Sunday, January 22, 2012

parks and (winter) recreation

Ed tells me – we should get our Dane County skiing permits. As we navigate the ins and outs of doing this online, we note that not all parks have groomed trails yet. It’s that kind of a winter – cold, but not (yet?) oozing with snow.

We want to get into the habit of skiing – as close to daily as possible. On this Sunday morning though, the weather is iffy. Freezing fog, I read to Ed. Meaning, bits of icy rain. Or something. The temps are in the twenties.

And it does feel that way – misty and icy.

We could go to our park just up the road, but Madison’s Elver Park is bigger and since it is a week-end, we can be more adventurous.


At Elver, it’s heartening to see so many skiers out today. Just like us. Early, despite the weather. And every now and then, there is the young skier. I was on wooden boards first when I was six. Old, compared to, say, this moderately enthusiastic cross country little one.


It’s not easy to be skiing on a day like today. Ed forgot his cap and very quickly, his hair develops a nice frozen mist of ice. White on white.


So there are the skiers. But not only.


Elver is Madison's great sledding destination. We pass by its large hill and I say to Ed that sledding has to be one of the most good and honest winter sports out there: so little equipment, so much joy. A man zips by in front of us on a rubber tube. His is possibly the longest of the downhill runs. He gets up grinning broadly. The best $30 I ever spent! – he shouts to us as he drags his beloved rubber tube up again.


Obviously not everyone loves the snow.
She gets cold – the dog owner tells me as I ask about the many layers of sweater and jacket on this park visitor:


But she’s the exception. On the trails you're likely to see only enthusiasm -- great gobs of it. And it's a fast enthusiasm. Ed and I are trail skiers. Most, these days, prefer skate skiing. It’s faster, for one thing. We get passed an awful lot. I mind less than Ed does.

Oh, but it’s a good way to spend a Sunday morning! Freezing fog notwithstanding.