After Meeting today the 'Marmadoofus' and I took a long, exploratory cross-country ski trip on the ridgeline above my house. I really wish my camera was in working order right now because the scenery was incredible and I would like to have shared it. It was the first day of leisure that I have taken for a long time.
It was my guess that the main trail would at least be packed down by snowmobile traffic, but no. It was unbroken since the last eighteen inches of snow had fallen, except for a lone set of snowshoe tracks zigzagging around and disappearing into the woods. The snow was packed down enough under the tracks to let the skis slide easily but one had to stay alert enough to keep the skis in their place because the packed trail was so narrow (try doing back country skiing some time in deep, ungroomed powder and you will know exactly why it is better to have a packed trail). It looked like the person who made my trip easier and more interesting knew the woods well and had a preference for the older-style snowshoes, which were a little over three feet long and made of stretched rawhide on a wood frame. They also apparently used ski poles and stopped frequently to admire the scenery. It is amazing what you can learn about someone when you observe their footprints.
I am glad I decided to follow the snowshoe prints because they led me onto some beautiful woodland side trails which I never knew existed before due to their entrances being obscured by trees. This will come in handy when I am hiking in warm weather again!
The wood stove kept the shack cozy & warm and it nicely warmed the bowl of soup I left on it for my arrival back home. After heating up my insides we visited the roomies over in the trailer, watched a bit of the Super Bowl (only to discover that I still have no taste for competitive sports viewing), I only stayed for the first minute of the halftime show because Bruce Springstein seemed to be drunk or on something and I don't really like his music anyway. After soaking in the tub for an hour I find myself sleepily writing this post out of a slight pang of guilt because I don't write much any more and some of my friends in distant places only keep up with my doings on this blog. This slice of New England winter was for you guys. Jen and Jeanette, you are evil for moving to Hawaii and I am insanely jealous :-P.
I gotta go grab a few armloads of wood from the shed and then catch up on some sleep debt. I love the skiing but here's hoping March and mud season will be here soon.