December 20, 2001

Leaving Thursday, December 20, from Amazon Community Center (S.E.H.S. was still in session) in a light rain we stopped briefly at the McKenzie Bridge Ranger Station where I noticed snow piled up along the highway. By the time we got to Trail Bridge Reservoir the rain drops had turned to thick, wet snow flakes that had accumulated ankle-deep in the plowed parking area of Ikenick Sno Park. We were first. I parked close to the exit so I wouldn’t have to shovel my way out too far. As we got ready to ski off (about 10:30AM) another car pulled in behind me. “Hi, skiing the Nickerson loop, too?” I asked the man as he sat there eating a sandwich. “Not just yet, I’m gonna let you break trail for me :-)”

He was smart. The last time I remember struggling that hard was trying to break trail to Fuji Shelter after a fresh snowfall on another outing some years ago. (And I’m supposed to lead a x-c trip to that same Fuji Shelter in two days!).

It took us four and a half hours for the 4-mile round trip, much of it spent trying to cross the clear cut in the “difficult”-rated portion of the loop. Ah, what pleasure to see the logging road again after leaving the loop!

Ah, what even greater pleasure that last short (0.2 mile) run back down to the parking lot…except that Anne, who had taken off her skis, got a good-bye load of wet snow dumped on her head as she walked under one of the last trees. But Mox Nix: the hot pool at Belknap Resort soothed sore muscles, while Anne got a short WATSU from me that seemed to put her to sleep :-)

Ham & Navy Bean soup with homemade bread for Anne and me, and pie for Kathrin at the Rustic Skillet replaced the calories we had burned up. And two cups of their coffee, “road” ’though it was, kept me awake for a safe return to Eugene.

Riders: Non-members Kathrin Klotz and Anne Hollander; leader: Helmut Plant.

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