When I was about 12 my father Leif and I returned from visiting his family in Norway with two new pairs of Splitkein touring skis — wide cross country skis made of laminated wood. I used mine for four decades in Nova Scotia and also in college in western Massachusetts, where I could ski from my doorstep across the fields and up the Holyoke Mountain Range. I still remember leaving at sunset and returning by moonlight. Our place in Waverley, NS is near some good trails.
A few years ago, one ski started to come apart a bit, one of the bindings didn’t work very well, and I needed new boots. Short version, I stopped cross country skiing.
Years ago Leif bought a newer pair on another trip home and they have been sitting in my shed for years, waiting for me to get modern bindings and new ski boots. Well, yesterday I did it! I went to The Trail Shop in Halifax with my sister Janet and tried on boots until I found a pair that fit well, and got a set of new bindings to go with them. While the boots and bindings are far beyond anything I had, the knowledgeable sales guy was very impressed with the old-style skis. Now I am waiting for the bindings to be installed. It is snowing outside. I can’t wait to ski!
I remember skiing with Leif when I was a kid. We were on an iced-over lake with just a bit of snow on it. Suddenly he changed to a skating style and zoomed away. I had never seen that technique before. Now it is common. When he was growing up in Norway they skied to school. It was how they got around. In winter they rowed on the fjord. Staying fit was a natural part of life.
Anyway, the snow is coming down. I can’t wait to ski.