Thursday, February 12, 2015
The only thing that would have made this a better day was a little more sunshine, but we are not complaining. The sun did shine for about an hour this morning. We are happily reclining after a hot shower and almost four hours of cross country skiing at the Viking Nordic Centre near Londonderry, Vermont. This area received about three feet of snow in the past ten days; so, the trails had a terrific base and were groomed just before we headed out at ten this morning. It was snowing pretty steadily for about half of our skiing; so, a fluffy top layer covered everything.
We skied more than twelve kilometres in two hours this morning. Within ten minutes of starting I darted off to the left on Helga’s Way with Brian calling after me that he did not think this was a good idea. Brian had noticed, and I had not, that this was a black trail, the most difficult. Once committed we kept going and I slowed so Brian could lead the way down a steep multi-curved hill. Brian keeled over part way down to avoid missing the next big turn. I sailed past then dropped into the snow rather than do battle with the very large pine in the next curve. Happily we were without injuries and finished the rest of the black trail without more spills. After this we avoided the black trails. The blue ones were challenging enough. We are certain that we climbed more than we descended.
We took a break at noon. We changed our upper layers and left things hanging around the wood stove in the warming hut. We drove a few miles to the Maple Leaf diner where we ordered a cheeseburger with fries for Brian and burger and onion rings for me. We could easily have split a burger and only had fries or onion rings, not both. All portions were enormous. Brian did the manly thing and finished my burger for me.
We returned for another hour and three quarters. We completed just over eight kilometres. I think we were weighted down by food and we are sure we went almost continuously upward. The downhills always felt shorter. According to Brian’s GPS we climbed about three hundred feet. We think the GPS was defective. It felt more like a thousand feet of difference in elevation.
We passed a huge red barn-like building with outbuildings which had been converted into condos in the seventies. They look out over a wide river valley. Today the river was heavily blanketed in snow and looked more like a field than a river. We enjoyed skiing through a pine forest and mixed forest of huge hemlocks, birches, maples and beech trees still sporting their bronze leaf dresses. We had the trails pretty much to ourselves. They are busier on weekends.
With tomorrow’s forecast of temperatures of -25C without counting wind chill, we may decide to head south to Shawn’s sooner rather than ski again. We are pleased that the Blue Gentian has a hot tub and it will be toasty for our use after tonight’s supper.