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One December 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 pass grants you access.

I prepared for this novel experience by watching an instructional video on YouTube. Click in, strap on poles, adjust wraparounds 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 20 yards.”

Grrr. My manhood 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. OO-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?” Barb asked.

“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 offers a beginner instructional Saturday at Harriman State Park. Contact Mike Abbott at 208-881-2088 for more info.

On Feb. 16 the Ski Club will sponsor a Craters of the Moon day trip. Contact Don or Debbie Rasch at 208-529-5880 to register.

The Ski Club also maintains two warming huts near Kelly Canyon; they are open to the public, free of charge. Mike Abbott has the info.

The Ski Club will also soon offer a moonlight trip to Harriman. As if this were not enough, the Ski Club also sponsors three instructional weekends at the ‘Ghee. You can take a Nordic ski lesson for $11. Call Moire Solle 208-524-6323 for details and reservations.

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

Ooh.

Real corny.

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