Winter is acting like I did in high school. It's been screwing off all term, only to come running in with a late effort to drag its grade from an F to a C minus.
The storm that brought eight inches of powder in parts of southeastern New Hampshire sprinkled about three on Jackson, but, combined with what had fallen earlier and the rock-hard ice that underlay it in places that had not just gone over to mud it actually made a smooth, fast surface on the Ellis River Trail. Skiers could set out from the base lodge, rather than have to ride the shuttle bus to higher elevation trail networks.
The temperature has been like January, with overnight lows slightly above or below zero and daytime highs in the teens or low twenties. We haven't lost any of our meager accumulation to melting this time. Not yet.
The bad season has taken its toll on skiers who count on having the trails to use for their regular exercise and fun. People I will see many times in a normal winter are finally coming in, looking tired and overweight. Will they get enough ski time to bridge to bike season? The seasons frequently overlap in the spring, but only if we have enough snow to survive thawing and refreezing.
Cross-country skiing provides such complete exercise I may finally break down and get roller skis, so I don't have to do as much weight training in the off season. Nordic skiing uses the core muscles, strengthening the abdominal and back muscles dynamically through a comfortable range of motion. The fact that you get to move down the trail keeps it interesting with changing scenery and the need for varied techniques.
Roller skiing isn't quite the same as skiing on snow. You don't slide as easily if you crash on pavement. You don't have cars and trucks blowing by you on the ski trails. But you do get to use poles and enjoy the scenery and real movement. We'll see. Hey, I could roller ski to work some days. Then again, maybe not. Route 28 doesn't have much of a shoulder. I hate not being able to put my efforts to practical use.