Friday, December 9, 2005

SKIING THE WOODS

THE SOUNDS OF SILENCE. The ski tracks were well-worn by the time I got to Eagle Creek Park. I passed only one other cross-country skier, however, while I was there this afternoon. The quietness was palpable. This is one of the unique joys of cross-country skiing. When I ride my bike, the wind is whistling past my ears or the traffic and bustle of the city is noisy. In other sports people are talking, motors are screaming, fans are yelling--all fine and appropriate (mostly). But take to the woods on cross-country skis and the only sounds you'll hear besides the "shush" of your skis and your own breathing are the subtle sounds of the forest. Birds call. Branches crack. The wind rustles trees. It's a sparse symphony.

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