Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A Winter Walk on Skis

The bright side of winter: no leaves means more sunshine in the woods!

In Maine winter lasts well through March. Walking is challenging in deep snow or on icy sidewalks. My advice to newcomers is to find a winter sport. You need to embrace winter, not hide from it.

If you can't walk out the back door, try snowshoeing or cross-country skiing.

My children grew up skiing behind me as soon as they could walk. My daughter is captain of her school's Nordic Ski Team and my son has joined the Nordic Club at college. Now I struggle to keep up with them!

It's the best way "to walk" the dog.

We're lucky to live right off a wooded trail that circles Bowdoin College's playing fields. I'm often the first one out after a big storm. This year I got stiffer boots with more ankle support and wider backcountry skis to make it easier to cut the track. I apply Musher's Secret to protect Scout's paws. Snowball paw is no fun.


Young Scout is still learning the hazards of wandering off trail. 



I'm training Scout to run behind me without stepping on my ski tails. My command for getting out of a skier's way is "beep beep." We don't usually encounter that many on our morning outings. The trail winds past two ponds, good for iceskating too. If there's enough snow cover, I can go 6 miles roundtrip through the town commons, only taking off my skis twice to cross roads.


On work days, I usually turn around at the first pond. We pause to listen to water flowing through the dam. I enjoy the peace and quiet of winter, the times of frozen solitude. As I ski, I plan out the chapter I'll write later that day. I don't drink coffee. The exercise wakes me up and gets my mind going.


At the end of the day, I warm up by the fire with a good book, Scout crashed out at my feet.

More Winter Walks at A Tidewater Gardener.
Do join us by posting a winter walk from your house.

20 comments:

Cid said...

How lucky you are to live in such a wonderful place, Sarah.

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Sarah,

Such good advice to embrace rather than fight the elements. And, how you have so successfully overcome the challenges of your wintry landscape.

It all looks so very beautiful. What a wonderful place to live and what renewed energy and inspiration you must find in skiing through the snow with only the dog, Nature and your thoughts for company. Lovely!

Les said...

I suppose you would either have to embrace the winter there, or be miserable, and am sure I would have to fight hard to stay out of the second option. I guess the only correlation here would be the summer, it is long, hot and humid, and can be miserable for many people, not for me. It takes no effort on my part to embrace the summer, it just comes natural.

Thank you for including this in my Winter Walk-Off, it's really appreciated.

Elizabeth Musgrave said...

That looks fabulous! I would much rather have a deep snow and brightness than the drab grey wet which has been our winter here in the UK this year. And the fire is essential.

Elizabeth said...

You are absolutely right about embracing the winter!
I bet Scout loves it.
Such beautiful photos and so very blue.
I'm afraid I find winter less and less fun - old age getting to me I think.
Your open fire must be a delight.

A Cuban In London said...

Bearing in mind we've just had the winter Olympics, your post is very timely! :-) Beautiful scenes of winter in your neck of the woods. Loved the fire at the end.

Greetings from London.

Gail said...

I would gladly strap on a pair of snow shoes and walk through the snowy woods. It looks wonderful. My snow shoes haven't been out of the hall closet in several years. No snow in Nashville.

☆sapphire said...

The snow there looks really something!! It must be two or three times deeper than the snow we had about two weeks ago. You are so lucky to have such winter fun like cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. I went cross-country skiing in Nagano only twice when I was in high school. It was really fun!! It was extremely rewarding because I felt like I'd really achieved.
Love the first photo!! It's so beautiful!

Skeeter said...

Ah, the beauty is just spectacular of snow covered landscapes. Am glad you and Scout enjoy the skiing treks and thanks for sharing with us down here in the South which do not see much of those white blankets.

We have lived in Colorado and Germany where both are full of snow during the winter months. The Saint and I gave skiing a try with little luck. I always wanted to attempt Cross Country skiing but with our bad luck of skiing, we never gave it a go. These days I can hardly handle the cold of winter but find the few snow flakes we have most beautiful to observe through the comfort of my cozy home.

Alyson (New England Living) said...

You are so lucky to be able to just step outside your door and go cross country skiing! It's gorgeous!

Donna said...

This sounds like a dream! I hate downhill skiing but I've wanted to try cross-country skiing for a long time. It sounds much more enjoyable!

Jeanne Henriques said...

Just beautiful Sarah...this New Englander living in Vietnam yearns for a snowy winter. Thank you for taking us with you...

Stacy said...

So pretty! I must confess I've been hiding from winter. To the best of my ability, anyway. One can't hide from the extended commute times and shoveling duties.

Amanda said...

Having spent a lot of my childhood in Minnesota, I completely agree with your statement about embracing the joys of winter. I love cross country skiing and miss it - even though I don't do that, I run regularly and have found that some of my best ideas come to me during those periods.

Beautiful images, Sarah.

troutbirder said...

Oh my what an idyllic morning workout so beautiful. It reminds me how much I miss xcountry. I had to give it up before my knee replacement as being unable to get up after falling wasn't a good plan but then being a couch potato in winter isn't a good plan either. My new dog has already inspired me to hike the plowed roads in our nearby, mostly deserted in winter, State Park....:)

Margie said...

I love winter and your dog looks so much like my golden Jake.

I so enjoyed this post.

kacky said...

Aaawwww I hadn't seen this one! Love it- you know I am a sucker for any of the posts with Scout. He is so big!!!!! Musher's Secret- something I hadn't heard of - very interesting and makes total sense. That is neat (and useful) they have that. Look at that snow!!!!! Beautiful scenery.

Sarah Laurence said...

All, it’s the second day of spring, and there’s still enough snow to ski! I’m taking a day to catch up on life. Sorry to be so slow to respond. I've been mostly offline writing my novel.

Les, thanks for hosting! I’m better with cold weather than hot, humid weather. It’s a good thing I’m in Maine and you’re in the south, although right now I’d like to share some of your spring.

Donna and Skeeter, x-country is easier to learn than downhill, especially on the flat with good conditions. I’m an experienced downhill skier and taught myself to ski x-country later in life. To do it well, like my kids, that takes a lot of work, but I’m just out to have fun.

sweetbay said...

Scout is gorgeous and adorable at the same time! You have a beautiful place to ski.

Jennifer said...

You are right: when you live in a northern climate you need to embrace winter or be miserable for months at a time. Curling up by the fire seems to be the perfect ending to a wintery day spent outdoors.