First non-hike weekend after 52 straight hike weeks in 2012 – so was excited to kick off my 20-13 outdoors in Colorado.

During the holidays, Annmarie & John pulled together a winter itinerary for the next 2 months – including x-country skiing, downhill skiing and snow-shoeing.  Super cool – these guys ROCK!

After meeting up in Boulder, Annmarie drove us to the Eldora Nordic Center for our x-country ski lesson.  Mirka (Czech Republic) taught us the basics.  First one ski, then two skis, an intro to poles – then bam, 2 hours later our group of 15 adults were ready to trek through Eldora’s 25 mile x-country trail system.

X-country skiing is an excellent work-out, who knew?  And since I haven’t actually started running yet, was counting today’s activity as ‘cross training’ for my marathon run later this year.  LOL>  Beautiful lodgepole pines, blue skies, sunshine – and lotta opportunities to use the V-technique for climbing up steep icy hills.  John & Annmarie already being downhillers, easily acclimated to our ‘skinny’ skis.  Since John was jacked up on cold medicine cocktails for his bronchitis, Annmarie stepped up & delivered all key ‘first-timer’ tips Mirka missed in her lesson – like ski-bunny posing while on the slopes 🙂

Confidence running high, I’m now powering up all hills & waiting for my experienced ski friends.  Posing and going UP hills – I can now do.  Unfortunately I missed whatever lesson helps you STOP the skis.  One last picture, then down the hill…er, hills I go – on my ‘skinny’ skis.  Snow-plow, snow-plow, snow plow – whew – cleared the first curve…then a second.  YES!  This is fast & FUN!   Then – oh no, a third curve – and yeah, I’m flying at this point.

(so this is the dialogue that’s running through my head) Because I’m fit & athletic these days I’m gonna jump UP and turn sideways before I hit the tree. (dialogue abruptly ends now…’cause I see T-R-E-E)   To my credit, I did  jump & try to hurl myself sideways [NOTE: Mirka did not teach this stud move, all K* here].

Right ski went UP the tree until it broke on a limb.  Left ski and my body wrapped around the tree base.  Annmarie showed up first & unfortunately was much more concerned about me being hurt, than snapping a pic – which would’va been epic.  That said, felt really good when she released my left ski binding.  Knee swelled and I still carry an immense black bruise up the inside of my left leg – but nothing broken.  Er…well the right ski broke I guess.  But kudos to Eldora – they didn’t make me pay extra for my broken rental.  Super nice.  I’ll be back.

Guess I should be more gun shy – but think I’m now ready for downhill.  During that lesson, gonna focus much more on ‘how to stop’.  Maybe they’ll work in my trademark ‘jump/hurl/TREE’ technique – it 1000% worked in my head dialogue 🙂

Wait – the day gets even better.  Hot chocolate & a blues band.  (Who packs hot chocolate?  Annmarie.  LOVED it!)

Back to Boulder – purchased a table full of half-priced apps and watched the Texans-Bengals playoff game.

LOVE LOVE LOVE my Colorado life – hike or no hike.  This place ROCKS!

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