I no longer remember who gave us the advice, but when our family first moved to Vermont some wise soul told my husband and me: “The winters are long and cold. The best way to survive them is to find an outdoor activity that you enjoy.”
For the first couple of years, we stumbled around trying to settle on the optimal winter recreation. Snowshoeing was pleasant and could be done in the woods right behind our house, but it required substantial snow and willing children – both of which were lacking during the past two years. Sledding was fun for the kids but not for the parents; on our end, it mostly involved lugging 80 pounds of little girls uphill. Ice skating was lovely in concept, but since my husband claims he can’t skate due to “flat feet,” it required me to navigate inconvenient rink times for the pleasure of skating around picking up fallen children who flopped around on the ice like eels out of water.
This year, however, our family has a newfound sense of clarity: we cross-country ski.