Saturday, February 25, 2012

Cross-Country Skiing

Week of Feb 20-24, 2012

This week was winter break in Seattle Schools, so we headed to Mazama in the Methow valley of the Cascades for cross-country skiing. Mike and I hadn't been skiing since before Maeve was born, and most of our winter outings have been snow play with a little snowshoeing. But we decided it was time to get the kids on skis.

The Methow valley has an enormous trail system, and we skied several days in different areas around Mazama and a couple days up at Sun Mountain.

It was unbelievably beautiful. It was sunny most days, a little warm so there was some melting, but basically conditions were great.

Both Maeve and Silas learned to ski. Maeve for real  she took a lesson and by the end of day one was gliding, could snowplow and herringbone ("mugwump"). Later in the week we practiced a little sidestepping. She's not a big fan of "pizza," i.e. snowplow, and continued to prefer to fling herself down to a stop if she got going too fast. The technical names for ski positions are thanks to her great instructor. Maeve took a class the first day, and along with having played on the skis on our den floor, this gave her a lot more confidence and skiing skills.

We rented a house outside Mazama center that had a 1k track nearby, which we skiied on in the afternoons after nap. Every morning we went to a different area with green (easy) trails, of which there are many, especially in the valley floor. It's perfect for kids who are learning, and once they're older we'll be able to do much longer runs  but there are tons of less than 3k green runs that can end up at a warming shelter, with potty breaks, and snacks thanks to the parent's backpacks, which really helps keep the little ones going.

Silas did some shuffling along on his skis, too, but generally preferred to be in the backpack.

We also did some snow play and resting, sometimes trailside and sometimes off trail. There were horses and chickens at the house next to the apartment we rented, and the kids visited them daily.

The last photo was of a green run up at Sun Mountain our last day, when Maeve was getting quite good in the tracks.

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Play on snow and no snow

Last weekend we went sledding at Snoqualmie Pass, and stayed long enough to catch a ranger-guided snowshoe hike.  Maeve did very well, finishing the whole hike.  The picture is at about the 3/4 mark.

To help Maeve and Silas get into the fun of skiing, we let them wear their brand-new cross-country skis around the living room.  This will not be a regular occurrence, and of course we don't let them wear shoes inside the house!  Now they are eager to hit the trails.

Linen closet

Here is the closet where we store our towels, sheets, and pillowcases.  Naturally, we call it our Lenin Closet (or our Lennon Closet).