The Yellowstone Ski Festival draws thousands of skiers to this small town just outside the gate to Yellowstone National Park. As the week goes on, the population builds, but the weekend before the official start of the Festival is still quiet and peaceful on the trails.
I started the day by fulfilling my role as the embarrassing mom — “Son, did you put on sunscreen?” Response: “Mom, no one else did.” . . . as his friend next to him says, “I did.” . . . which resulted in begrudging sunscreen application on the exposed parts of the face. Mission accomplished, so on to my NaBloPoMo post of the day before heading out on the trails.
After yesterday’s almost 24-hour travel marathon to arrive in West Yellowstone, the sunny, warm day was an undeniable invitation to check out the trails. A short walk to snow, then skis are on, making their way to the Rendezvous Trails trailhead. I am content on my waxless touring skis, peacefully gliding along the groomed trails with snow-tufted trees reflecting the late afternoon sun. (That sounds so much more appealing than huffing and puffing in the higher altitude than I am used to, along with a body that is not quite in the shape I had hoped for this week’s activities!)
Another parent friend familiar with the trails generously shows me a few options to explore during the week, and I enjoy the first ski of the season, leaving the bare trails at home in Minnesota behind. I take periodic breaks to snap a photo of our team’s skiers as they ski by or as they stop to regroup.
Nordic (cross-country) skiing is a sport for all levels to enjoy, a way to embrace the inevitable cold and snow that is part of our lives in northern climates.
Today, the morning frost is disappearing from the bushes and trees, as the sun warms the temperatures from their early morning below-zero chill. Another good day to enjoy the trails, admire the snow-capped pines, and take in that clean mountain air.
Ciao! ~ Kat