Monday, December 22, 2008

The importance of good grooming, revisited

Yes, it snowed a bunch...BUT ARE THE TRAILS GROOMED? We skiers, we want the snow, but then we also REALLY want the grooming machines to get out there and smash that snow down into neat lines and perfect tracks.

Yesterday being Sunday, I was pretty sure that the city groomers had not gone into work on their day off just to groom all this perfect snow. Still, I drove to the Lester Park ski trails, just inland from Lake Superior and Brighton Beach.

The lowest loop at Lester is the least used, but it has great access from from Occidental Boulevard just above Superior Street. This lowest loop also has by far the best pine trees and spruce trees. Plenty of snow, but the only tracks on the ski trail were from what appeared to be two skiers and their sled/pulks.

I'm so accustomed to skiing on groomed trails, it took me a moment or two to lay off my expectations and enjoy skiing as it always used to be for me: snowy, slow, with skis too narrow and waffling from side to side. But, wow, what a wonderful winter wonderland. And my adductor muscles were still sore from my first outing 2-3 days before.

So is it important that the trail was groomed? No, not at all. Did I have the ski experience I'd hoped for? No, but I had a better experience: snow, woods, pine trees, quiet, old memories not soured by newer experience.

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