Friday, January 29, 2010

Our Evening Thrills

I've had recent emails asking what Andrew and I are doing about our barefoot running now that we're heavily sedated under a snowy, cold winter blanket up here. The question made me chuckle because while I am proud about being tough enough to actually run barefoot I am the epitome of the word "Whimp" (capital W) when it comes to the discomforts the outdoors have to offer and the idea of running barefoot through the snow like one of Santa's reindeer really cracks me up.

However, once the snow came we happily switched from running to cross country skiing and we're having a grand old time of it.

Andrew and I (and frequently Spencer as well) will grab our gear after dinner and head to the hills. Ten minutes from our house is a little ski resort that, while good for beginning alpine skiers, also happens to have a wonderful tangle of Nordic trails, groomed and lit and perfect for satisfying our "need for skied."

We do a 45 minute loop through the Alaskan spruce and now that I'm getting good enough not to be constantly focusing on not falling and keeping my glide even I've started to notice how darn spooky it is. It's dark (as you see) with light posts here and there lighting our way but it's not uncommon to have a light or two in a row out and skiing in black has a way of giving me the shivers. As I ski along the trail the noise of my skies and poles will sometimes echo off the nearby trees so that I'm convinced there's something big and carnivorous waiting for me to get close enough to eat.

It doesn't help that there have been coyotes spotted on the trails (so I've been told, though I haven't seen any myself) and several times we've ran into moose. One came out of the bushes and started to feed on the branches next to the trail so that I stood there, shouting at it to move but it just looked at me and kept right on munching. Apparently word had reached it about my previous moose encounter and I've lost all my cred so I waited patiently for it to leave.

Eventually it did go away and I was able to get home before hypothermia set in but I can envision rushing downhill at top speed only to have one of those guys belt out from the bushes and dart across the trail and I can imagine exactly what it would do to my body should collision occur. I don't think it would improve things any.

But that hasn't stopped us skiing and we are having a great time. I noticed a couple weeks ago that I actually am beginning to develop arm muscles. Who would have thought?

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9 comments:

Serena said...

That sounds like fun! Except for the possible coyotes, the nasty things. It's very pretty, but I totally get the creepiness.

Michele said...

Wow, good for you! I am a WIMP when it comes to going outside in the cold, let alone in the dark, cold!

Nicki said...

Oooh! I totally second Serena's comments....fun, scary, and beautiful all at once!

tonyastaab.com said...

It does look absolutely beautiful out there with the lights shining over the snow and trees. I don't know that I'd be as brave as you. I get a little freaked just walking down the street to the mailbox in the dark because of the coyotes in my area. But, I am a wimp :)

Kelly @ Love Well said...

I've always wanted to learn -- really learn -- to cross-country ski, for all the reasons you listed. (Except for the carnivorous animals. But you know what I mean.) It sounds relaxing and peaceful -- and like a good workout.

Daisy said...

Wonderful. I envy you. I skiid cross country when we were newlyweds -- really enjoyed it. We lived in a resort area that pretty much rolled up the sidewalks in the winter; there wasn't much else to do!

Lori said...

And no threat of goose poop on your feet! It looks amazing.

Susan said...

Are you referring to Hillside Ski area? I had a friend whose car was broken into so they could steal her purse, which was under the seat. I'm sure you've heard the stories. Be careful! And enjoy the skiing. brings back memories of when we lived near Kincaid Park back in the 90's.

Beverlydru said...

This is one of the reasons I love blogs... a glimpse into the lives of people who live much differently. I am a top notch water skier but have never ever snow skied. Imagine that!