Backyard Skiing

| 12/31/2009 11:33:13 AM

Robyn has some snow in her yard

Robyn DolanWhile I sit watching the snow fall, I can’t help contemplating the last snowstorm. Near zero temps and 2 feet of snow provided a base for snow play that lasted nearly 2 weeks here in Northern Arizona.

Whereas last time my chainsaw needed parts, I had already gone through all my cut wood, and my woodstove glass was broken, this time I am sitting in front of a toasty fire with a sizeable stack of wood nearby and more outside. We are stocked up with popcorn and cocoa and have hot and cold water running through heat-taped pipes. (It’s the little things.)

With all that snow on the ground for so long, I was inspired by the cross-country skiers I spied in Flagstaff when we were snowed in there. When we got home, I discovered a frozen pipe and drove to the next town for parts. Back home again, I went into the storage shed for some insulation, and, lo and behold, there were my old downhill skis. Not just mine but also my grown childrens’ old skis, and sure enough we found a pair with boots that fit my 6-year-old son.

6-yea-old son on skis

Now, I am a convert to cross-country skiing, having first learned downhill by being taken to the top of the steepest run and left to make my way down as best I could. Ha, ha. I enjoyed many years of downhill on more sensible slopes after that. My first experience with cross-country skiing came on a ski trip in Yosemite National Park (on real cross country skis). The first day was all uphill. I can’t seem to learn anything the easy way. After that trip my downhill skis entered their second life as semi-cross-country skis. By leaving the boots unbuckled, one can achieve a fair semblance of cross country skiing. And by the way, did I mention you can also avoid paying those outrageous prices for lift tickets? I enjoyed several FREE days in the woods with my semi-cross-country skis, a thermos of hot soup, and a thermos of hot cocoa.

Robyn Dolan
6/4/2011 10:13:23 AM

Reg, glad I could offer encouragement! The thing I like about x-country is you can go SLOW. You don't have to worry about sliding down the hill out of control (unless you're on a hill...). Good luck;)

Reg Klubeck
6/3/2011 3:39:53 PM

Congratulations! I not only live in the "snowbelt" region of Michigan, I work at a ski resort... and I don't ski! Had bad experiences trying to X-country in high school, and saw too many friends injured in downhill (my high school had the state champion ski team for YEARS). You've encouraged me to give X-country a try again this year. Thanks! Good skiing in Arizona. ;.) Reg Klubeck, Cadillac, MI

Robyn Dolan
1/16/2010 8:27:07 AM

Dave, Haven't gone sledding in sooo long. That will be next. Found a screaming deal on 2 pairs of cross country skis at a thrift shop a couple weeks ago. Looking forward to the incoming storms to try them out. And will definitely be finding a piece of tin and a nice hill for some sledding. We enjoy the snow, but not those subzero temps. Dunno how you all do it there in the north and midwest.

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