It's definitely winter here, and the skiing is great!
The kids have been skiing right here at home on their home-made ski-jumps in the back yard, but I wanted to venture out onto trails.
So we went to the Nature Center, even though I did not have to work today -- just getting to enjoy an outing with my kids. (I admit, I did work a little bit while the kids had a snack after skiing -- can't help it!)
The trails are freshly groomed and PERFECT!!! We got about 5 inches of new snow on my birthday, making for perfect cross-country conditions. Temps were in the mid 20's (Fahrenheit), which is pleasant enough.
It's less than 2 weeks until Thanksgiving when we'll be skiing into the cabin, and I wanted to make sure everybody has ski gear that fits, which is never a given with ever-growing children. And sure enough, youngest had outgrown her boots and been conveniently slipping into mine (with an extra pair of socks) this past week...so that leaves me with ??? It turns out I fit into son's boots from when he was in 7th grade -- perfect, EXCEPT those bindings don't fit MY skiis. Aaargh, and both kids need longer skis, too. (On the trail today, we actually switched skis around, and at one point I ended up on the shortest ones!)
There are lots of outgrown skis in the garage, some still with the old 3-pin bindings... but the boots are the biggest bottleneck! Looks like we'll be heading into Anchorage this week for some shopping: there's REI, of course, and a used-sports-equipment store called "Play it Again Sports". We missed the ski swaps this year!
I had borrowed a pair of skis to fit the boots-of-the-day, and off we went. We wished the pater familias could have joined us, but his back was bothering him. So the 3 of us went and enjoyed some Winter Wonderland along the historic Iditarod Trail that passes right through the Nature Center. Our favorite trail, the Albert Loop, is still closed. Amazingly enough, there is still bear activity: grizzly tracks were reported again today. This is very late for them to be staying up (way past their normal time for going into dormancy) -- but until recently there were still a few salmon left in the creeks. And as long as there's food, why go to bed?