Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Skate Skiing on the Dry Farms, AKA Crust Cruising

Sometime I'll have to write a post about how I've fallen in love with skate skiing.  I learned many years ago (1988-89) when I was a freshman in high school.  Gulp.  That makes me feel old.  I was on the skate ski team and had one whole season of coaching and racing.  Since then, I've only gone a handful of times.  This past November Jeff and I signed up the whole family for an all-day cross-country ski clinic in West Yellowstone.  Jeff and I were in the skate ski group and got some excellent coaching.  Also, this is the first time that everyone is at school so I have had time to ski in the mornings, between 9 and 10:30am, home by 11am to get Charlotte from kindergarten.  Finally, we actually had enough snow this year for a skate ski trail to be regularly groomed and skiable at the local golf course (thank you, Randy!).  Oh, and Jeff taught me how to wax my own skis, giving me some autonomy.  All these things combined to make for a WONDERFUL winter of skate skiing.  It's been delightful.  I've watched myself progress in skill, balance, speed and stamina and believe it or not, have not missed going running one bit.  Instead, I've skate skied about 5-6 times a week, between 5 and 20 miles each time, averaging about 8miles each time.  I even entered a race, my first since that freshman year in high school. It's thrilling to move over the snow so fast.  It's rejuvenating to work my whole body.  It's lovely to be out in nature.   Yes, sometime I'll have to write that post about falling in love with skate skiing... Or maybe I just did write it?  :)

Jeff's ski buddy (and my high school friend's dad) Randy, introduced me to "crust cruising."  He saw how downhearted I was at losing the skate ski trail at the golf course (since the snow is melting, and the groomer broke down).  He took me up to the Dry Farms and showed me that I can still skate ski as long as the nights get cold enough and there is still snow on fields.
Now that I know it's possible to keep skate skiing, I'm taking every chance I can before it all disappears.  Saturday while Jeff took our oldest son Sam to a meeting, I took the other three out to the fields.  We live about a mile and a half from the wide open farmland, so it's very convenient.  Everyone donned their snow pants, hats, mittens and ski boots, clipped into their skis, and strapped on their poles without any need of assistance (except tying the girls boots)!  This is a big deal for me.  For over thirteen years I've been helping at least one child or usually hopping from one child to the next, making sure everyone has everything they need.  They're growing up!  They're also used to getting themselves set for skiing.  Wow.

Oliver is working on his skate ski technique here on the dry farms.  I think it's awesome.

Charlotte is working on making Oliver pull her along as he skate skis.  She thinks it's awesome. :)

Giddy-up, Mom!

The reason I like this picture is that you can get a glimpse of just how happy I am to be out with the kids on a perfect day, sharing the fun of skating.  My only regret was that I missed having Jeff and Sam with us.

Eleanor urged me on with encouraging words like, "Go, Big Red! You're doing great, Big Red!"  I know, my coat is orange.  But my hair is red, so maybe that's where I got this equestrian nickname?  I'll have to ask Eleanor about it, or maybe I'd rather not know.


  1. That does look lovely and refreshing. My favorite part of the whole post was realizing that about 7 more years for me?....I can go out without having to dress little people and maybe before then have a fine hour all to myself each day to do as I please. That must be refreshing. You are always a lovely person and such a lovely mother too!

  2. i love the orange coat! what a fun family activity! im so glad randy introduced you to crust skiing since it seems like there are many months of crusty snow in rexburg! it makes me so happy to see your family enjoying biking and skiing and running together!

  3. Thanks, gals! Thanks for reading. I tried posting a comment on your b-day post, Jill, but I guess I need to install something first. So now don't you both wish you had 0F, -10F, -20F, -30F winters to deal with, too? :) Gotta make the best of it!