Skip to main content

February XC Skiing "Up North". . .


Bad Dad and The Young Master leer at the camera during a brief pause on Day #2.

The Young Master demonstrates Step One of the Dead Bug Method for getting up after a fall.

The Young Master leads the way on Day #1.

You've got to watch your step -- um, diagonal stride -- with these German-Swedish-American gals!

No, not tweed jackets, corduroy pants, oxford cloth shirts, or wool neckties, but healthy, bracing winter outdoor fun at Forbush Corner Nordic Center outside of Frederic, Michigan.  Our second visit this winter.  

15 miles on cross-country skis over two days with some pretty challenging hills on certain intermediate and difficult runs.  Very cold temperatures, blowing snow, wind chills below 0 Fahrenheit, and near whiteouts at times on Day #1 completed the picture.  It was almost our own Heroes of Telemark (Anthony Mann 1965) moment minus Kirk Douglas and Richard Harris and without the heavy water plant guarded by German soldiers above a forbidding gorge in the mountains of southern Norway.  Or possibly Where Eagles Dare (Brian G. Hutton 1968) sans the boozy Richard Burton, laconic squint of Clint Eastwood, and cable car up to a looming castle in the Austrian alps.

But I digress!

Day #2 was warmer, sunny, and just as delightful.  The Young Master kept a running tally of falls.  Paul - 1, Mom - 1, Bad Dad - 3.  But I plead a sticky left ski on a frightening run called The Roller Coaster.  However, I did manage to make it down all but two of the hills on that particular trail, including the final descent, a screamer called The Corkscrew.  Don't ask how I managed it.  Hills that are navigated successfully are over and done before you know it.  Steering with ankles, knees, and inner ski edges.  I guess.

As an added bonus, the Nordic center where we were hosted two races for area skiers on both days!  We were not part of that, but it was really interesting and fun to observe the proceedings and hear the cowbells before we skied along our way.  Amazing how fast some of those amateurs are on skate skis.  And quite a few of them in their 70s from the look of things.  Needless to say, the various racers were all finished, packing up, and gone by about 11:30am both days. 

We returned home late Sunday afternoon tired and a bit sore, but relaxed and loose.  That evening, after showers for everyone, fresh pajamas, and dinner plus a little bedtime reading with The Young Master (still working our way through Harry Potter Book #5), the Grand Duchess and I polished off our leftover half-bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon, that we brought home with us before the hearth.  

A fitting end to 2.5 days "Up north" as they say here in Lower Michigan (aka "The Mitten").  We now return you to our normally scheduled programming. . .  How to be overdressed in 21st century academia.




Other Nordic skiing areas we have enjoyed this year include:

Cross-Country Ski HQ

Hanson Hills Recreation Area 

Ingham Country Parks (Lake Lansing North and Burchfield) 



Popular Posts

The Pleasaures of a Well-trained Dog. . .

  A few final photographs from my visit to my sister in Washington, D.C. last week.  These include  one of 'Mr. Beau,' my sister's meticulously trained and truly wonderful Doberman, another of my sister, second cousin, step-father, and yours truly on the steps of the church outside Lexington, North Carolina just after our late mother's interment service, two of me solo at the National Cathedral, and a final one of my sister and me hamming it up during a long evening walk the day before I returned to Michigan. My sister routinely walks to the cathedral, about three blocks from her place, to enjoy the grounds and gardens.  The Bishop's Garden, in particular, is a place she likes to sit for quiet contemplation and internal dialogues with our late maternal grandparents and mother, very much in keeping with the Episcopal side of things.  Our grandfather, who was raised Methodist, became an Episcopalian when he married our grandmother.   Before you ask, I am not sure tha

It's All about That Bass: Goodnight Tonight - Paul McCartney & Wings - 1979

Almost Mid-June Sunday Style. . .

  A fter two months, Blogger has decided to allow me in the door once again, so I can add a long overdue post documenting my take on classic male style.  Since we are almost in the throes of summer, let's go with a warm weather theme this morning. Now, the items above will not be to everyone's taste:  Deck shoes without socks, shorts, pleats, skinny pale legs, etc.  All invite tisk-tisking and debate in certain online fora, but that's ok.   I wouldn't wear attire this to campus Monday through Friday, or to church.  But for relaxed, comfortable warm weather-wear around the house during the weekends, with maybe a quick trip down the road for a gallon of milk at the super market, this will do nicely, thank you very much.   It's certainly preferable to the wrinkled, torn, stained sloppy alternative we see everywhere in 2022.  Neither is it at all far removed from how the various men and boys across three generations of my extended family presented themselves during even