Day 144

I used to downhill ski.  I wasn’t very good at it. I fell a lot, I don’t like heights, and yes, my butt was always freezing.

Now, I cross-country ski.

After brushing off the skis for my outing with Pam, I was ready for something more adventurous, and so we packed the family off to Mountain Creek for a long weekend. It’s close by, so we were able to load up the car, drive north for a little more than an hour, strap on our skis, and be deep in the woods at High Point State Park less than two hours later.

After fifteen minutes of trudging along with first-timers and finding our stride, Frank and I snowplowed down a long smooth slope and found ourselves deep in a white and green glade under a canopy of fragrant evergreens.

As we entered the outer loop of our course we turned right instead of left — verging off the beaten path and going uphill until we reached the end of the groomed trails.

Stop! the signs said. You’ve reached the end of the patrolled area.

To our right, was a long uphill. To our left, a slope that led to a little footbridge over a frozen stream.

We went left.

Actually, Frank went left. I stayed at the top of the hill and watched to make sure he made it over the frozen stream without falling off the bridge. Then I inched my way down glided across the bridge, and we began an uphill ascent.

At the top of the trail we were rewarded with a remarkable view of a ridge across the ravine, and a narrow path through the woods where we saw not a single soul.

The next day, Frank went downhill skiing while I braved the little bridge, the slippery slope, and the high ridge alone. It was pretty glorious.  If you have cross-country skis, I hope you’ll take them out before the snow melts!

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