I am a ski racer but I am also someone who really enjoys skiing. Every weekend when I am not racing in the winter I try to do a 3-hour distance workout, both for the physiological benefits and to be able to really enjoy the skiing. On rare occassions, the very best possible ski conditions happen to coincide with my long workouts. This happens every few years and February 1, 2004 was one such day. It had been cold for a few weeks and the skiing was generally good but slow during that period. Come Sunday though, it was warming up and the temperature was approaching -5 as we skied under a blue sky. The members of XCOTTAWA who were not out of town racing decided to meet at P7 to go for a long skate ski. Craig and I met there, and being unsure about Arno's plan we went ahead on schedule. Ridge Road was perfectly groomed cuorderoy and fast as well. We were just cruising along, heading for Keogan at a pace that was maybe a little fast but still easy distance (the most enjoyable pace). We headed up trail #3 back to trail #1 and the skiing was still great. Then we headed to Mckinstry and it continued to be great going through the forests and cliffs with the fast downhills. From McKinstry, the trail to the Firetower only had one set of tracks and was really firm. We went through the nice pine forests and then came over the crest at the Firetower, where we saw a solitary figure in an XCOTTAWA jacket drinking from a waterbottle. We had met up with Arno and were now able to ski back as a team. We turned back and just kept cruising along, enjoying the speed that comes from skiing on Karhu Volcans. We cruised back with the result being a very enjoyable workout. It is very rare that everything comes in place exactly this well and Arno was right to refer to it as "Nordic Nirvana". This is about as good as skiing gets and we were able to enjoy it. Hope you did too! It also proved to be a good day for XCOTTAWA as Karl Saidla had the second fastest skate time as he moved from 11th to 4th in a Canada Cup pursuit in Thunder Bay. I like football and in particular the New England Patriots so the day was capped off by a Super Bowl winning field goal in the dying seconds. Overall, a great day.
Interesting Reading. . .