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Glenn MacGrady

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no snow and solid lakes and ponds has been a real downer this winter

Different strokes for different blokes.

I think this winter's been wonderful. Less than $5,000 in outrageous heating oil bills. Fresh snow to me is nice to look at for an hour or so, but is then just a tedious chore of shoveling, plowing, sanding and salting, clearing downed trees and branches, having salt and sludge all over my vehicles from sloppy roads, plus the danger of slipping and falling. To be fair, I've never been involved with skiing, except to sit in a lodge decades ago while paying hundreds of dollars to watch my kids do it.

Someone kidnap me to the Caribbean, please! Or take me back to pre-1980 California where I could drive to beautiful mountain snows in the morning and be back on the sunny beach in the afternoon. Paradise Lost!

Winter-California.jpg
 
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Fresh snow to me is nice to look at for an hour or so, but is then just a tedious chore of shoveling, plowing, sanding and salting, clearing downed trees and branches, having salt and sludge all over my vehicles from sloppy roads
Well Glenn, I'm with you on not liking the salt sludge and initial dig-out after a storm (though if we'd stop over-salting our roads the sludge would be less corrosive and less harmful to our waterbodies). And I've never done downhill - out sideof my opportunity and budget.

But I have to say, cross-country skiing in good conditions through snowy woods is right up there with a dawn paddle on a mirror-still lake or wetland. When conditions are good, it's magic. There's nothing like the muffled silence of a pristine snowy landscape, and XC skiing is a great way to get out there with minimal noise and maximal glide, much like paddling.

And as with paddling, the nice thing about cross-country skiing is that after the initial outlay for gear (and you can go cheap and used, or max out a budget on nice quality gear), each trip to the woods only costs you gas money to the trailhead or put-in. Low impact and high pay-off. For those of us who can't escape south during hard water season, it's good to have a reason to get outside and enjoy your surroundings.
 
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