Spring Break 2014 – Day 4

Spring Break – Day 4

Weather: mostly sunny. Temperature: nearly 40*

Miles: snowmachine – 29; walker/skier 4+

Dinner Report: Meatloaf (ketchup for Dave and Hannah-gita), mashed potatoes, peas, strawberry jell-o with apricots, and a smoothie

After a morning of house chores, I (Renee) decided to try out the cross-country skis I’d borrowed from Erin Williams (thanks Erin!).  Just as I’d been instructed by Jay, I carefully chunked the blue wax on the bottoms of the skis and smoothed it out with my new cork block. I felt almost professional. This feeling didn’t last long. Next I laid the skis out on the snow and tried to step in just as I’d seen other skiers do. Thus ensued a very frustrating few minutes as I made multiple attempts to get the little latch to clip onto the wire on the toe of the boot. Finally accepting that I was doing something wrong I noticed the lever just above the catch, I flipped it up and what-do-you-know parts and pieces moved! So I spent  many more minutes getting my left toe hooked and latched. And the right foot – oh my goodness! – it is difficult to stay upright when one foot is strapped into a very long skinny board on top of icy snow. Sheesh. You must imagine the flailing and thrashing going on. However, I persevered and eventually got myself clicked in. By this time, I was sweating and tired. I’d already had a major workout and I hadn’t yet taken a single productive step. But my skies were on and I had the poles in hand. I was ready to roll, er, ski!

Giving myself a little push with my poles I promptly shot backward. Not the direction I was expecting. More flailing. I tried again; I gave a little push with my poles and leaned forward, sort of lifting my feet lightly off the ground – success! forward motion. Another push and this time I tried gliding one foot ahead of the other, another push and another slide. Wow, I’d moved 10 feet away from the cabin. I reminded myself perseverance is the key. I skied (I’m using this term loosely) out to the road and awkwardly turned right and shuffled my way up the track toward the airport. It turns out that Thursday is mail day and everyone (and there are a lot of people in town right now) was headed to the mail shack. This means that there are a lot of people who witnessed my very unprofessional attempts to ooch my way up the road. I was really hoping that the camera crew that’s in town filming a reality show was very occupied somewhere far, far away. I made it to my turn around point – approximately 150’ up the road and got turned. Headed back to the cabin there is a slight down grade. I mistakenly thought this would make my life easier. No. I started going too fast, like I approached snail speed. My skies headed in different directions and since I’m no longer that flexible something had to be done quickly. I fell over. Deliberately. Then I tried getting up. Not easy when the icy road slopes downhill. I thought, “Please don’t let anybody come by. Please don’t let anybody come by. Oh shoot, here comes a snowmachine.” For the life of me I could not get myself up until the rider was close enough to get a good look at me. So I smiled and waved as he drove slowly by giving me The Look.

Arriving home, I removed the skies, put them neatly away and changed into my walking boots. I comforted myself with a four mile trek, knowing that I’m good at walking anyway.

While I was having my skiing/walking adventure, Dave and Keith flew up the glacier to locate some ice caves they’re interested in exploring and they flew over to visit Phillip who’s in town for a bit. When I got home from my walk Dave was back and busy replacing the carb boot band on his machine.

After lunch Dave and Hannah-gita took off with Keith, Hannah, Jubal, Tammy, Axel and Caitlin for a run up McCarthy Creek. They made it to the Rock Glacier and played there for a bit. (NOTE for those who know the creek: In January, during the big thaw and rain, McCarthy Creek ran so deep that it flooded the tunnel about 4 feet deep. There are ice chunks up in the woods 15 feet above creek bed level.)

While everyone else was headed up McCarthy Creek, Laurie skied over to our place and we visited for a couple of hours. Laurie’s my skiing hero. She just started skiing a month or so ago and she’s already confident enough to ski from her place to town and back, a good 16 miles! Way to go, Laurie.

Tonight Dave and Hannah are both tired and sore and cheerful. They are happy for the short little trips they’ve been taking every day to get themselves broken in for a longer trip. We’re enjoying ourselves with cups of Russian tea and cocoa, movie making, and book reading. A good ending to a good day.