Ever since my days at Garnet Hill as a kid, I’ve loved cross-country skiing. Perhaps it was the shuttle that drove you back to the lodge from the bottom, or the neatly groomed tracks, but whatever it was, I loved spending the day on my skis up in the Adirondacks. So, with snow in the forecast, I threw our skis in the car for our weekend down in Allegany.

We didn’t get out AT ALL last year, and really we haven’t been out in a structured way in a few years. Despite the seemingly constant lake effect snow here in Buffalo, a lot of the cross country ski places have had trouble keeping enough snow on the ground. This was our first chance in quite a while to get some time on skis, and we were both super excited.

The Red House side of Allegany has a decent-sized lake and a trail all around it. A couple of years ago, we walked this trail in the spring, so we knew it was about two miles long. This would be perfect for our ski trip. Likely because we started on the road to the cabin (rather than on the trail itself), our trek ended up being a bit longer than we thought, but still pretty close to what we expected. The hard part was roughing it because there were no precut trails or grooves. Call me spoiled, but I love groomed trails. That didn’t stop Ellie though, who powered through the snow at an alarmingly fast rate.

I forgot just how much work cross-country skiing is. By the time we got back, I was wiped out and dripping in sweat (which isn’t always great when it’s 21 degrees out). It was just what the doctor ordered though for a weekend full of food and drinks, because that bit of activity made us both feel a bit less lethargic and more accomplished.

We both enjoyed it and would like to ski more frequently. There is a place not too far away from Buffalo called Byrncliff, where Ellie and her Dad used to go years ago, and we are talking about visiting soon. The best part is Byrncliff keeps some trails open at night on the weekends, so we have no excuse not to go! Now the only things left to do are get a tuneup on the skis and find a replacement part or two for my bindings.