Nearly three months of xc skiing Round Valley almost every day has taught me a little about myself – and perhaps about human nature. That is, when it comes to routine outdoor endeavors, we frequently seek the path of convenience and efficiency, but only until such time as that strategy ceases to fulfill a need for adventure. Round Valley is the epitome of convenience for many. And, in a day when demanding schedules rule, efficiency is available on the trails as well. I mean, really, what is more efficient than hitting the trails to achieve a workout, a mental health session and possibly a social engagement or exercise for Fido all in one outing?
And, it certainly doesn’t hurt that, despite a lack of snowfall, Round Valley’s trail conditions have held up to a quality beyond comprehension, offering a high degree of fun-factor. It is genuinely astonishing what the grooming crew has been able to eek out of 4 inches of base. Here at MTF, we’d be millionaires if we had a dollar for every time some happy trail user enthusiastically stated, “thank goodness we have Round Valley!” Yes, thank goodness.
But, eventually, often in late February, the giddiness of winter wears off and boredom sets in. So, to shake things up, a long weekend in the desert ensued. Daytime temps in the upper 40’s, air crisp blue gleaming toward purple, and the trails dry, red and gloriously lonesome prompted broad smiles and gratitude for the outdoors. Panoramic vistas across a quiet, dead-calm desert to the snow-capped La Sal’s in the distance awakened the spirit of spring. Something about the way the warmth of the sun sinks into winter-worn bones and the stillness of wilderness clarifies thought that renews a connection to the earth and a sense of adventure. Yes, three days in the desert – that vastness called The West – is the perfect uplift this time of year.
As we flow into spring, the season of rebirth and growth, I wish you each the best in arranging your time, maybe for a few moments, maybe for a few glorious desert days, to connect with the excitement and adventure that the coming of the next season presents.
See you out there,
Lora Smith, MTF Executive Director