It has been a very nice week for weather after getting dumped on just previously. We had lots of snow with another foot or more coming tomorrow.
There was a beautiful sunrise a couple of mornings ago and even though I only had a cell phone I wanted to at least capture the colors in low light. Not great shots, but you get the idea. Of course the opportunities only last a few minutes.
Yesterday I finally got out skiing for the first time this season. I went to my favorite place and realized that as a U.S. Forest Service trail, it had not been groomed since the federal shutdown (more thanks to the brain-damaged baboon in the White House). It had mostly been used by dog walkers and snowshoers, but was barely passable for that. Given the two foot (60cm) base, packed hard but unevenly, was not a good bet for a first time out for an old guy with non-original knees. I tried, but didn’t get far realizing it wasn’t going to be worth the effort. So I got back in the truck and headed down the hill to Pincushion (North Superior Ski and Run Club) to use those trails.
The Pincushion Trails were beautifully groomed and there were only a handful of people using them at the time so it seemed like a good thing. They are a little challenging, though, even the easy trails. Given that it was just above freezing the trails were very fast and a little icy. Being partly in and partly out of the direct sun made them a little tricky as far as speed and control. To make a long story short(er), I was not entirely in control of my speed and balance and wiped out no less than 4 times, maybe more. It is all a blur now. Most of them were at speed going downhill. I was able to successfully snowplow a few times, but otherwise I would get a ski slightly out of position and crash before I even got to the bottom. The only thing that had any residual effect is a shoulder that aches a little if I move it a certain way. I had intended to add a short flatter loop at the end, but was slightly discouraged at that point and decided to call it a day.
From the parking lot.
It was a beautiful day, though, and I took my cell phone in order to take a few shots of the surroundings (or call for help, assuming I was still conscious). It was good to be outside again. Next time I will just do the flat loops until I get my legs and confidence back. Maybe next weekend if the weather is nice.