Wednesday, February 16, 2011

groomed or ungroomed?

I'm not talking about whether to be clean shaven or scruffy. I'm talking about cross country skiing. Most of my skiing is ungroomed, although I do go over my own tracks so it's kind of self-groomed. I like the independence of not having to depend on a grooming machine. I like having the adventure of going somewhere not everyone goes. I like seeing an ordinary place like our campus or our property in a new way, from a new perspective. I like putting down my own tracks(afterall, back in the day I was a non-conformist, just like everyone else).

Every now and then I go to our local groomed trail system. I went yesterday and conditions were perfect -- 25+ F, hard packed track. It was really fast, even with my skis that need the glide wax renewed. When I hit my rhythm it felt like I was really going (good thing there wasn't anyone else to blast by me and make me realize I probably wasn't going that fast, but it was 2x the speed I do on ungroomed/self-groomed trails). So I do understand why many people prefer groomed trails. I like both/either, depending on whether I want to feel like gliding fast or want to feel like I'm striking off on an adventure in a familiar place. (In a related thought, who was it that said that some writers make the extraordinary ordinary while others make the ordinary extraordinary?)

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