Yesterday we went to Royal Gorge and skied for 4 hours. They had 200km groomed and the snow was great and the sky was blue. I LOVE XC SKIING IN THE SIERRA NEVADA! It's so beautiful and quiet. I hung in there even though this was the first ski of the year and I'm not very fit right now. Skating uphill at 6700' is not for wimps (we live at sea level). There are a couple of good pictures from Royal Gorge in an earlier 2008 post. Here's a picture from 2007 (a less sunny day):
Why skiing in CA is great:
* The weather is fantastic: sunny and not too cold. All you need is a warm shirt, tights, and sunglasses!
* The scenery is stunning: mountains, redwoods, rushing rivers, mountain weasels...
* Tons of snow: they get several feet at a time regularly. Once when I was in Tahoe, they were filling up a long line of dump trucks with gigantic snowblowers. The streets downtown were like canyons with 20-foot high vertical walls of snow on either side. [The only downside is the Sierra Nevada love affair with tire chains. Going over Donner Pass on I-80 is a true test of the structural integrity of your car because the road is so chewed up from semi-trucks using chains. Chaining up is a real pain in the ass but we're getting our routine down now.]
* Solitude: Californians never venture more than a mile or two from any parking lot if exercise is involved. When you get out there you have nature to yourself!
* Redrum is on the way home: Got to stop in Davis for the best burgers and shakes ever!