Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Ach! The tragedy! Der Pisten-Bully ist kaput

The groomers at the city of Duluth have been doing a great job turning "luge run" trails, frozen over by time, rain, and 30-below nights, into reasonable ski trails again with their deep-tilling groomer. But, according to the ski trail hotline (218-730-4321), the groomer is broken. Badly. It won't be back out for a while.

Which gets me thinking. How important is this technology to my pristine outdoor experience? Not only do I drive my high-tech car miles to the trailhead, but I really like the trails that have been run over first by the even higher-tech groomer.

Back in the day, when I was working up in Ely at Camp Widjiwagan and skiing on the trails out the back door, it was a huge deal to go out and snowshoe the trails after a big snow, then ski them afterward to set the track. But mostly they all got skied in. "Skier-groomed" is the term, I think. Then I discovered the thrill of groomed trails and nearly never looked back. My kids have learned on groomed trails and hardly know what to do with themselves without an even set track.

Well, yeah, it was nice. But City of Duluth groomers, get that part or whatever it is you need quick, okay?

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