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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Skiing in the Dark

My day started at 5:45 driving up to the lower Sour Dough, near the Mountain Research Station. Let's go skiing before work and so off we went in the pre-dawn. I get up this early anyway, now its just more focused and I get my exercise in. Our lead crazy skied off into the dark and I shuffled along for 45 minutes, slightly uphill the whole way. My skis are waxless so going uphill takes a zillion little baby steps - otherwise I slide backwards and have to use my poles to push myself up - my technique is pretty rudimentary.

I've been too cheap to buy a real head lamp, so I've got this flashlight thingy that goes on the brim of a hat. With the snow reflecting the light, I can see about 15 feet really well - but it is a bit nerve racking to be in the middle of the woods, by oneself, no dog as protector, hoping no mountain lion is hungry. So I sang Christmas carols - loudly.

The leads went about 2 - 3 miles in, I have no idea how far I went, maybe a little over a mile and turned around when they came back down the trail. By now it was light out so careening downhill and huffing uphill was a bit easier with being able to see the rocks and tree roots. Complete trip was about an hour.

If someone had told me a month ago that I would have the lungs to x-ctry ski for an hour I would have laughed. Now I'm wondering what I'm going to do for exercise while we're in North Carolina starting tomorrow... Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Between the storms

golden light glitters ~~ in the meadow snow devils spin  ~~ welcome back dear sun

Coyotes howling ~~ yipping hello? in night's air ~~ we found each other!

Monday, December 07, 2009

5 degrees and falling

flat shadowless world ~~  snowy fields fade into grey ~~ I can't see a thing

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Motorcycling and Skiing

They seem like opposites. In normal circumstances, the conditions that make for great motorcycling, mean there's no snow for skiing. And when there's awesome skiing, you'll probably not want to be on the road with a motorcycle, unless you have spikes or studs in the tires.

Yet, there I was yesterday cross-country skiing a very nice trail - the upper Sour Dough near Brainard Lake -  sliding up and down hills contemplating how riding a motorcycle and xtry-skiing have similarities. What was it that felt familiar? Tiny baby step stomps to ascend small hills? The thrill of sliding downhill in my best knee-knocking snowplow? 

And then it dawned on me. It is more than just the ability to balance, it is an awareness of how subtle changes in one's body position and limbs changes the balance one is in. The gee-whiz word for this is proprioception.

For example, when I felt the right side of body start to flail and lean outward, I knew to pull my arm back to my body which settled my imbalance right down. And re-learning to turn, which while different than learning to counter-steer a motorcycle, was similar in that the opposite of what you thought is what you do. To go right while skiing you lean on the inner edge of your left ski... to turn curve right on a motorcycle, you push on your right-hand handlebar).

So I guess riding all summer on dirt and jeep roads, learning to let my motorcycle squirrel beneath me has helped me learn to ski!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

I lowered my standards...

And had a great time! Skiing that is.

This fall we've been lucky enough to have a few really good snowfalls. However, each time it snowed I had been out of town and by the time I would get back, the snow would be 'old'. My snow efficiendo friends would say that today the snow really really was not worth skiing on; most of it had melted, what was left was stomped on, crusty, and icy, and at 50F it would be like thick mash potatoes and stick to the bottom of one's skis. Yep. I went anyway.

Its a forested area near where I live which is fairly flat and heavily wooded, so my thinking was I would ski deep in the trees on the north side of the slope.    I get there are there's one couple leaving - awesome! I walk down the trail and realize the trails are mostly mud with a little snow. OK, off trail I go. 

And it was fun! The 2 inches of base meant being watchful for tree roots and such so as I slowly made my way through the brush and over tree fall, I mentally calculated the impact that a ski has on the terrain below (about .6 kg/cm2). A few moments of gliding but mostly I was winding my way along and the trek became a game to find a continuous path snow-covered path through the trees. 

A new rule also came into play - avoid open areas with lots of sun - because indeed the snow stuck to my skis with a vengeance.  And the sudden stops and slow downs were just part of the challenge. Today slow was good as I was figuring out how to weight my edges and snowplow.

On the way home I popped into Mud Lake - the snow was just as bad - so I walked in and clicked my favorite sculpture and afternoon light on the pond.

And so I have happily lowered my standards about snow conditions and looking forward to more fun skiing this season! Now I just need to re-learn how to turn and to stop :)


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

Thanksgiving is ... a day ... to share, to remember, to be with loved ones, to reconnect.

Thanksgiving Tweets: http://twitter.com/#search?q=%23iamthankfulfor

Sunday, November 08, 2009

East Coast Wx

early light dances ::  sun rises above the haze :: red-brown leaves shimmer

Thursday, October 01, 2009

vivid yellows

the leaves smelling old ~
sharp winds rustle the edges ~
earth begins a long sleep.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Fall colors 2009

Early Saturday morning. I should be asleep. But something gets me up - not the cat asking for food. I decide to get my Craig's list posting ready. I need a pic of my beloved Ariel.  I get dressed, pull on a sweatshirt and go downstairs to uncover my girl. 

The lighting is all wrong. Now that its not summer, the sun is lighting her hind end - not exactly the most flattering angle on any fem. I take a pic 

and then start her up. mmm, the battery is a little low, guess we need to go for a ride.

And thus starts a photo shoot, lead peeping series of rides.

Careful, if you are sensitive, these scooter pics might be too much. I warned you :)

OK, which is your favorite?

Then I found a Forest Service road that  led somewhere unknown...

I rush home. Everyone on the road is in a good mood and we wave. I roust my DH from bed - YOU MUST SEE THESE TREES - THEY ARE AMAZING!!! Half hour later we are on the road...

The traffic is getting thick

A lemonade stand! Along Peak to Peak!

We go back out today for some backroad investigation

dang, the wind knocked down some leaves

The grasses have taken on a subtle shade of tan-brown

uh oh, clouds 

staying hydrated in the wind

We ride to Rollinsville and Tolland Road. The leaves are not totally changed

but some are

More at: http://www.terraunbound.com/Scooters-scootering-scooter/But-they-are-THIS-YEARS-colors/

Stay tuned

About Me

Join me in my adventures as I learn to ride a scooter and experience the world through two wheeled transport.