Winter of Skiing 2013
This winter was one of the best winters for cross-country skiing. Maybe because last year’s winter stunk for a number of reasons – we had very little snow and I had a baby in my belly. The baby in the belly shouldn’t really be an excuse. The winter of 2008-2009 I was pregnant with Henry and I skied almost every day we had snow on the ground.
One of the reasons for my wonderful winters of skiing is because I live seven miles from Iola Winter Sports Club.
There are over 20K of trails, over 7K of lit trails for night skiing and one of the best groomers in the midwest.
A portion of the Ice Age Trail runs through the property.
Iola Winter Sports Club has a youth ski program which has been going on for many years. This year I had 48 children signed up for our program. Every Saturday there was about 20-25 kids that came.
I had a great skiing partner this year while the two bigger boys were in school.
There were weekends I was able to ski with all of our kids. And twice with our whole family.
I was fortunate to have this sled available to me to use when Henry was a baby. I eventually purchased it and have gotten a lot of good use out of it.
The days I would ski with Henry we would start out skiing together. When he would get tired I would pack him and his skis in the sled with Nola Mae.
The two of them would nap and I could ski as long as they slept. Most of the time I would get an hour and a half nap out of them. One morning I had them sleeping nicely in the sled and took a chance that they would keep sleeping for a longer than normal loop. I turned off onto a freshly groomed trail that I haven’t skied on in a couple of years to get in an extra loop. I was on that trail going down hill for one minute, really one minute, and they both woke up screaming. At the bottom of the hill we had a snack and I had to pull them up the hill to head back. The rest of the winter I didn’t take any more chances on a longer loop.
I have many highlights from this season with one amazing ski day with my friend Mary, her eight year old daughter and I met a new person that day who joined us. We skied all of the trails in one day. Another time Jack’s Aunt Mary and her friend Donna (they were a couple of my skiing partners before I had kids) spent the night one weekend Jack took the boys away. We had a wonderful ski on a very cold day. Aunt Mary pulled the sled for me while I skied really fast in the tracks. It was one out of two days I skied this winter without pulling the sled. Another memoriable ski was during the full moon in March when I met a friend on the trails for a night ski.
The kids had spring break the week before Easter. With Phil and Mary we planned an egg hunt on the trails. It pays to be friends with the groomer and to make plans to ski with his wife. He will groom in the early morning hours when he knows you have plans to ski and he plants Easter eggs for his and my kids.
Grandma Hanna (Helen) was visiting us when we had the egg hunt.
Springtime skiing is the best. I don’t know why, maybe because I know it is ending soon and I appreciate every day there is skiable snow. I love skiing without gloves. The sun on my face feels wonderful (getting a little tan on my face).
Springtime skiing is very exciting too. There are times when going down hills the brakes get put on. That happens in places where there is shade on the trail from the trees and spots where the sun is shining on the snow. The sun is slowly melting the snow and warming it up. You are going really fast down hill in the shade and as soon as your skis hit the sunny spot your skis slow down. It is so fun trying to prepare for when your skis hit the sunny spots. If you have ever skied with me in the spring time I do a lot of screaming, laughing and swearing.
Henry and I skied for the last time on April 3rd. We could have skied longer into April because my friend Phil skied with his family on April 20th.
The rest of these photos are from our last day of skiing. Henry was crabby and low on energy that day. He needed to be pulled a few times, bribed a little and then we just ended up turning around before finishing the blue loop. He insisted that he could do the whole thing, but I just knew he didn’t have it in him that day.
The other exciting part of springtime skiing is dodging the dirt and mud. I forgot to tell Henry what to do when the track runs out and there are bare spots.
At this point in our ski we were almost back to the chalet. My treats were gone, Henry was really crabby and my patience was gone. I was behind Henry when he went down this little hill and hit the mud. I was laughing and taking pictures and that made him very mad! I don’t remember exactly what he said, something about him hating skiing, hating mud, that he was done skiing forever and would never go skiing with me again.
I know…not a good way to end the winter. I am counting on him forgetting this day. I need him to be my skiing partner next winter on the days that he isn’t in 4 Year old Kindergarten.