Sunday, April 20, 2014
I love this transitional weekend every year: last ski of the season (goodbye, winter!), first climb up Tiger Mountain of the season (hello, spring!).
Saturday, Tiger Mountain. For a girl who loves solitude, Tiger on Saturday was perfect: 46 degrees, raining like the dickens, with wind howling through the treetops and throwing even more rain down to the trail below. I hiked up fast, trying to generate enough body heat to keep the pouring rain from soaking all the way through my wool layers. I touched the top, then scurried back down the trail a short distance to find a spot out of the wind where I could peel off my wet layers and put on a dry one, and a dry hat, then jogged back down as quickly as I could to maintain some body warmth. This was not a day for lingering; this was a day for getting the job done, and showing my new trail running shoes that we have lots of adventures ahead of us this summer and the weather is not going to be the boss of us.
Sunday was definitely mellower, with spring-like temperatures and hazy sunshine. It was Easter, and traditionally Scandinavians go skiing on Easter. Lucky for me, this was also the last day of groomed skiing at Stevens Pass Nordic, so I pointed my car north and east and headed for the pass. I found more solitude; only a handful of cars in the parking lot, two or three people on the trails -- it was as if the trails were groomed just for me.
I have been so ready for this winter to be over and so stoked to start training for next year. I could count this the last day of this season, but I chose instead to call it the first day of next season. Instead of touring the trails and ambling about, I trained; I focused on smooth striding on the uphills, and on the slushy snowplow-rutted downhills, I practiced my step turns. It was a totally satisfying day, and I am so ready to start the new year. You, too? All in?