Saturday, February 8, 2014

It Was a Good Day to Ski

Yes indeed, it was a good day to ski.
In recent years there really hasn’t been adequate snow in the Big Woods to make it worthwhile to even put skis on. Last winter my one excursion there was greeted by less than four inches of snow on the ground, with rocks and sticks exposed. With our warming climate conditions like that will certainly become more common.
This winter has been a bit of an anomaly in the recent warming trend, with low temperatures keeping what snow has fallen on the ground instead of quickly melting as the snow has done in recent winters. Although plenty of folks complain about winter weather, those of us who like to cross-country ski find joy in chilly days and fallen snow.

So with 10-12 inches of snow on the ground, crystal clear sky, and a temperature of 6° F at the house, I got out the skis and headed for the woods. It was early and no one else was there, but someone apparently had skied yesterday, or perhaps even by moonlight, and broken trail on the old road. Whoever it was has my gratitude since in places a bit of a crust was on the snow and the broken trail made the skiing easy.

There were a few tracks to be seen - of deer and gray squirrels as well as the track of one coyote crossing the old road. It’s always interesting to see tracks and try to discern what and when.
The snow was just about perfect for skiing and the forest of mixed hardwoods and conifers with its blanket of white was peaceful and beautiful.

At a fork in the old road the ski tracks I’d been following diverged from the route I’d planned so it was time to break trail back to the car.

A great way to spend a morning!

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