there are only a couple of things that i like to do more than to go for a good cross country ski. we had our first real snow on tuesday, and i had been itching to go all week. so yesterday, i told myself that if, after printing out the rest of my "receive by christmas" orders, and responding to convos and e-mails, i completed seven guitar picks/ pick necklaces by 3:00 i could go for a quick ski before i picked the girls up from day care. here is the proof that i completed those seven:
so i put on my boots (i still like to use three pin), grabbed the dogs and my gear, and headed to the best place i know for nordic skiing, which happens to be only a ten minute drive from my house, boggy draw. it is a series of old forest service roads and mountain bike trails that becomes a cross country skiing wonderland once the snow falls.
i should note here that while we were in phoenix, my friend patty watched the dogs for us. she thought simon could use a haircut, so she groomed him. he looks adorable, but (as much as glenn is going to make fun of me) i may have to buy him a sweater, as he does love to ski with me and he might get a bit cold this season.
molly is getting a bit old and arthritic, but she loves nothing more than to run through the snow while we ski, so we continue to bring her along, even though she's quite sore after.
if you are not a nordic skier, it is very difficult to explain to you why i love it so much. when i am out there, especially when it is just the dogs and i, and i have my ipod on (yesterday it was the live bright eyes recordings, "motion sickness") and i am out in the complete serenity of the snow covered forest, there's nothing else like it. i get into the kick and glide rhythm, and i am sliding so gracefully over the snow, and it is so calm and peaceful and exhilarating all at the same time. it absolutely refreshes my soul.
even when i have a bit of a scare like i did yesterday. allow me to explain. as i mentioned, it was my first ski of the season. i was so excited! i headed straight for the "boggy draw trail" which is my favorite loop up there; it's about 5-6 miles. i've done it hundreds of times. after a while, it started to feel a bit different than usual, but i went with it. i know that when people cut a track up there, it's not always exactly the same, but usually heads in the same general direction and comes out in the same spot. long story short, this time it did not.
once i realized that i was not at all where i ought to be, i had to decide what to do. at that time, i'd already been out about 2 hours, so to turn around and go back would have not gotten me back to the car until after dark. so my logic was that whoever cut this track must have also been going back to the parking lot and i was going to stick with it. shaky, i know. but i didn't have much of a choice. poor molly was so worn out and it was getting dark and i needed to get back to the car fast. the trail was a bit difficult, lots of uphills and not very many downs. it turned out, it worked! just when i was starting to get scared, i saw the power lines (in the picture above) that run parallel to the main road up there. i thought that i had accidentally crossed over the road and would come out on the other side of the parking lot, so i followed them. well, i was so disoriented and turned around and clearly have no sense of direction when everything is covered in snow. after only a couple of minutes, i came to the parking lot, on the other side! i was so relieved. so was simon.
the funniest thing is that when i got back to the car, i saw chad. i almost always see him when i ski up there. i told him what had happened and he asked where i had been. when i told him, he laughed and said he was so sorry, that i had been following HIS track from tuesday, when he had gotten lost! oh, well. i was late picking up the girls and got back to be car just as the sun was setting. but it was a lovely adventure.