Sunday, June 2, 2013

"Better than Pilates."

... or Cross-Fit, for that matter.  That's what Per said, as we worked our way down the road at Cabin Creek, mowing the side of the road and throwing branches back into the forest, and he's right.  One of my goals for this summer is to get stronger, so I expect to be spending some time in the gym, but any chance I get to push and pull and lift and throw heavy things outside in the sunshine and clean air, I'm going to grab.  And if I can do it with old friends and new friends, on a bright fresh day in the forest, with Kare and Aase's to-die-for barbecued chicken for lunch afterward ... well, you can see why I love the annual snow-park cleanup and trail work party at Cabin Creek!

We had a good turnout this year, thanks in large part to the Friends of Sharon; she rounded up just a small part of her posse, about 15 skiers, and everyone benefited from their enthusiasm and willingness to pitch in.  All of us worked hard, cleaning up garbage people had left along the trails, the parking lots, and the freeway on- and off-ramps, hauling a bunch of tires out of a gully where they had been thrown (seriously, people?), and getting a head start on cutting back spring growth and clearing winter debris on some of the trails.

It was a spectacular day to be working outside, with cool sunshine and blooming flowers and birds singing their little spring hearts out, and drifting over us all, the smell of grilling chicken, calling us back from our labors.  Super Ranger Tim Foss showed up with his big horse trailer, so we threw bags and bags of trash into the back, including all those tires and a gigantic rusty truck chain, with links as big as my hand, that had somehow gotten embedded in the dirt of the lower parking lot and took two strong men to pull out.  (PS. Tim reported on Facebook that he scooped up a total of 2,450 pounds of trash from work parties along the I-90 corridor yesterday, with mushers, snowmobilers, and skiers holding work parties, and as usual, Cabin Creek had the worst, or the most.  It was those damn tires that put us on the leader board!)

Then we all trooped up to the cabin for the real reason we show up on snow-park clean-up day: chicken!  And salads and salads and salads, of every type and color and texture, and brownies and cakes (it was Paul Kaald's 80th birthday!) and other delicious tidbits, all washed down with beer that Kare had chilling in the special Norwegian beer cooler.

What a super fun day!  At the end of it, our muscles were tired, our noses were sunburned, our tummies were happy, and the trails were clean.  Can't ask for much more than that from a Saturday in June!  Many thanks to everyone who showed up and helped; each of you is so valuable and important!

Note to the funny file: the family who came driving hesitantly down the road, then stopped and asked me if they were going the right way to Leavenworth.  The driver said his GPS had sent them down this road, but it just ... didn't ... seem quite right.  I pointed him toward the freeway without laughing too much, and he was very relieved to hear he wouldn't be driving on washboarded dirt roads all the way to L-town!

Note to the awesome file: Gunnar is one of the 80-something Norwegian skiers in the club who, in his own quiet way, makes life at the cabin a whole lot nicer for everyone.  He also races in the Norwegian Birkebeiner every year.  I had heard that he had a tough race this year, and a very slow time, but this weekend Ozzie told me the details.  Evidently he crashed hard on the steep hill coming out of Sjusjoen and broke his binding.  He wasn't able to fix it, and he's far too unassuming to expect someone to fix it for him, and he certainly wasn't going to quit, so he just quietly walked, uncomplaining, all the way to the finish line, his skis over his shoulders.  Raise your hand if you want to be as awesome as Gunnar when you're in your 80s!

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