Monday, February 16, 2009

Weekend getaway

No running this past weekend - actually my last run was to work on Thursday morning - bit icy that one! Glad I took the time to put the screws back in my shoes.

Headed north to Grand Marais and snow for a weekend of cross-country skiing. They had received 5 inches+ of new snow and the skiing was fantastic! Stopped on our way up to ski the Sugarbush system off the Sawbill Trail. Got in 15k of nice diagonal on some hilly trails. Didn't look like anyone had been on the SHT in that area. Photos from that day:

Pretty sure a wolf was using the trail - what do you think? Sorry for the lack of reference object in the photo - but you could consider the ski track your reference. Tracks were almost as large as my hand - not that that is saying much ;-> (hand is 6" from base of palm to tip of longest finger). Look carefully - do you see nail prints??? That would be a distinguishing feature between canid and feline options.

Saturday was also the day I was reminded that skiing beyond a certain distance means blisters. Glad we skied with packs and I had the first aid kit with. Had to stop midway and patch up my heels. Nothing like stomping down a spot in the woods with your skis, then stepping off and sinking past your knees! Ended up 'perched' atop my crossed skis, with boots off trying to tape up the backs of my heels. Of course the hotspots were towards the lateral sides of my heels, hardest to see and reach easily.

Tape applied I climbed back out of the snow and onto my skis and took off. By now I had cooled off just a little bit, but overall felt warm. Unfortunately my glove/half mitt combo was wet and on the subsequent downhill I went from feeling okay to losing all circulation in my fingers. Not good - Raynauds is nothing to mess with out in the woods. Quick stop to switch out mittens (Mr. Wildknits kindly loaned me an extra set of his choppers as I could get to them with numb fingers quickly vs my extra pair buried in my pack). A vigorous ski soon reestablished circulation to my fingers and we finished out the day with all digits intact.

We spent Saturday through Monday at a friends place on Lake Superior just outside Grand Marais. The Lake was just outside the door - and so were the deer. Sunday morning we woke to a little herd browsing the lichen off the birch and the cedars and basically lounging around. View out the window:

Sunday we headed for the Deer Yard Trail. Located northwest of Cascade State Park - we had a fun time finding this trail as the directions we had did not match up with current road names. Great trail system - very woodsy, nice hills (though I once again proved I need to work on my snowplow turns as I "missed" a turn and headed right for a large birch - saved only by the deep snow which stopped me inches from the tree. I am nothing if not a source of a good laugh when skiing) and a beautiful lake that can be reached by a short side trail. We opted not to do the "advanced" loop after my little detour off trail.
View into the woods near the fateful curve

Trail system map:

Instead we headed to Pincushion Mountain and skied the Pincushion Mountain Loop (for a total of 17.9k). Of course, we couldn't drive near an airport without stopping in to see what was up (Mr. Wildknits being an airplane mechanic and pilot). Apparently I missed out on some really cool airplanes when I opted to wait in the truck while he headed into the shop ;->

View from Pincushion Mountain trailhead to Grand Marais Harbor:

Saved my best fall for last. As we were finishing up at Pincushion I managed to trip over my own poles on the flat ground and give myself a slight pull to a hip flexor. I'd like to blame it on the lack of tracks and sloped trail, but to be honest the more tired I am the klutzier I get on skis.

Headed into town to soothe the bruised ego with a beer and some tacos from Hughies Taco's. Then back to the apartment to settle down with a good book, truffles (left over from Valentines Day) and some arnica gel.

Home today to find my porch under attack from the neighborhood grey squirrels. They can't get up to the bird feeder but they can get into the galvanized garbage can we keep the seed in. We keep devising systems to keep them out, they keep outwitting us. Needless to say, we are not on friendly terms with the grey squirrels. But when this little guy shows up....

I stop everything and take pictures. What can I say - red squirrels are rare in my neighborhood, so therefor they are cute and tolerated. Besides, it is fun to watch him/her looking for intact seeds amongst the shoes and stuff on the porch.

Did have some knitting along, though no pictures to prove it. Worked on a pair of half mittens out of fingering weight wool. One (almost) done, one to go. Think I may wander back to sock knitting soon - have a request for socks for a 5 year old - should be pretty quick knitting after the latest ventures into knitting for people with really big feet.

Total training for the past week:
Monday - 0 (no surprise there)
Tuesday - 0 (sense a trend?)
Wednesday - 7.58 m (in 1:09, slow but steady)
Thursday - 2.7 m (icy, 26:10)
Friday: 0
Saturday: no run, skied 15k
Sunday: no run, skied 17.9k

Today I walked three miles. School is out this week so will only have one job to get to which means plenty of time to run tomorrow before I head in to work at 11:30 am. Tested the snowmobile trail today on my walk so think I will head there and run west, aiming for an hour run. The trail is very hilly; a good workout and a nice break from pavement.


Chris said...

Sounds like a really nice weekend!! Hopefully the hip flexor feels ok now.

Darn grey squirrels. I wish we had the crazy little black pine squirrels around here - they are cool.

wildknits said...

Hip flexor is fine - just finished a 5 mile run with no problems.

Red squirrel is soo cute.