Tuesday, January 26, 2016

A Perfect Winter's Day

Last Thursday was the snowiest winter day so far, reflected in my pictures of yesterday, but Saturday was the perfect winter's day.  It was about -10°C, with bright sun and blue skies, and the snow conditions were excellent for skiing - crisp and fast.

I headed over to the Glenelg trails, which are the best groomed and trackset trails around here, all managed by volunteers.  I join there every year, and try to get out several times.

I passed the little shed in the woods that seems to be a sugar shack for these landowners, and checked out the map (these trails post excellent maps).  I've skiid here in past years so I know these trails well.  The lantern was for a moonlit ski later that evening.  Perfect conditions, but I don't know if they got the full moon.

These trails are relatively flat, mostly through the woods, and they're among my favourite.  The afternoon sun was casting shadows across the trail in the woods.  I skiid alone again, so I could take my camera and stop as often as I wanted to take pictures.  I did run into other people on the trails though.

I like this point where the trails come out to the edge of a large farm field, and there's a row of big old maples along the fenceline.  Today they were casting strong shadows.

Twice I crossed a main snowmobile trail run by the Klondyke Trail Groomers.  Snowmobiles come very fast after you first here them though, so it's really up to the skier to watch out for the snowmobiler.  Both are popular winter activities around here.

Sure enough, these riders flashed past me, but I had heard them and was standing waiting.  I doubt if they even saw me.  But the snowmobile and xc ski groups get along well and I'm not aware of any conflicts.  I figure any activity which gets people outdoors in January is good!

This is the actual snowmobile trail, a groomed trail about 10' wide.  You need to be a member to ride these trails.  The club has negotiated miles and miles of trails in this area, many of which cross private land, with handshake agreements.

After they passed I made my way to the start of the 'Long Piney Woods Trail'.  It's a straight run through a pine plantation that ends up going gently downhill.

 You can look a long way ahead, and I love the long run downhill.  (It's climbing up hills on the trails that gets me!)

 And you can look a long way back to see where you've come from.  After not being allowed to ski much last year after my heart surgery, I was really glad to get out on the trails again this year!  That's four times so far.

There's also a Short Piney Woods Trail, just in case you're interested.

I skiid around a couple of these loops twice, and after a  beautiful hour and a half headed out, past the beehives closed for the winter, and home.  I said to my wife that this might have been the best day of the whole winter - I hope not, but it certainly can't get better than this day was!

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  1. Boy, am I jealous. Although areas south and east of us got between two and three feet of snow on Saturday, we received about 1/2 inch and to the north, where the best skiing is usually found, there was none.

  2. I was going to say what a peaceful activity, until I saw the snow mobiles! lol Would love to be out doing that!

  3. It looks like an ideal area for cross country.

  4. If I have be there in the winter those are the kind of days I enjoy.

  5. You just reminded me of many wonderful days like this on my cross country skis in Colorado. I love that picture of the gentle downhill run; it took me back and made me wish I could do it again. The snow here in the Pacific Northwest tends more towards concrete than powder, and I'm older now and use snowshoes more often. :-)

  6. Looks like it was a perfect day for skiing!

  7. That third to the last photo is mesmerizing. What a puzzle of a path.

  8. Truly gorgeous. Like you said, it was a perfect winter day... Glad you enjoyed your day! LOVE the snow against that blue sky. WOW.

  9. More beautiful pictures. I LOVE those winter sunny days!!!

  10. Looks like a lovely fun trail and area . Wonderful photos. I bet after all that fresh air and exercise it was nap time , would be for me lol ! Thanks for sharing , Have a good day !