Went out for a couple of local x-c skis in the past few days, in this marginal snow season. The first spot, Sideling Hill, is only an hour from town (as in, in my ski boots within the hour). Was barely enough snow, and I only had an hour to ski before I had to get back and pick Oliver up from school, but this place begs for further exploration. Lot's of smooth double-track trails that were skiable with a tiny amount of snow. Some good downhills too. Might even be more fun when icy. Might even need a helmet then. It looks like a perfect place to night ski. And night skiing might also be the best time to avoid the snowmobilers who claim this spot as their home. And they're certainly right, as sled-heads outnumber nordic skiers about 1000:1 in this part of Pennsylvania.
Checking the bases after the ski. No problems at all. What were all those scraping sounds???
I had the next day off after working snow-duty the previous night. Had thoughts of going to sleep for a couple hours after taking O to school, and then figured, why waste daylight with sleep? I could finish building some trail with Darius, or ride, or hit Whitetail where a couple of my nephews were boarding all day, or go x-c skiing. When I really broke it down, x-c skiing was the logical choice, since it's the one activity I have the least opportunity to do. So, I called Darius and talked him into heading out to this place with me. I've looked at Laurel Ridge's web cam every winter day for the past several years, but have never been there. Their camera is a great indicator of the snow conditions all over the Allegheny spine.
Laurel Ridge was about a 2-hour drive from town, on the always intense Pennsylvania Turnpike. The snow there was great, and was getting fresher and deeper by the minute. We toured for a couple hours, then I had to beat it on back home. Some nice trails there, and some fun downhills. Not bad for 2 hours away, and was another world from town.