As I had planned last spring, I purchased cross country skis this fall. Our snowfall was a little late this year, but as of the past 3 weeks the trails in town have been groomed with plenty of hard packed snow. Game on.
I've been getting out quite a bit these past few weeks and I just love it. Russian Jack park is about a 5 minute drive from my place (with stoplights) and has a lit, groomed trail. I've skied at 10 pm and the lights were still on. I honestly don't know when they turn off. On a given weeknight it is the easiest thing in the world to throw on some quick gear and ski for an hour. I'm also amazed at how quickly you build up a sweat. Even when skiing at -4 temps I only needed a nylon shell over my sweatshirt. It's just an amazing workout, a beautiful way to enjoy winter and the scenery, and excellent cross training for cycling.
Russian Jack has a large parking lot on DeBarr Ave that I never park in. I prefer the smaller one on Boniface, but both lots connect to the park and the trail. The smaller lot is simply closer to home and often empty. The first time I skied there it was -4 and I found 2 idling vehicles in the lot with their lights off. A small hatchback purred away with no occupant while a panel van next to it sat with its exhaust steaming away. As I sat on the gate of my truck frigidly trying to get my boots on as quickly as possible a middle aged woman exited the van, jumped in the hatchback, clicked on the lights, and zoomed away. The van followed moments later. It must really be amazing forbidden fruit at -4 on a weeknight. On another night I found 2 different vehicles in a similar set up, the van now replaced by a steamed up Silverado. At this point I'm averaging a 30% chance at running into a hook up.
Hot times in Anchorage.