Cross-country skiing, either skate or classic, is a great way to exercise and get outside during the long Alaskan winters. Sticking to a groomed trail or breaking your own through the woods both provide ample opportunities for fun sights.
A trip on March 13, traversing trails just north of Fairbanks from my house to a friend’s, had a few hidden surprises.
While stopped to discuss which direction to go I spotted some snowshoe hair tracks off the trail. My shadow provides a little perspective while some unidentified tracks disappear off frame.
Snowshoe hair tracks and shadow.
From there we followed what appeared to be a well-tracked snowmachine trail. While continuing to appear well traveled, it quickly delved into a walking only trail, then abruptly stopped in a clearing. Again, while debating our next move, I glanced around, noticing a cache in snow.
After a brief inspection it was discovered to be a geocache. Geocaching is a global game where people upload the longitude and latitude of a cache online for others to find. Inside was a variety of objects: a pipe cutter, crayons, paint, playing cards, a Pez dispenser and a mosquito net to name a few. The rules simply state if you take something you must leave something.
Glad our lives didn’t depend on the contents.
We fell under the “found by accident” category.
The ski was close to 10 miles, and that worked up an appetite. So to finish off “Sporting Thursday” is a picture of a fellow winter adventurer captured while waiting for pizza.
A winter biker casts a long shadow outside Corner Campus Mall, March 13, 2013.