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Things have sure been exciting since Joe and I left Texas. We spent the holiday making fresh tracks on snowmobiles and spending time with our families. Ironically, one of my favorite memories on the trip wasn’t snowmobiling or opening Joe’s presents, but skate skiing with my mom on the world-famous Rendezvous trail in West Yellowstone. My mom was an avid cross country skier in her twenties. She and my dad would often go for weekend trips in the Black Hills or Big Horns with a group of friends, and I have since had the privilege of seeing many awesome slides from their trips. I, myself, have never cross country skied, and I jumped at the opportunity to spend some time with my mom on Christmas day learning how.
Skate skiing and classic cross country skiing are very different sports, but share a handful of similar concepts. Here is a great article about the differences between the two: Skate Skiing vs. Cross Country. From what I understand, skate skiing is a more aggressive form of cross country. It almost feels as if you are ice skating, but you’ve got to coordinate your body just right so you don’t trip over your skis. My mom and I heard that skate skiing was more of a challenge and more of the “norm” around the area, so we decided to ditch the classic cross country skis and rent skate skies.
One stride on the skis and I quickly learned that skate skiing is hard and awkward! The beginning was a little messy as I headed down the trail like an uncoordinated 10 year old who’s arms and legs were too big for her body. My mom was a bit more natural at it, and we both had a hoot trying to figure out how to maneuver our bodies like the more advanced people we periodically saw skating by us. Eventually, after enough sweat and laughter, we slipped into the groves of the cross country trails, and fell into cadence with each other. The mountain views from the trail were just surreal. All around us were huge pine trees dusted in snow, and as the wind blew the snow fell and sparkled as the flakes refracted the sun’s light. It felt almost magical, like we had passed through the wardrobe and were in a scene from Narnia. Very few people were on the trail that afternoon. Our hearts were at peace and full of wonder as we trekked along. I will cherish these moments forever. Thanks, Mom!