Scott's Outdoor Blog

Sunday, December 19, 2010

New Scouting Tool: Equipment Test

  I know the blog updates have been slow since I've moved to Minnesota.   I haven't had consistent internet access until recently, but the real limiting factor has been the snow.  Last weekend was my first weekend down here, so of course a big snow storm hit.  Highways going out of town in every direction were closed from Saturday afternoon to around Noon on Sunday.  I needed to get out this weekend, so Saturday I drove Northeast to Mankato, MN, to pick up some XC skis.  I checked out some how-to videos on You-tube last night and it looked easy enough.

I woke up early this Morning and checked the forecast.  Looked perfect!

  After picking up some BK Breakfast in Jackson I drove to Kilen Woods State Park.  There were about 10 deer out on the snow as I was pulling up to the park entrance.  I snapped this picture out the car window while driving by so it's not the best.

I parked the car, stepped into the skis, and shuffled through the gate.  There was supposed to be a groomed trail somewhere, but I didn't see it.   I saw some snowmobile tracks that looked to be going in the right direction and headed that way.  Cross country skiing isn't as easy as I thought.  My legs and poles were flailing in every direction as I scooched over the snow.  I eventually found a bit of a rhythm, but not what I had hoped yet. 

I think the deer cross here.  Maybe I'll find some sheds out on the snow here in a few weeks.

   Looking Southeast across the ravine, I spotted a deer out on the snow.  It looked like a decent buck, but I didn't have binoculars.  You might be able to see the black dot if you click on the picture to make it larger, the black dots really stand out in person.

  I skirted the ravine, then decided to drop down the hill to get to a flat spot on the other side.  Then I heard the crack.

  Yep, that's what I thought it was.  Broken ski in the first 2 hours of the first day!  I hope this isn't one of them omens.  Luckily I was only about a mile from the car, and XC boots are a lot easier to walk in than Downhill boots.


                      The tracks on the left are going in.  The tracks on the right are coming out.

 I exchanged the skis this morning, and got home in time to catch the end of the Chiefs game.  Had awhile before dark so I drove into Okoboji and practiced on a groomed trail in town.   One hour, no cracks!  We'll see how long they last.