Tag Archives: Cross Country Skiing

Taste of the Trails [West Yellowstone]

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Last year, a random group of friends headed down to West Yellowstone for the Taste of the Trails.  I didn’t really know anyone except the one person that invited me. No one had been to the Taste before and we didn’t know what to expect. It was so great, we came back and talked it up, resulting in a return trip with new people this year. This year the sky stayed grey most of the day and we did get snowed on a little bit, but it was still a great day to be out.
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The Taste of the Trails is a 5k cross country ski event by the West Yellowstone Ski Education Foundation.  They have four food stations set up along the pristine Rendezvous Trails. You begin with appetizers, (elk strudel and candied bacon anyone?), followed by soup, (your choice of four different kinds), then the main course, (payaya!), finishing with dessert (too many to list but the chocolate chip bread pudding so so good).
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Payaya
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Dessert! So many to try. 
The course was super easy. They removed the one steep hill that was before the soup station this year to make it even more beginner friendly. The course has a biathlon shooting range on it. This year there were people training as we came along for our main course stop.
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The hill that took many down last year

The cabin that they serve the main course is an old ranger cabin that they moved over  to save it from demolition.Untitled

After we finished our course and warmed up in the warming hut, a couple of us went back out to do a little bit more exploring. The trails are so well taken care of and the maps and markers make it so easy to not get lost as you weave in and around the forest. I need to pay more attention to the events they have going on. They do a fun/beginners biathlon that I would love to try out and several other fun races.
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One of the hills we would realize was not so bad later on

When we were done, we meet up with the others at the local Buffalo Bar before heading over to the Norris Hot Springs to finish the day off before heading back to Bozeman. I’m sure we’ll have another great crew headed down again for next years Taste!

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Last year’s crew

XC Skiing in Yellowstone [Bunsen Peak Trail]

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For the 2016 Superbowl, The Sexy Master Electrician decided to give cross country skiing another try after not being too fond of it last winter. We went back to Yellowstone and rented gear at the shop by Mammoth Hot Springs. We picked up a map and advice on where to go. They had just received new snow so we were pretty excited to go. We decided to try the trail around Bunsen Peak. Thankfully, the guy at the shop told us which way to go, I was thinking it would be easier to go the other way. That was not the case at all.

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We could have waited for shuttle to take us to the trail head but we decided to hike/ski up the road a few miles and not have to wait and hour or pay. Plus, this meant we got to ski through the Hoodoos. It was a bit longer than the guy thought to the trail head, but we made it. We were off on a beautiful blue sky day with no evidence of anyone being out there before us yet that day.

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The road up to the trail was mostly up hill, nothing terrible, but still up hill. The trail around the mountain was pretty flat and lovely. We eventually reached a junction to a trail that continued south were you can go to Indian Creek and later we ran in to some people who were on their way back from there.

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We stopped for lunch on the east side of the peak just before it started going down hill. And this was serious downhill with switchbacks and all. Something that I had no practice with on cross country skis and we both spent plenty of time on our butts. It’s hard to stop in these skis. We started to get the hang of it as the slope became less sever an there wasn’t a cliff on one side of us to worry about.
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In total it was just over 9 miles long and a nice fellow skier gave me a lift back to Shorty. After we dropped off our skis we headed down to the boiling river for a lovely soak before heading home.
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Sunday Afternoon Coffee [sixty-two]

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If we were having coffee this afternoon I would tell you I wish it would snow. We got dumped on a couple weeks ago and the skiing was awesome. Then it decided to get warm. Too warm and everything is melting. This is ruining my downhill and cross country ski time. The Sexy Master Electrician and I have 10 passes to Bridger this year so I really want the last month to be amazing!

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While we are on the subject of skiing, TSME and I skipped the Super Bowl again to go cross country skiing in Yellowstone. When we got there, we wanted to do a trail in Lamar Valley but the wind was so bad we opted to go back to Tower Falls. The trail is protected and it went 100 times better than our previous trip up there. On our way back to the Boiling River, we had a coyote come right beside us. He could have cared less. The river was amazing. We had it all to ourselves for quite awhile. The best.
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If we were having coffee this morning, I would tell you that TSME decide to surprise me on Valentine’s Day and actually get me something and not even just one little thing. I came downstairs to flowers, wine, a Yellowstone Pendleton Blanket and chocolates. A late arrive hedge hog print arrived the next day. I don’t expect this to happen again any time soon but it was super sweet and he was pleased with himself for surprising me.

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If we were having coffee this morning, I would tell you about the second year studio crits I did on Friday. It’s so great to go back to the School of Architecture and see projects unlimited by scope, money, everything. Makes me want to do a random competition again.

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If we were having coffee this morning, I would tell you that everyone in my office is about ready to snap. We are currently stuffed in a job trailer behind our actual office while it’s being remodeled. We’ve been in there since around Thanksgiving. We were suppose to move back in the office a week ago. We can’t move with out the trailer moving or bumping into someone. We’ve started compensating with too many cookies/candies/doughnuts and alcohol. At least the rooftop was open on Friday for happy hour since it was so nice.

 

B Bar Ranch [Get outdoors for MOSS]

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Right now, in Bozeman, ski season is long over, but this is the first of a few skiing posts that I will eventually get up here.  Last year I came across a fundraiser for Montana Outdoor Science School (MOSS) that was a day of cross country skiing and lunch and all proceeds go to the school. I wanted to go, but for some reason it didn’t. This year when I came across it, I sent out a message to some friends and signed us up. 

None of us had heard of B Bar Ranch, but we had heard that Tom Miner Canyon, where it is located at the southern end of Paradise Valley, was gorgeous. As we were driving out, there was very little snow on the ground in the valley. Meanwhile, Bozeman had a bit of a storm the night before and we saw several wrecks on the way over the pass’ and there was plenty of snow in Gallatin Valley. Once we turned off into the canyon we started climbing up and by the time we got to the ranch you wouldn’t believe there was no snow five miles north. 
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The area is definitely beautiful and we all want to go back for either hiking or skiing in the future. The ranch is several miles in and is a retreat of sorts in the summer for larger groups. In the winter, you can ski their groomed trails for $10. There are three locations that you can ski into and stay the night. That is next on the list, especially since it’s only two to three miles in on easy trails.
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We did a four to five mile loop before grabbing lunch in the Nordic tent. It is an old canvass tent with a wood stove in the center. One of the “cabin” you can hike/ski into is also an old tent. It was super cozy and lovely to hang out in. We talked about going out for another short run, but after resting realized we were a bit more sore than we thought, it was our first time out this season after all.
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MOSS was doing guided tours for those interested, but we had more fun out on our own and definitely plan to go back next year if it works out. Hopefully we get out there doe more than just the fundraiser.
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Sunday Afternoon Coffee [ forty-three]

coffeeIf we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you that I saw Wild this weekend. One of the books Melissa gave me when I left New York was Cheryl Strayed’s book. It was a great book and I was excited to hear they were making a movie of it. I wasn’t too sure about Reese Witherspoon as the lead, but she grudged it up and did a pretty good job.

TSME

TSME

He got much better after this fall

He got much better after this fall

If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you that we finally went cross country skiing yesterday for the first time this winter. I took The Sexy Master Electrician to try it out for the first time. It took him a bit, but he did pretty well by the end of it. I think next time we go out, he is going to try skate skiing instead. And after TSME realized what workout it was, he took us on a multi brewery post workout trip.

If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you that we tried Roost. I kept hearing such great stuff about their food, but it’s taken a year to get around to trying it. The chicken was amazing, but the sides were all so bland. What’s up with that? Tasty seasoned chicken that doesn’t make it to the sides? Lame. Though we will totally get chicken again.

Snow Sky at Big Sky

Snow Sky at Big Sky

If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you that I had a great time with some of my college friends up in Big Sky last weekend. One of them has a condo up there and some us when up for Saturday night. It was really fun even though all we really did was hang out playing board games or in the hot tub. Yeah for old friends!

 

Awesome gift

Awesome gift

If were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you about the gift that my friend Suzanne sent from New York, full of awesome stuff from Brooklyn. Although the USPS totally destroyed the box and it arrived a couple weeks late, it was still awesome.

If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would say Happy New Year! I had a fun one. I hope you did too!

New Year's tattoo's thanks to Robin

New Year’s tattoo’s thanks to Robin

The Boiling River & XC Skiing in Yellowstone

The day after the Run to the Pub, a couple friends and I drove down to the northern entrance of Yellowstone to do some cross country skiing and soak in the Boiling River. It’s about a two hour drive through the gorgeous Paradise Valley down to Gardiner. The whole way down we were a bit worried that there would be no snow, the days before had been warm and there wasn’t much snow to be seen in the valley.

Professional XC skiers - Picture from MK

Professional XC skiers – Picture from MK

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xc yellowstone (2) xc yellowstone (15)Once we arrived at the Mammoth Hot Springs,  there was some snow, but it wasn’t great. Still we were determined to do ski at least the loop and there were others out doing the same. It was icy and we did have plenty of bare spots to walk through. Still it was a beautiful day with some amazing scenery and we had a good time before heading down to soak.

Picture from MK

Picture from MK

A ski may have run away when we were putting them back on after crossing a snowless zone

A ski may have run away when we were putting them back on after crossing a snowless zone

xc yellowstone (24)The Boiling River was a place I had passed by many times, but never stopped to check it out. The Boiling River is a spot on the Gardner River where a hot springs flows in an mixes with the cold river water to create a great spot for soaking. To get to the springs,  you have a little less than a mile hike along the river to the springs from the parking area that is just inside the park gate.

xc yellowstone (30)Everyone just leaves their towels and coats on the fence while in the river. One thing we forgot/didn’t think to bring was shoes we could wear in the water. The rocks are slippery and sharp and it would have been nice to have them as we made our way across them to the part of the pool that is well mixed. You have about 20 feet of alternating freezing cold water and boiling hot to get through, be able to move quickly would have been nice.

Once we made our way to the “pools,” it was so nice and relaxing. The water temperature was perfect almost perfect. Some times you just had to move around a bit to catch the right current. I could see how easy it would be to stay in there for a very long time, but we only stayed for about a half hour or so.

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see the steam of the springs way down there?

xc yellowstone (31)From here on out, unless it is absolutely impossible, I intend to stop at the Boiling River every time we go by. And next year we all decided we would get it together earlier in the season to go skiing down in park when there is snow. Winter is finally ending, but we already have several things planned for the next one, I think I’m gonna like it out here.

Snow boots and swimsuits

Snow boots and swimsuits

Cross Country Skiing

xc skiing (1)One of the reasons I wanted to move from New York City was because I missed getting to play outdoors as much. I did bike a lot, and we did get up hiking or skiing once and awhile.  More than once, a cross country skiing day has come up. Dusty finally said it was happening last Saturday and I better be there.

xc skiing (4)Saturday was beautiful. Sunny, warm, no wind, perfect day. We were driving around with the sun roof open. We were kinda worried that the snow would be melted. We didn’t need a heavy coat, or a coat really at all and were wearing our jogging cloths. We rented gear: skis, boots and poles, from Chalet Sports and headed out to Bridger Creek Golf Course to try this sport out.

xc skiing (7)Now, I had only tried this once around 10 years ago. Dusty, Katie and  Will had never been before. I barely remembered what we were suppose to be doing. Having the groomed trails and tracks helped us stay up right, although occasionally the snow was more ice. We were pretty slow going as we tried to figure it out. I never really figured out turning and stopping was still a problem too. I did manage to be the only one who didn’t fall, much to Dusty’s dismay.

Dusty before he realized what it was like to fall over and over

Dusty before he realized what it was like to fall over and over

Still upright

Still upright

We spent about two hours out there having a blast and made it around 4 miles. Slow, yes. But after we dropped off our skis, we went to the Bozone tasting room for a couple beers and realized how much work we actually did, how tired we were and how hungry it made us.

adorable white boots and skinny skis

adorable white boots and skinny skis

It was a perfect day. We all had a great time and want to do it again. I may be splitting my time next winter between downhill and cross country. And I still need to try snowshoeing.