Sunday, November 25, 2012

Winter Funning

I got back late last night from West Yellowstone, Montana, for Sam's opening races and the now family tradition of spending the Thanksgiving holiday in a little place outside of the town. This year was a contrast to last, in that there was hardly enough snow to host the race. "The Plateau," a bit higher than town, had just enough for a 9k distance race and a 1.5k prologue. Knowing that there wasn't much snow, I didn't even bring skis, but instead did a lot of relaxing and book reading.

While winter isn't my favorite season, it was hard to get into the holiday and ski racing spirit without a good cover of the white stuff. I was excited to see snow blanketing everything when I finally reached Mazama, then more excited when I awoke to perfectly clear skies: time for some fun in the snow. 

Aptly named Early Winters Creek
After all the driving yesterday, I just went up the highway to the trail that heads up to Cedar Creek, with the plan of heading up toward Mud Hole Lake. I love the trail when there isn't snow on the ground, as you get up high pretty quickly, and there are beautiful vistas along the way. For some reason I didn't think there would be enough snow to necessitate snowshoes: how silly. I didn't want to go back, though, and since I don't have any races planned until spring, it was a perfect workout: good muscular effort (especially for my hip flexors), sun, fluffy snow, and, of course, a very happy winterphilic dog. It sure feels like winter is here, and this year feels different for me. Once the trails are groomed, I just may turn into a skier...
Nikki's been waiting since April for the return of her favorite substance
Looking back toward Mazama and Goat Peak
She loves it when I make her pose with me
Looking West (Delancey Ridge I think?)

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