Wednesday, November 30, 2016

XC Skiing Extraordinaire in November!

First day skiing (for me) this year:  sunset on Nov. 23 with Mt. Iliamna in the distance

There was snow last year, but it was unpredictable and I never knew where or when the conditions were good. When my son joined the ski team this year I was excited because I would get daily eyewitness reports of the snow conditions. The ski team has already been skiing for nearly 3 weeks now (amazing!), but I finally got out the day before Thanksgiving, motivated by company that loves to ski.

The conditions at Lookout Trails were great on Wednesday and Thursday--hard packed and fast, despite spots with bits of brush showing through. Quite a joy.  Friday there were 4-5 inches of fresh snow and it hadn't settled yet so the trails were softer so I opted to classic in the well-set tracks.  Moose tracks abounded, and there was even one bear scat on the freshly groomed trail!

Same view the next day--Thanksgiving!!
Both Mt. Illiamna and Mt. Redoubt (both active volcanos) are visible across Cook Inlet

It was magical to be out skiing this early, on good trail, in awesome weather:  calm, 20's and clear. I skiied more this past weekend than I have in the past 2 plus years combined.  Every day for the past week I keep looking outside thinking, "It looks like winter!!! I'm so excited! It's cold! Love it!!" You'd think I'd just take it in stride, but 2 years of seeing my green lawn all winter lawn made me afraid I was never going to see a "real winter" again. While there are advantages to a snow-less winter, less snow usually means more ice (borderline temperatures). So for this week, I am reveling in our snowy, ice-free road!

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