Outdoor Playtime

Finally!

It was in the teens, sunny, and windless today. Woo! Hoo! I needed a lift-my-spirits, outdoor day so bad!
The morning started with a bluish-tinged sunrise.

That progressed to an orangish hue.

I wanted to take a photo of the horses walking out of the barn, but the sight of Java standing on top of the manure pile frightened Luke and Murphy so badly that they tore out of the barn and all I could do was get out of the way.

After church, Java and I went to the park for a walk. My car said it was 13 degrees above zero. You know it’s been cold out when 13 feels tropical.
What Java and I found is that the walking paths are now skiing paths, which is different than the way the park arranged things last year. It appears that what they did was not plow the road past the first parking lot and the unplowed road is now intended to be used as the walking path. However, most the people and their dogs were ignoring that and walking on the ski path – a BIG no no.

But being the little rule followers that we are, Java and I took the road trail. I worked on foot to reinforce Java’s familiarity with the skijoring commands before I risk making a fool out of myself at a real skijoring trail. Here Java was paying more attention to the skiers on the other trail than she was to me.

We eventually ended up on a walking path that was still a walking path but then it ran into the ski trail. I was feeling pretty worn by this time from walking through the snow, which was deep and pathless in some spots, so we turned around and went back to the car.

We saw a lot of snowshoe tracks and I think if I walk Java there again, I too will be on snowshoes. (I edited the photo below so you could better see the snowshoe pattern, the snow really isn’t yellow, at least not there it wasn’t.)

Since we were the only ones on the walking trail. I actually could probably skijor on it but like I said, it was pretty deep and rough in spots.
I brought Java back home and I had a peanut butter, chocolate chip cookie to renew my energy, then I loaded my cross-country ski equipment into the Mini and went back to the park. I felt like KB for a minute there, the way she makes one outdoor trek with her dogs followed by dogless excursions on her bike, only my outing wasn’t nearly so physically demanding and I don’t have to worry about cougars (you should check out KB’s cougar photos and video).
I’ve only cross country skied around my house so my second outing was to work on my ski skills to also help avoid making a fool out of myself at the skijoring trails. I have a feeling the skijoring skiing will be a lot more challenging as there probably aren’t the grooves to follow and the speed is faster. (And in case you are wondering about the spot in the snow, it’s a leaf, not blood from an unfortunate ski accident as it somewhat appears.)

I’m more familiar with down hill ski edges, which give you some bite and control with your skiing. The cross country skis seem to slide outward when you are skiing free of the grooves. Probably a skill-practice thing that takes some time to get used to. But I got the kick glide thing going, managed to ski up the hills, only needing to herringbone in one spot that was particularly steep, and on a fast-looking downhill section, I got out of the groove so I could snowplow. Maybe next time I’ll take it straight down.
I had a deer cross my path but she disappeared into the trees before I could focus my camera. Several snowmobiles raced down the frozen river, replacing my nice woosh, woosh ski sound with a high-pitched whine as they sped by.

I’m sure I’ll be feeling my adventure in my arms and thighs tomorrow but I’m so glad I was able to enjoy doing two fun things outside today.
The weather is supposed to be warmer all week. Alas, I will be at work during daylight hours and will have to wait until next weekend to get out again.

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8 Comments

  1. Wow, great photos…good to see that you and Java got out to ski…and she seems like a natural!!!
    I’m envious that you are a morning person and see that beautiful sunrise. See you!

  2. Great pics girl. What a pair you and Java enjoying the ‘heatwave’. It is warmer here today. Yesterday morn’ was -10. UCK!!!

    Have a greatly blessed day!!!

  3. Lynn – When animals call, you have no choice but to be a morning person, but seeing the sunrise is a benefit.

    Paint Girl, Lori and Nezzy – Heat is all relative… It’s funny how as the winter goes on our standards for warmth get lower and lower.

    Far Side – Every once in awhile, Java will feel the harness and line bump her behind and she’ll try to turn and look at it but she’s pretty good with it.

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