Eric’s virtual ski in his own words:
It took me 6 hours, 17 minutes. Classic skiing. (This was my classic year, so I wanted to classic ski the Sonot.)
The trails were generally in great shape. Thanks to Bad Bob Baker for grooming the Chena River and the Birch Hill grooming crew for grooming the Birch Hill trails. A bit of snow over night covered some parts of the route, but those weren’t bad. The newly groomed sections at Birch Hill were outstanding!
Things went pretty smooth. Of course, I had a couple problems at the start. Despite taking a leak at Birch Hill (when I dropped off some emergency water at the Warming Hut), I still needed to tinkle when I started! I had to ski several kilometers before I had enough privacy.
The other thing I noticed right away was that I brought my skate skiing poles! Oh well. I decided to channel my SCUM buddies Bill Husby and Frank Soos. (SCUM = Susan’s Class of Untrainable Men.) I channeled Bill, aka “Poles” because he double poles a lot, in the flats, and I channeled Frank, the tallest SCUM, the rest of the time.
I saw several people skiing the trails near the Birch Hill Stadium, including NSCF Head Groomer Tom Helmers. (Yes, he does ski!) It was good to see several people out skiing in these stressful times. I didn’t see too many farther out on the course, though I did run into fellow SCUM Don Pendergrast and partner on the river. They were doing the 20 k portion of the Sonot. Awesome! Oh, I also saw a coyote cross the river in the morning. That was fun to see!
All in all, a great way to spend the day! I encourage everyone to get out and ski if time and weather permit!
a 11:17 a.m. addition from Eric:
Thanks for the encouragement left on my car:
I forgot to mention that I had a nice note written in the dust on the dust on the side of my car when I finished! It said “Go Eric. Ski fast”! Thanks to whoever did that!
I revised your post and added the photo.