Photo by Hans Hallgren
Cassie Haley, 4, laughs after her sled tips over in front of Moffat County High School on Sunday. Haley headed out with her family to enjoy the winter weather.
Monday, December 29, 2008
The sound of skis splitting snow interrupted an otherwise quiet Sunday morning on the white-covered landscape at Yampa Valley Golf Course.
The sun was out, the sky was clear and blue, and elk ran peacefully in the background.
In other words, conditions ripe for cross-country skiing for Craig residents Jim and Cindy Vorhies. And, it proved a good day for many Craig residents to take advantage of winter weather.
The Vorhies' were just a couple of the town's winter wanderers found enjoying the outdoors Sunday through activities ranging from cross-country skiing and sledding to ice fishing and snowmobiling.
The Vorhies' were gliding on their cross-country skis around the track at Yampa Valley Golf Course.
"When the snow's here, we're here," Jim said.
"It's great to have the fresh air," Cindy said, "and the wildlife. If we're lucky, we'll see eagles, foxes."
"Horned owls, beavers, elk," Jim continued.
Conditions don't have to be exactly as they were Sunday for the Vorhies to enjoy the activity; they also enjoy cross-country skiing when it's dark.
For a few days each winter, a full moon illuminates the track, providing skiers a rare opportunity to ski at night.
"Jan. 20 is the next one," Cindy said about the "moonlight ski" the couple enjoys each year. "There's about four days when you can come out here, and it's like skiing in the daylight."
Sue Beachman will be found skiing under the full moon in January.
But on Sunday, she was enjoying the daylight with her two dogs, Kingsley and Eddie.
"Just about every day," said Beachman, when asked how often she frequents the golf course track. "I really enjoy the outdoors. It's beautiful out here. You can see so many different animals when you're out here."
The exercise isn't bad, either.
"It's hard to separate between the two," she said "I enjoy exercising outdoors, I guess."
The hill on the south side of the Moffat County High School parking lot was less about exercise and more about good, old-fashioned fun in the snow.
The Haley family - Keith, wife Kayla, daughter Cassie, and son Jace - were gripping a hard piece of plastic and zipping down the 30-foot hill.
"We were tired of being house-bound," Keith said. "We needed to get outside."
And outside they were, racing against one another - mother and son against father and daughter.
"The exercise is good," Keith said. "The kids were just sitting inside and eating candy.
Mom and son won the race, bringing dad visions of Olympic bobsledding glory.
"They're going to be on the luge (team)," Keith laughed and said about 4-year-old Cassie and 18-month-old Jace. "They are going to be the first brother-sister team. They'll be the two-man luge team."
They may have to wait awhile, but at least they'll have the perfect town to practice in.