Monday, January 24, 2011

Happy People

It never ceases to amaze me how doing physical activity out in the woods on a beautiful, sunny day with excellent snow conditions can change one's perspective on life. This weekend we spent time Friday, Saturday and Sunday taking advantage of the new fallen snow and wonderful conditions by cross country skiing. Friday started off with a solid snow storm that lasted most of the day, one which required multiple passes of cleaning the driveway. Also mixed in was a continuation of a bad day at work and a whole lot of indecision in terms of the weekend's plans, my current work situation and life in general; the usual. We had planned to go to Maine for the weekend but between the storm and my need to work until later in the afternoon than planned, we ended up postponing the decision and playing the 'we can always go later in the evening after traffic' card.

I'd been in a funk for a while but that funk was getting really bad by Friday. After an hour of my patented indecision and sulking and fury, I mustered the focus to head over to Great Brook for a short XC skate ski in the fresh powder. I knew that if I sat around stewing things were just going to get worse and I was going to fume about the fact that I sat around stewing and didn't do anything. So, off to Great Brook we went at the very last minute, given that the trails officially close at 4:30PM. What we found were not the best conditions and it was tough going with the snow and drifts but the glide was still pretty good and the base was firm and it felt really good to be out doing something and the time we spent skiing helped to re-focus things. I managed to get in a little over 16km, finishing up just before dark. After that a detoured by Colonial Spirits for a six of Dale's Pale Ale and we made the trip home. Next we faced more indecision as to whether or not to head north. No, I don't feel like driving 3 plus hours in the dark and slushy conditions, decision made.

Now for dinner. We had been invited to friends but in my indecisive fit, we went well past the point at which we could realistically drop in on them. Going out at prime time on a Friday evening, this always goes well. We slid by Margaritas and it was a parking nightmare. I've never actually been to that place even though it is less than 2 miles from home, because the parking and whole laying is so f-ed up. What were the dumb-asses that planned that thinking? From there Cathy suggested the Border Cafe, which is the most cost effective place around and still has good food and drinks, but is located in the 6th level of Hell, also known as Burlington. We have struck out here in the past, at really odd times, like during a blizzard. Luckily, after fist fighting for a parking spot, we found room at the bar, Score! A went for something different, the Crawfish Etoufee it would be and a Negra Modelo, my Mexican cerveza staple. The Etoufee was really good. I had a couple beers and Cathy had one and we both had all that we could eat and it only cost $50 with a 20% tip. These days, that's pretty reasonable. Back home we settled in for some fine Friday night TV viewing including Gold Rush Alaska, which is a Discovery Channel reality train wreck about a bunch of guys trying to strike it rich in Alaska, mining for gold with no experience or money, or apparently common sense. It's really not a good show but I keep tuning in hoping that they are eventually going to get something, anything. A couple of Dale's helped keep the interest peaked. The day was turning around, as was my poor attitude.

Saturday AM started early when I awoke at 4AM and could not fall back asleep. I contemplated packing and heading to Maine. I also contemplated heading to Kane's in Saugus for some doughnuts. Alas, the lazy phuck I am, I did neither but did fall back asleep at about 6AM, which meant I didn't get up in earnest until well past 8AM. The day was half gone so what to do. How about eat waffles and sausage and drink coffee and basically accomplish very little in the AM. We did, however, have a plan. That plan was to do a nice, fun XC ski on the trails in Lincoln. The Lincoln trails are where I started XC skiing in earnest back in 1995 and where Cathy and I started XC skiing, which lead to all of the rest, together. The land consists primarily of limited access Lincoln Conservation tracts but also goes by the Decordova Museum, through historic Walden Woods and around Walden Pond and then over to Mt. Misery. The loop finishes up on the Three Friends Trail and brings you back to the lot at Smith Elementary School. We refer to this as the big loop as it is basically the outer perimeter loop of the local trail system. It's only just over 10 miles but is on all natural trails with no machine grooming. As always we had a great ski and were fortunate not to have to break trail. The best part of the 3 hour tour were the number of smiling, happy people we saw. We the exception of one old couple who were apparently too close to the grave to be cordial, everyone else was overly courteous, thoughtful and pleasant. What a truly welcome surprise.

Sunday once again started with sleeping late, followed by some shoveling off of the roof and eaves and then a mess of procrastination. This lasted much of the day, lamenting about various sore body parts, until at long last we packed up and headed to Great Brook at 3PM for some more skate skiing. The crowd was starting to disperse and the trails were in phenomenal shape so we got in a good, solid, quick 20km. Great stuff. Back home we watched the DVD rental Inception, which was a tad bizarre and you were left wondering if any of it was actual real, but entertaining. In short, a good weekend of having fun in the snow and escaping from the drudgery and solitude of the winter weekdays.

Now it's back to reality.


Michele said...

The food/drink at Waxy O'Connors on Hartwell Ave is surprisingly good. It's the new Minuteman Masters hangout.

mkr said...

We actually went in there once, during a blizzard on a Monday night, and the wait was like 45 min. All of the plow-truck drivers were in there getting re-hydrated, literally. Same day we got shutdown at the Border also.