Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Winter is over, so I guess it's time to share what I did

It's April and I can't believe 2 months have passed since I last posted. As those who know me know, I've been busy and am somewhat terrible about being in touch and posting on blogs and emailing and calling, and on, and on. But before it gets too warm out and a busy spring schedule of visitors and traveling begins, I thought I would share a short recap of this winter. And I'll emphasize short, because despite the nearly three months of constant grey/dark (seriously 17 hours of sunlight between Christmas and mid-March), there wasn't much of a winter to speak of, and the flowers are now blooming and snow is a forgotten memory. 

But despite, the slightly disappointing snowfall, I did the Norwegian thing as much as I could. So I skied and went to cabins and basically had a blast out in the snow. It was a long-time coming, this return to cross-country skiing. A lifetime ago, as a lonely, bored, poor AmeriCorps volunteer in St. Paul, MN I made a decision to learn how to ski. It was impractical at the time, since as mentioned, I was poor. But the boredom and loneliness overpowered my finances and I bought some mediocre skies, signed up for lessons, and become a horizontal skier. 

Fast forward about 8-9 years, a nearly cross-country free decade, and I find myself in the mecca of skiing. So when the snow started falling just after Christmas (FINALLY), I put some new wax on those old skies, swallowed pride, and started marching around on skies like the legions of Norwegians around me. My modest skills came back, but with some good balance and general ability to keep moving, I managed after a few times out to look not so foreign on the trails. And to top off the winter experience, I made it out for a couple of cabin trips (hytta turer) with friends. Below, some pictures of the highlights. 

Hytta tur #1 - Sjusjøen

Waking up on the 1st morning of my 1st hytta tur. Me and the girls forged that path through 4-5 feet of snow the night before. 

Out on the trails at Sjusjøen, one of Norway's best areas for cross-country skiing. 

Climbing a hill in a dreamy landscape. 
Doing our best impression of what happened to us when we came back down the hill (steering on cross-country skiis is WAY different than on downhill skiis)

Hytta tur #2 - Haukeli, Telemark 

What our group awoke to, a close road and not a snowplow in site. No skiing for us that day. 

The small hydro dam next to the cabin. 

Since there was no skiing, we chose to lay in the middle of the road instead. 

A view on the way back to civilization.