Skiing on a Sunday Night

The trails were quiet, the lights were on.  The tracked trails invited us in.  What a beautiful way to spend an evening with my boys.

Night skiing in Duluth, Minnesota

Night skiing in Duluth, Minnesota

Night skiing in Duluth, Minnesota

Night skiing in Duluth, Minnesota

Hoping your holiday was merry and bright!

Ciao! ~ Kat

A Last Look at West Yellowstone

The last day of NaBloPoMo calls for a last look at West Yellowstone, as the Yellowstone Ski Festival comes to a close.

West Yellowstone, Montana

Rather than returning to the Rendezvous Ski Trails (as I did in in this post), I ended my time in West Yellowstone with scenes from along the trail that leads into Yellowstone National Park.

yellowstone park 1 11_28_13 

Walking toward the entrance gate of Yellowstone National Park with skis and poles in hand, a sun dog greeted my friend and me, its rainbow shimmer suspended above the trees. Looking back toward town, the clear sky afforded a classic view of the mountains looming in the distance.

View of West Yellowstone from the gates of Yellowstone National Park

We skiied to the Wyoming-Montana border, and then veered left.

Wyoming state border within Yellowstone National Park

The trees opened up to the Madison River valley, with snowy mountaintops rising beyond it.  The amazing  view was a Thanksgiving gift.

View from the nordic ski trail in Yellowstone National Park

We stood at the overlook for a period of time, taking in each frosted treetop, each branch covered in delicate ice crystals that were iridescent in the morning sunlight.

View from the nordic ski trail in Yellowstone National Park

We returned the way we came, with classic skis following the single track back to the gates of the Park.

Leaving Yellowstone National Park

“Mountains inspire awe in any human person who has a soul. They remind us of our frailty, our unimportance, of the briefness of our span on this earth. They touch the heavens, and sail serenely at an altitude beyond even the imaginings of a mere mortal.” ~ Elizabeth Aston

Ciao! ~ Kat

Weekly Photo Challenge: Let There Be Light

The ski trails in West Yellowstone and in the Park itself have seen wonderful sunlight all week long.  What glorious weather for the Yellowstone Ski Festival!

Sun dog along the Madison River, Yellowstone National Park

As we skiied back from the edge of the Madison River, which was the subject of my response to last week’s Photo Challenge, a sun dog danced on the left side of the brilliant late afternoon sun.  This sun-based weather phenomena with the starburst of sunlight leading us back to the trailhead seemed to be a fitting entry for “Let There Be Light.”

Ciao! ~ Kat

This post was in response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge.  ”Let There Be Light” was this week’s theme.  Everyone is welcome to join in the Challenge; further details on how to participate and links to others’ responses are found here.

Mountains of Gratitude

The Yellowstone Ski Festival is in full swing as Thanksgiving Day opens with another sunny, crisp morning in West Yellowstone.  Naturally, the activity of the day is nordic (cross-country) skiing, with an array of trail choices from the extensive Rendezvous Ski Trails system, to the Madison River loops, to a single groomed classic track along the road leading through the gates and into Yellowstone National Park.  You cannot go wrong with whatever option you choose, as ideal conditions continue.

The road into Yellowstone National Park proved to be a lovely ski to kick off a day of gratitude. Treetops sparkled with frost, and the snow lining the single-track trail glistened like diamonds in the sun’s reflection.  An eagle sat perched at the top of a tree, searching for a snack with its eyes darting to and fro.  Skiers called out joyfully in passing, “Happy Thanksgiving!”, “Enjoy the day!”, “Isn’t it beautiful?!”  And a short distance into the park, just off the main road on a turnout, was a view that required a few moments of silence and awe — frosted treetops as far as the eye could see, reaching to the snow-capped mountains, with the river gurgling below.  What a blessing to enjoy the view, appreciate good health, and revel in the ability to savor a morning ski in a magnificent setting.

Yellowstone National Park overlook

Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Day to all!

Ciao! ~ Kat

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unexpected

i should not have been surprised by the sight overhead as we enjoyed yet another postcard view of the mountains, while skiing along the Madison River in Yellowstone National Park.

yellowstone river 6 11_27_13

But, my friends and I still gasped in delight as we recognized the majestic bird soaring overhead.

yellowstone river eagle 2 11_27_13

And, we were doubly surprised by the unexpected sight of yet another bald eagle flying by while the first was still in view.

yellowstone river eagle 11_27_13

With no other skiers in sight, we shared that magic moment of unexpected wonder.

Ciao! ~ Kat

This post was in response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge.  ”Unexpected” was this week’s theme.  Everyone is welcome to join in the Challenge; further details on how to participate and links to others’ responses are found here.