The token XC day …
Feeling like death warmed up this morning but no chance I’m having a day off this close to the end of the trip, so did the next best thing – some easy classical. Have stayed here before and glad to be back in better snow conditions, as it meant I could walk out the back of the motel and go for a little ski along the immaculately groomed community trail that runs all the way up the Wood river valley. With a fairly light agenda for the day I enjoyed the novelty of a relaxed start and not checking out till 10am.
Grabbed a perfectly acceptable coffee in Hailey then did the drive up the valley to Galena. Other trail systems branch off the central valley trail and there were a number of people out and about – many with their dogs along for the trip. It’s a stunning valley and to have so much choice here is really wonderful. Got to Galena and decided to do the 6km Jennys Loop which involved a steady climb and some nice descents. Great snow, more immaculate grooming and calm bluebird day – what more could you want? (Maybe a set of functioning lungs?)
Would have been nice to do more but I was trying to be realistic and wanted to keep a bit of time up my sleeve for later in the day. Grabbed another coffee and a scone on the way back through Hailey then retraced yesterdays route. Dropped into the info centre at the Craters of the Moon National Monument to refamiliarize myself with the history of the Snake River valley, and as I came back outside, a groomer was just coming back along the closed road into the park. Synchronicity.
Fog was starting to roll back in as I skied out along the road. Meant there was limited visibility and snow was soft and rotten off the trail making detours difficult, but the grooming on the road was once again just perfect. Just went out 1.5 km and turned around but most enjoyable. The most snow I’ve seen here, but even with the deeper cover and limited visibility it still has the air of a quite bizarre place.
Back on the road it was in and out of fog all the way to Lava. Another night in the Tumbling Waters and after grabbing some Thai from up the road it was once more into the hot springs pool. While sitting in there lungs felt better than they had all day – very therapeutic. When I got back to the room it was finally getting up to a livable temperature. While temps are going up in the mountains, it’s going to be another cold night here.