Sunday, February 09, 2014

Roads are snow-covered. So are trails.

Finally FINALLY I went cross country skiing this winter, yesterday at Metea County Park, today at Fox Island County Park.

Metea is one of those secret gems. Despite the development going on all around, this nature preserve remains quiet and relatively underused. There are trails of course, plus a creek, pond, nature center, sledding hill, etc. Yesterday there were quite a few cars in the parking lot, apparently all having to do with the cross country ski clinic going on in the basement of the nature center. I expected to at least hear the newbies when they hit the trails (falling down in the snow invariable causes high pitched screaming), but I was done before they began. I did not meet another person on the trails, so enjoyed a peaceful interlude.

Fox Island is another story. Usually it is quite noisy, the sources being planes, trains, and automobiles, but last night's snow limited air and car traffic, for a while at least. I was the first on the trails this morning, but by the time I finished, I was meeting other solitary skiers and one couple, all of us trying to beat the crowds. When I reached my car, several families were setting out with much giggling and shouting. Yes, time to head home.

In a previous lifetime, I was self-employed and had time to get involved in volunteer work at both Metea and Fox Island, so became quite familiar with the trails. That was 15 years ago. Now it is easy for me to get turned around at either. Not a big deal ordinarily, but when I decide I am done skiing, I am invariably far from the exit and also confused about the shortest route there. At Metea, I found my way back to the car without too much trouble, but at Fox Island I felt compelled to take the long way back to the parking lot, in order to avoid this hill that does not look bad from the bottom but is adrenaline pumping from the top. I usually force myself to go down it, but after last summer's fall, decided not to tempt fate.

Before going out today, I watched a couple of You Tube videos on how to cross country ski, just to pick up some pointers.

My style is more a shuffle than a glide, but otherwise not too bad. Today I worked on gliding more, and now there is a small blister on one toe of my left foot and a larger blister on the heel of my right foot. Must be like golf - if you are doing it right, you get blisters.