Tag Archives: Cross Country Skiing

Sunday, 27-Jan-2019 – Cross Country Skiing at Pocket Creek, on Mt. Hood!


Sunday, 27-Jan-2019

Pocket Creek trail.

Mount Hood.


United States of America.

This day and location shall live on in legend, as the first day that Ben and Sarah put on skiis after breaking their respective knees. The first time that they, either individually or together, faced the fear of re-injury and got back into something similar to a saddle. The first time, since each suffered through healing and recovery, that Sarah and Ben skiied up a mountain.

I mean, it’s sort of a mountain, right?

Okay, fine, we weren’t ON Mt. Hood. We were across the road, in the Mt. Hood national park. In a small, lightly graded snowpark.

Know what? Being safe is important, and discretion is the better part of valor, and live to fight another day, and fifteen different other idioms that mean we made a good decision and were safe, and had a great time with excellent views. And, just as important, the trail was dog friendly (but not snowmobile friendly), so Ollie could come along too, and help pull us up the steep bits.

We drove out, geared up, and headed in. Sarah had her alpine touring kit, complete with skins, and I had my cross country kit – complete with gifted skiis, consignment boots, and hiking poles. I’m still scared of skiing, okay? I don’t want to buy a nice kit before being confident that I’d be willing to ski again.  Both options worked, too!  Sarah’s was a bit more efficient, especially on the downhill parts (I took off my skiis and walked, after my first attempt as downhill cross country ended in white-knuckled terror), but both our setups were pleasant and carried us through.

There really isn’t that much more to say, to be honest.  It was fun, and we had a good time.  Look at the pretty pictures!

09-Feb-13 – New England blizzard/storm NEMO!


Saturday, 09-Feb


I’d been hearing all week about how horrible this storm was going to be. Every news outlet said that we’d be buried, and there was literally no milk to be found in any store. Eggs were gone, bread stored up. It was a bit ridiculous.

I didn’t believe it. The storm started on a Friday, and I had actually biked to and from work that day, running into nearly no trouble in either direction. It was actually a bit easier than normal, to be honest, thanks to the complete lack of traffic on the roads.

So when I woke up on Saturday, I wasn’t expecting too much snow to shovel. A quick look out my window seemed to confirm my thoughts, but I figured that I should do a quick check out the front door… you know, just to be certain.

And when I opened the door, I looked at a wall of snow.

Ok, not literally a wall, but it did come up to nearly waist height. It was a low-wall of snow. Marybe a cattle-fence-level high wall.

But either way, it meant a ton of shoveling had to be done. So I ate a light but hearty breakfast, clad myself in the armor of a New Englander (basically pure arrogance covered by a few layers of waterproof gear) and set in motion clearing the front.

I didn’t stop moving for nearly two hours, flinging the semi-sticky snow into massive piled on our front yard. I pressed forward until I’d cleared everything but the cars and the driveway around them, only stopping once to get a slightly better shovel from the back shed.

With my work for the day complete, I ate a quick second breakfast (it was barely after noon by this point) and went about getting ready for some snow-based adventures. Foremost of them was an event being held in Davis Square – an impromptu snowman making event.

When I arrived at Davis, on cross country skiis borrowed from Marla, I was met with dozens of people making some of the most intricate snowmen I’ve ever seen.

Truth be told there were only a few snow”men”, the snow not being very useful for pacing. Instead, there were tons of huge sculptures that had been carved from the fallen powder, ranging from octopi to hindu gods stretched out on the ground. There was even one section, where a drift had piled the snow high, where people had built an igloo city made up of nearly a dozen domes, all connected by small carved paths.

Overall though, my favorite sculpture was one made by nature herself (the real nature, not some hippy girl). It was simply a statue in someones garden, but the snow blanketing it was so perfectly arranged that it had the feel of some old and weary traveler making his way through a storm. (Ed Note: Shush. Ben’s allowed to be poetic sometimes)

Personally, I teamed up with a girl I’d met to decorate a trio of stone statues. Instead of covering them up, we used big hunks of ice from the pavement to graft wings onto their backs, transforming three dancers into three angels. It wasn’t fancy, but I was quite pleased with myself when it was done.

Once my work in Davis was done I pulled the skiis out of the snowbank and moved onward, deciding to do some exploring around Alewife and into the small paths nearby.

I only spent about an hour exploring the area, to be honest, but it was quite an adventure in that short time – the snow around Davis had been well packed down, but around Alewife no one had been through yet and I was laying down first tracks in nearly three feet of powder. Having Marla’s skiis helped a bit, since she’s a bit taller than me, but even so I had a bear of a time breaking through the untouched trailed. I had a blast.