So the chilly arctic air mass lifted from our area on Saturday, as promised, but it was replaced with more snow!  Saturday into Sunday we got another 7 or 8″ accumulation, very light, very fine and very powdery, perfect really for downhill skiing.  We had a three day weekend, due to the holiday on Monday to celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther King, not every company honors it, it’s often called a government holiday because the post office and the other government offices are always shut on this day.  My current company observes the holiday however, but it’s usually very hit and miss with the weather in January so we’re not always able to make use of the extra day off.  This time we were.

This was our first opportunity to get back into cross country skiing, we’d gone out on Sunday to a flat area just down the road where we strapped 4ft long pieces of thin plastic to our feet and attempted to get back into the swing of things.  Monday was a beautifully sunny day, around -10C when we first left the house and about -7C when we got back 2 1/2 hours later, but the lack of a breeze and the sun made it feel much warmer.  Feeling a little more adventurous we headed just down the road to Hines Park and decided to chance our luck on the gently rolling hills and narrower trails through the woods!  We went uphill, down dale, through the woods, clambered over a downed tree (try doing that without taking your skis off!!), across open meadows and over frozen ponds and streams.  We had a lot of fun, as did everyone else who was out there, mainly sledding down the larger hills with the kids, we could hear lots of shrieks and screams as the little kids went flying down the hills on their sleds, very exhilarating I’m sure!

[The start of the trails, I envy those houses that back onto this park, they can just walk right out of their back door and access the trails.]

[Alright, first hill successfully navigated, woohoo!]

[Oh, oh.  Not quite so lucky on the second hill though!]

[Stop taking freaking photos will you and help me back up!!!!]

[Part of the hill where the sledding was going on on the other side of the road, we’re parked down there in the little dip with all those cars.]

[Master of all he surveys!!]

[Hello baby]

[Cutting trails in deep powder snow like this is very hard work.  A did most of it and I just followed in his tracks, but occasionally I made my own, you can hardly tell I’m wearing boots can you?  We’d been all along the length of the park by this point, and A wanted to tackle the first large hill again but I was feeling a bit pooped by this time so I elected to cut across the meadow and wait for him at the bottom of it.  That’s why I’m taking really interesting photos of my feet buried in the snow!  Girl’s gotta have something to do while she waits!]

[Looking behind me at the open expanse of meadow]

[This is the hill A wanted to tackle again, a family of sledders had discovered it and looked like they were having a ball.]

After this it was back home to the warmth of the fire, a lovely cup of green tea and a nice relaxing sauna.  I do love days like this, makes all the -28C  days that preceeded it worth while.