Living the Dream

Posted on January 17, 2012

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Classical skiing on wooden skis in the annual Wooden Ski Classic race in Anchorage

What can I say? I had a day of skiing that did not conjure dreams of skiing somewhere else in the world. We have not had precipitation of any kind to cover the ice rink state of the trails at sea level, but a drive of 20 minutes or less gets me to plenty of snow with little elevation gain. It is clear and cold, but I am finding that the cold is not so unwelcome if it means sun. The sun in Juneau is welcome at any temperature. Today when I hit the trailhead of a trail that was new to me, my car thermometer read 1 degree Fahrenheit. That is cold enough to give a downhill skier or snowboarder an ice cream headache. It also makes the snow slow enough to make a skate skier cry at the sandpaper like effect. Yes skate skiers, as revolutionary as the relatively new technique of skating is, there are still conditions that make the ancient mode of classical skiing faster. It makes me grateful that I have a whole quiver of boards and techniques to choose from depending upon the conditions. The new trail was a long scream downhill with an equally long climb back up, but the climb warmed me and the cold invigorated me. My face still feels hot from the exposure to the cold, but its one of those good to be alive feelings.

Dinner consisted of a warming soup of lamb fore shank with the meat cut from the bone and cubed while the bone soaked in the soup for flavor as it stewed. Root vegetables of carrot, parsnip, and rutabaga with celery rounded out the mix. The soup was accompanied by a Syrah from K Vintners. It is from Pheasant Vineyard on the Wahluke Slope out of Walla Walla, Washington. Syrah is my go to wine whenever I make anything with lamb. This one did not disappoint as it contained the meaty and slightly salty characteristics that I look for in American Syrahs. I find that I am increasingly interested in learning more about Washington Syrahs and Reds in general. There is a certain thread that runs through some that I gather is characteristic of the region. I find that Charles Smith mid-level and higher wines especially capture flavors in their bottles that convey, what I perceive as, a sense of place.

I know that the skiing made it taste all the better.

Mel

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Posted in: Skiing