How badly should we hate the person who brings their dogs on groomed ski trails? How shady are those shades of gray?
I got out on the Magney ski trails here in Duluth on Saturday. Magney is Duluth's wilderness giant, way out on the west side of town in the thick of old growth maple forests. It was mid-late afternoon and only about a degree above zero, so I was just a little anxious to get through the ski soon. The idea did occur to me of wrapping myself around a tree on one of those downhills, breaking my neck and freezing to death. So I took one of the official short cuts, and rather than the glorious full 7K loop I ended up at about 5K.
Right before I got back on the main loop, a very fast skier came down the main loop on a great long downhill. And right behind him was his dog, some mid-size blue-ish dog, bounding along and keeping up with the speedy master.
The trails had been groomed a few days before and there was a light inch of snow on top of the grooming. So a mid-size dog wouldn't break through the crust. I'm not a trail Nazi. I don't snarl at people going the wrong way or even yell at folks two abreast on a double-tracked trail. If I'd had the chance to converse with this guy and his dog, I probably wouldn't have said anything.
Of course, speedy skier lapped me way too soon, along with his dog. It turns out that I know the guy. He's actually a famous Duluth skier and musician and entrepeneur. And he said, right off as he zoomed past "Hey, I'm a lawwbreaker." He explained that he got on the trails thinking they hadn't been groomed.
And the hound wasn't really affecting the trail, right?
But I wished I could have brought our dog along. She would have crashed through the snowcrust and ruined everything.
Dogs don't belong on groomed ski trails. But it was darn cute.