Thursday, January 12, 2012

XC skiing - first of the season!

It seems ridiculous that I should have to use that title in the middle of January. But so it goes.

A long overdue snowfall blanketed the green grass overnight, and though it was only about 4", there are places nearby where that makes skiing possible, especially when there is pent-up demand. I'm fortunate to live within 5 minutes of Schenectady Municipal Golf Course, a rolling layout very popular with golfers in summer and XC skiers in winter. We often ski there at night, either by moonlight or by the glow of the city-lit clouds above. With their short-trimmed grass, golf courses are the ideal place to get out skiing with minimal snow.

The snow was heavy and wet, a fact that made for much better skiing with only that shallow depth. It compacted firmly, and prevented breaking through all the way to the grass below. Several other skiers were out on the course, and I mostly skied in their tracks, but occasionally made my own. I did about a 2-mile loop, with a few rolling hills. That was enough for the first use of these muscles this season, especially after having already done my now-daily 7-8 miles on the bike trainer earlier in the morning.

It looks like another mixed bag of winter stuff tomorrow, so it's hard to know what will be left to ski on after that. With the non-winter we've had so far, it's good to grab this sort of opportunity when it presents itself, especially when it's so close to home.

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