So on Friday I went down to the base’s golf course to take part in some cross country skiing lessons. I found out about it through Andrew – he got an email about it and since I really had nothing to do until the evening, I figured that I would go and see what it was all about.
I got to the parking lot and went inside. I asked the woman there about lessons but apparently it is more of a rental and you go out on your own. I haven’t done it in probably five years so I told them I had never done it before and this was my first time. So the woman (TSgt Thomas) showed me what to do and how to pick out boots and poles and skis and also gave me a crash course in how to propel myself.
So I went along and did the first small loop in about a half hour. I was feeling pretty good once I go back to start (and by then another two women had started. A guy from the Arctic Warrior (newspaper) was there and I got my picture taken – and later interviewed…more on that later – and he was taking photos of the other women getting started as well.
I decided to go around again.
I got to one of the points where the trail splits – I could either go about a quarter mile back to the golf building (and I could practically see it through the trees) or I could go right, and loop around the back of the golf course. I had about forty-five minutes before lunch a this point (and meeting Andrew) and I’d been going along at a pretty good clip that I figured it would be worthwhile to try something different.
I am about a half mile up that section of the trail and there is a slight incline but I’m not terribly worried. For whatever reason I look up and to my left, just within the tree line, barely five feet away is a freakin’ huge MOOSE!!! Just chompin’ away at some brush.
My heart stopped. (well, not literally, but I got really scared, especially since he/she stopped munching and paused before going back to munching.
Ever so quietly (which really, in essence, was quite loud), I crunched my way to face the way I had just come and skied out of there as if my life depended on it – my life did! I was so scared!!! I tried to look back, to make sure it wasn’t coming after me and OMPH! I fell onto the front of the skis, giving one of my knees a nice bruise (found out about that later). I got up as quick as I could and skied away…
By the time I felt I was far enough away (practically until I could see the building in sight) I slowed down. Man was I sweating! I took off my skis – very shakily – and returned to the rental room to share my store. And Rest. For I was sweating as though I had just worked out hardcore for an hour. And it was probably only two minutes.
(okay so I didn’t stay long enough to whip out my camera phone and take a photo – I was too scared! But this gives you an idea how big they are!)