Sunday, March 05, 2006

Backyard backcountry

Geoff's on a big skiing kick right now. Geoff, new hobby and eBay can be a daunting combination. The last time he did this (with bikes), he ended up with a Trek 5200, a Trek Fuel 100, and a lot of miles I couldn't keep up with - even when we went riding together. But at least cycling was something I could do.

After he spent the morning surfing the Web for info on pricey ski equipment and reading about "Cross-Country Skiing 101" from some library book, we went out for a backyard expedition. He went on his backcountry skis. I snowshoed. I gave myself blisters trying to keep up, but the rest of my bruise-free limbs let out a collective sigh of relief. We went out for a long trek, following Bridge Creek downcanyon over an impressive network of trails broken by other skiers. Everywhere we traveled, all I could think was, "Man, a little colder weather would turn this into some great single track." Or, "I bet with low tire pressure I could ride these snowmobile tracks right now." It was like scouting, not hiking. And I was discovering a whole new backyard playground I never knew about.

Maybe I'll go out tomorrow. But the truth is, trail conditions are still all too perfect for skiing. Which means soft snow, deep drifts and painful glares from the Sunday skiers. I could fight the mid-30s thaw in town. Or ... I could go skiing.