After a midday meeting and a few errands, I pulled on my Nordic boots and strapped on the Nordic skis and headed out of the Safeway parking lot onto the Fraser River Trail. It was already low teens and it would only get colder. But the sun was still shining and I could feel it’s warmth on my face so why not go? The Fraser River Trail runs parallel to Hwy 40 but is on the other side of the marsh and willows and river so you just don’t hear the traffic. You feel in a separate world and expect to see a critter or two around each turn. Or my dog Dixie just might scare up something from that snow pile she’s digging in.
Just don’t let it be a moose because most moose encounter stories start “My dog and I were out for a walk” and end up with the dog barking wildly at the moose, the moose charging the dog, the dog running for protection to it’s human, and someone getting hurt! At least deer and elk run the other way!
We met only one walker on the trail and my dog walked up, tail (and butt) wagging and sat at the walker’s feet, just begging to be petted… I wish more dogs were socialized enough to enjoy people and other dogs but it does take exposing them as frequently as possible to every and all situations so they feel comfortable.
The River trail is a perfect spot for a quick hour ski in town but transported from the noise and hectic atmosphere of towns like Winter Park. It is also a great backdrop for events like the upcoming progressive ski dinner Feb 28. This 3rd Annual fundraiser is hosted by Headwaters Trails Alliance (HTA).
HTA hosts this event in hopes to raise awareness to the grooming efforts in the valley, to increase camaraderie between businesses and the public, and of course to raise money for trail maintenance in Grand County. No other county-wide organization spends such time and money developing, building, and maintaining the trails both visitors and locals love to death. Winter grooming began in the 90’s with Fraser Valley Partnership for Trails volunteers working with the towns. HTA took over grooming efforts and negotiated with towns and Grand County government and has been responsible for the wonderful groomed system we now have in the Winter Park-Fraser area.
Participants in the progressive ski dinner start at the Solstice Winter Bistro in the Safeway complex for a light appetizer and drink. Registration will be held next door to Solstice in the old CrossFit Thin Air location around the corner. We then ski the Winter River Trail Lunch Loop, which is a 5k (3mile) loop along the Fraser River Trail. Participants will then warm up at the Winter Park Winery with a glass of wine and 2nd snack. For our final stop, we will join at the new Fraser Distilling Company for a light dinner, beverage and, of course, our silent auction. We ask that participants bring cash for gratuity and additional beverages at each stop. We also ask that participants do not park at the Distillery as their parking is very limited. You can even park at the HTA or Safeway parking lot and walk back to your car after dinner.
Please contact HTA for further questions and inquiries. Tickets are available at: www.headwaterstrails.org