. I was half way from Venice to Cortina when my car started spurting and I realized I ran out of gas. I didn't hear the warning beep because i had my head phones on. By that time it was midnight and I was stranded in the middle of the Dolomiti foot hills. Thanks Mom and Dad for whatever you did to that transmitter. So I whipped out my trusty old cell phone and called Carlo. Right then it beeped low battery, luckily I got a hold of him and wasn't stuck for the night on the side of the freeway with no way of getting help. Carlo ended up driving 45 minutes down and rescuing me with a little tank of gas. It was a pain but I did get some good reading time in. I also had to deal with the local Italian authorities whom disturbed my indeapth reading session. Long story short, Carlo rescued me and my cell phone almost ran out of batteries as well. We didn't get to bed until 2 but the next day was awesome.
I woke up to a light rain but we still decided to go hiking. Carlo wanted to show me some of canyons of Cortina and some waterfalls. So we went trekking though the national park. Usually this time of year it has a meter of snow covering it. We were lucky to have a few centimeters. It did make for good hiking though. I don't know how far we hiked but we just kept going up and up. We should have been more careful. After the main waterfall the trail stops and we decided to go free climb up some loose rocks, snow and ice to see if there was more above the normal trail. There wasn't much above it but we had a great adventure.
That night we went to Venice and I roamed the streets until 2 AM. Carlos brother Antonio was probably the best tour guide I could have had. He knew every little street in the complex maze of Venice. I visited corner stores and had some amazing food. I saw a lot of famous monuments and got the Italian interpretation of it. I also saw the normal life side of Venice. Carlos's family was more than generous to put me up and even cook for me. Thank you Salminis!
By the way Carlo started Slytech which makes those arm guards you see on all of the American racers in GS and SG. Check his site out at slytech.it He also makes Shingaurds and Shred Goggles.
Enjoy the pics

Oh yea and I got to go powder skiing finally!!!