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Monday, February 2, 2009

Breaking Trail

Categories: Outdoors

I'm not sure what the total amount of snowfall ended up being, but I was told we got the 10th largest winter storm on record for the area on January 27-28, 2009.  For the most part, it shut down the city of Bloomington and you know it's a lot of snow when Indiana University calls off classes for the day.

I started x-country skiing when I lived in Montana a few years back.  I bought some backcountry skis and used them there and in Oregon quite a bit never thinking I would use them some day in Monroe County, IN.  But I did last week.  Three times!

On two afternoons after work, my dog (Sly) and I went out along the bike trail near Jackson Creek and in Olcott Park on the east side of town off of Sare Road.  It was untouched and I was skiing in a foot of powder.  Although completely flat, it was so much fun and a great work out. 

However, the best was on Saturday afternoon.  Sly and I drove out to the Charles Deem Wilderness, parked at the Blackwell Horse Camp and broke trail on the Grubb Ridge Loop.  Other than some animal tracks, it was untouched and we were breaking trail the entire time in about 18 inches of powder.  It was nice rolling hills and although nothing too steep, all that snow made it feel like Montana.  I did an out and back in just over four hours and still didn't make it halfway around that loop.  Sly had a great time.  At one point I was zoning out thinking about the trail and I lost him until I heard a shrieking caw sound or what I know now was a gobble.  As I turned and whistled for him I saw a turkey jumping and trying desperately to take flight as Sly flew over a log in hot pursuit.  Luckily the turkey got away and Sly didn't care at all.

Mike McAfee

Mike McAfee

The Executive Director of Visit Bloomington, Mike blogs primarily about outdoor recreation and live music.