Last week’s snow storm may have cut our Shakamak cabin party and hike short, but it brought with it opportunities for more fun. Madeline Bertrand County Park opened for night cross-country skiing (lit by tiki torches) on Wednesday. Victor couldn’t wait until the weekend and led a club trip that very night. Saturday morning we met up again to hit the trails at Love Creek County Park. Love Creek has some of the best cross-country skiing around including some nice hills and a comfy nature center. We had a group of 9 total with some beginners, so we took it slow for a while and let them get caught up. After a couple loops in the morning, we ate lunch in the nature center. We were psyched for some afternoon skiing, but found out the trails were closed on account of armed gunmen wandering in the park. We built a snowman while waiting for the police to arrival. An hour and a half later, the gunmen had been identified as teenagers illegally hunting and we were cleared to get back on the trails. We did another couple loops, including the most advanced section and headed back home as the park was closing. We pulled into town just in time for another night skiing event, also posted by Victor, at St. Patrick’s County Park. This consisted of a candle-lit trail to the Manion cabin, at which we were treated to a campfire, s’mores, and hotdogs. 15ish people from the club attended. Some of the group blazed their own trails in the dark into Madeline Bertrand trails (these parks are adjacent and accessible from each other). We left St. Pat’s as they were also closing at 9:30. To cap off the night, we went down to Paletería y Nevería for some elotes and yogurty treats.
Madeline Bertrand, St. Patrick’s, and Love Creek all rent skis and are great places to ski, even for complete beginners. Check out their websites for snow conditions, schedules, and prices. I recommend going when you have the chance and not putting it off. You would be surprised how fast a warm rain shower can come through and totally wreck the perfect conditions.