After two semi-disastrous experiences, I planned more carefully for my third round of cross-country skiing.
I only invited people who were willing to take a lesson with me. (It ended up just being two of us.)
I raced back to Gone West one evening to get to the cheaper outdoor clothing place before it closed, tried on every pair of snow pants on the clearance rack that looked vaguely like my size, and bought the only ones that were long enough. (They also happen to be a sort of teal/mint green. Yay.)
I bought toe warmers.
I was set.
The day was perfect: about 30 degrees up on the mountain, and snowing. The snow wasn't icy like the last time.
I offered to drive, but oddly J. preferred his Subaru. As if my 18 year old Civic couldn't handle snowy mountains. My little car was insulted, frankly. He did just fine in Colorado two years ago. I only had one sheriff's deputy follow me up the pass to make sure I got out alive. That's just normal, right?
So we made it, all-wheel drive and all, and taking a lesson turns out to be the best decision I've made in quite some time.
I'm sure cross-country skiing just comes naturally for some people: they get on the skis and zip off into the sunset. I needed someone telling me to bend my ankles and look farther ahead than the tips of my skis and twist my hips just a bit and hit the ground with my poles right next to my foot. I learned thing I didn't know there were to learn.
A week later, back out on the trail in warm, slippery snow (it was raining, actually), I wasn't afraid to push off with my poles and go whizzing down the hill. I knew I could stop if I needed to stop. I didn't fall once.
On the drive home, someone rear-ended us in SHO's SUV, and when we pulled off to the side of the road, the bumper of the car that hit us was skewered on the SUV's trailer hitch. All involved necks were fine.