Monday, January 28, 2008

Thank goodness for Sheila

I'm still cold but I spent the better part of the weekend embracing the weather instead of fighting it. We took the kids sledding on Sunday. My friend Sheila is a class-A rounder-upper and event planner and she put together a cross-country ski outing on Saturday. I hauled out the skis that I haven't used since my childfree days (they still fit! yeehaw) and we spent the afternoon gliding through a nature preserve. As we were setting out on the trail a fresh-mouthed 8-year-old asked me if I had ever been on skis before. I refrained from answering "Yeah, before you were born, ya little twerp" or from otherwise letting her comment crush my groove.

My best/worst ski outing (I'm still talking about cross-country here -- all of my downhill outings have been "worst." I am not cut out for that), mentioned briefly here, was in Moosehead Lake, Maine. The lodge we stayed at had yurt-to-yurt trails so the idea was, you ski around all day and then sleep in a yurt at night (your belongings having been magically transported there by snowmobile, about which more later). I soon learned that a canvas tent, even one equipped with a wood-burning stove, was not really ideal for a February night in Maine.

The trails, however, were amazing and so was the people-watching in the lodge. Snowy trails attract two diametrically opposed groups: the cross-country skiers and the snowmobilers. The skiers wear natural fibers (corduroy knickers and knee-high wool socks: hot!), eat granola, and probably listen to NPR. The snowmobilers wear space-age synthetics in space-age colors and I'm guessing they like the country music. Seeing these two groups mix (or at least occupy the same room) is a fascinating character study.


Segue on the word "character": my lovely cousin's mother-in-law just died. Doesn't she sound like a remarkable person? I'd never met her, and really hadn't known much about her (Ozarkian jigs! Fishing! B29 bombers!). I'm sorry I'll never get the chance now.

Photo from the Utah Ski Archives via


mothergoosemouse said...

I really want to try cross-country skiing here. I love downhill despite my lack of skill, but I think cross-country would be beautiful (and perhaps less pricey).

Next winter, I suppose!

Mayberry said...

It's way cheaper -- I paid $3 for trail fees! (on the honor system, to boot.) I could do it in the park across the street from my house for free.

Wait, that sounded dirty.

Lady M said...

Good for you, getting outside in the weather.

My most memorable experience was skiing through the woods in the evening with a friend in middle school. It was getting late, so her mom sent the (HUGE) dogs after us to pull us home. :)

Magpie said...

I'm not much on skiing, but your post made it sound fun. As did that charming photo!

Angela said...

Lucky you, I wish I had a Sheila in my life who would plan great events. Cross country skiing, did it a few times pre-kids, it's a great sport, My kids and husband love downhill skiing, I'm usually skiing with them,but scared most of the time, afraid I'll break a leg or a hip.

nonlineargirl said...

I love cross country skiing (and I am a weather wimp who has cold toes all winter).