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First Ski of the Season!
Dec
03
2013

            As what The Weather Channel was calling Winter Storm Boreas was bearing down on us, many folks were apprehensive about their Thanksgiving travel plans.  On the other hand, others of us were excited about the possibility of some snow and the chance to get out cross country skiing.  Thanksgiving morning dawned clear and cold with a few inches of fresh powder over top of the frozen slop which had ushered in the storm.  It was a perfect day for the first ski of the season. 

            And so Wren and I went to the Bloomingdale Bog Trail with my rock skis.  There, the rocks and gravel were well covered with snow, but there were icy conditions in places underneath the powder.  For those interested in going, I would not take out your good skis for fear of scraping.  After all, the first few skis of the season are more about the excitement and chance to get out than they are about going fast on great conditions.  We saw only a few people out for their Thanksgiving walks and runs, and we had the trail mostly to ourselves. Wren - bog trail

            The cold day was nonetheless beautiful as puffy clouds drifted on the breeze over a blue sea.  In places where the footprints of walkers were frozen the path was a little bumpy but I stuck to the side of the trail and had fairly clean going for a November ski.  By the time we reached the edge of the woods and the trail opened up to the bog, almost all of the footprints were gone.  And we were able to ski beyond the locations on the trail which the beavers had flooded this summer since their work was all frozen over. 

            Besides human tracks we saw a few tracks of wildlife species including Snowshoe Hare, Red Fox, Red Squirrel, and White-tailed Deer.  Wren and I haven’t been to the bog trail in a little while so Wren was excited as she nosed the familiar smells and explored around the animal tracks and beaver dams.  I heard very few birds during the day finding a lone American Tree Sparrow near our turn around, and a few Golden-crowned Kinglets in the coniferous woods. Snowshoe Hare Tracks

            We turned around about two to two and a half miles out although my excitement of being on skis for the first time this season could have carried me much further.  That said my out-of-skiing-shape legs were glad we didn’t go any further than we did as I retraced my steps to the trailhead.  Once back it was time to head home, stretch out, and prepare for Thanksgiving dinner – all conductive to a good night’s sleep.  It was a great start to the ski season. 

           

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About The Author

Alan Belford has spent much of his life outdoors exploring and learning about wildlife – particularly birds. Alan is often out hiking, paddling, running, or cross country skiing – with his Labrador retriever Wren at this side. A certified teacher and former cross country, baseball, and ultimate frisbee coach, he loves teaching others and has taught multiple natural history (specializing in ornithology) courses for both college students and the general public. He is a licensed guide in New York State, he has traveled widely both domestically and internationally, and he is also a published travel writer and photographer – focusing on outdoor and nature writing.

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