Winter’s last gasp

It’s not over until it’s over.

You and I both know that the spring equinox arrived last Monday, but the New Hampshire weather seemed not to notice. It snowed yesterday, just a bit, and drizzled this morning. But as I looked out at the morning drizzle and 33º temperatures, I just knew it would be an all-snow event a bit higher up. So I drove to the other corner of Lyme, to those ski trails-that-shall-not-be-named, and stepped out into fresh powder.

Smarts Mountain looms beyond the pristine surface of Cummins Pond, scratched only by the tracks from a pair of early-morning skiers.

This year I took a leap: after fifty years skiing classic – since before it was necessary to call it “classic” skiing – I bought a set of skate skis. I’ve long been jealous of the spandex-clad youngsters (and not-so-youngsters) speeding by me, gracefully skating down the groomed trails among the trees. So today I snapped on the new skis and skated up the trail.

The fresh snow, though only an inch or two deep, was dazzling in the morning sunlight as it rested on every twig and branch. The trails had been freshly groomed and I was maybe the third person out there today. Good thing, too, because I moved slowly up the trail, trying to shake fifty years of diagonal stride and train my body for new patterns of motion.

A fine, fine day to be out on the trails. Although I fell twice, I think I’m getting the hang of these newfangled skate skis. Maybe next year I’ll even get some spandex.

Author: dfkotz

David Kotz is an outdoor enthusiast, traveller, husband, and father of three. He is also a Professor of Computer Science at Dartmouth College.

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