After many days of praying to the snow gods, we learned of a few ski areas grooming their nordic trails. Karyn and I headed out Sunday morning to Sun Valley in search of the white stuff. Driving up the Wood River valley, the bare mountains were a little discouraging. With each turn we would see a little more snow, primarily on the North facing slopes. Then a little more. Still concerned we arrived at a place called Prairie Creek to look out over the trail and see beautiful smooth grooming and full coverage. It was time to ski!
We strapped on the "rock" skis and headed up the trail. The excitement of the first ski day, the beautiful outdoors, and the excellent track all contributed to the experience resulting in some awesome skiing. Surprisingly, my form was great. Definitely not typical of the first ski day of the season. I also felt great. It seemed like I was flying up the trail. What a blast!
My destination was 12 kilometers up the valley past Galena lodge and up the North Wood river trail. I felt great the whole way there. The trail was fully covered and in great shape. At the turn around, I could start to feel the fatigue. About half way back to the van, I could tell that the fatigue was really settling in. The usual symptoms were present - dragging the ski on the snow, not as much follow through, shoulders roll forward, balance degrades, etc. Skate skiing, like most finesse sports, is more difficult when you get tired. When you get fatigued, your form degrades, which makes it more difficult to propel forward, which makes you more fatigued. I slogged through the last few kilometers to finish hungry, tired, but in a good mood (at least after I ate some food). What a day!
After eating lunch, the calories from the food and the endorphins from the effort combined to put us in a lazy melancholy mood for the rest of the day. It was a good afternoon for reading a book.
For the second day, it was back to Prairie Creek. The day didn't start out quite as positive. Tired and sore from yesterday, it was a slow start, middle and finish. It was still great to be out there. We returned home for a few days rest before hitting the trails on the next trip.