Hood River, Oregon

I had my first attempt at cross-country skiing yesterday, making it now a total of 6 new sports in 4 weeks (kayaking, mountain-biking, windsurfing, go-karting, and racquetball being the others). We went up to Mount Adams where a friend had figured out a particularly scenic route past lava tube caves and natural rock arches. The fir trees were heavy with snow and the scenery was Christmas-card perfect.

I’d heard that cross-country skiing would be a tough workout, and it’s true. It’s a lot harder than it looks. I was wearing my heart rate monitor, and most of the time my pulse was up around 140-150. For three hours. Plus all the extra energy that I burned off trying to get back to my feet after falling on my backside/hip/hands and knees/face.

Yesterday we had to go up to altitude to find the snow, but today it came to us. We woke this morning to a world of white down here in the Gorge. A white Christmas has arrived early.

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