Jim Holman

Jim Holman

One December day Barb suggested we try cross-country skiing.

Now, this appealed to me, like an all-you-can-eat liver and Brussels sprouts buffet. However, inasmuch as I am a firm believer in “happy wife, happy life,” off we went to acquire new snow toys from our friends at Idaho Mountain Trading. In less time than it takes to tell it we were properly equipped with skis, boots, poles, wax, hats, wrap-around shades and lots and lots of Spandex.

Next stop, Grand Targhee, where the resort grooms and maintains 15 kilometers of beautiful Nordic trails. Your lift ticket or season’s pass grants you access.

I prepared for this novel experience by watching an instructional video on YouTube. Click in, strap on poles, adjust wrap-arounds for max coolness and we’re off. Step-glide, step-glide, craving granola, step-glide.

“Wow, Honey, that was fabulous! And what a great workout! I’m exhausted. Can I please go snowboarding now?”

“Zip it girly-man, you’ve gone twenty yards.”

Grrr. My masculinity impugned, I resolved to bear down and teach the trail from H-E-double-hockey-sticks the meaning of the word “respect.”

Step-gliding like mad, in two or three hours, give or take, I was totally veni vidi vici. In your face, Hamster Loop. OOH-RAH!

Next weekend we tested our mettle on the Ricks Basin Loop, which, albeit uphill in all possible directions, was very scenic and beautiful, passing below the Blackfoot Lift and affording a view of the north end of the resort.

“So how did you like it?” asked Barb.

“Not too shabby,” says I.

Those of you from the Midwest know that this is the highest encomium a Nebraskan can bestow upon a person, place or thing.

“So what did you think of that total eclipse thingy then?”

“Not too shabby. Not shabby at all.”

See what I mean?

Which is not to say that I intend to trade in my board for skinny skis any time soon.

Nordic skiing is, however, a very pleasant diversion from Alpine; quiet, scenic, no crowds, no lift lines, and a great workout. For those of you interested in taking up the sport or enhancing your skills, the Idaho Falls Ski Club offer will offer an instructional weekend at Grand Targhee on March 9-10; you can take a Nordic lesson for just $11. Contact Moira Solle at 208-524-6323 to register.

On March 15 and 16 the Ski Club will offer a Moonlight Nordic ski trip to Harriman State Park; this is a special event and capped at 13 people; call Maureen Finnerty at 208-681-3556 for more info.

The Ski Club also maintains two warming huts near Kelly Canyon; they are open to the public, free of charge. Mike Abbott has the skinny; contact him at 208-881-2088.

The Ski Club sponsors numerous cross-country ski events and instructionals throughout the season; check out our website at ifskiclub.com.

That’s it for this time kids. Mind your manners. Call your mom. Stay on track. Ooh.

Real corny.

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