Skiing the 8 Mile at Algonquin

Whoosh! I am tired tonight. I have been up here in The Great White North for the last week for a pretty serious reason but life here has not been without a few little guilty pleasures. One of them has been lunches at Penny’s Kitchen. And seeing the new Coast Guard ice breaker Mackinaw. But the best is skiing! When we get enough snow in A2 to actually make the local hiking trails skiable, usually by the time we can drive there, it all melts. Houghton Lake is a great jumping off point for skiing but it’s a three hour drive *to* Houghton Lake from A2 and then 15 minutes to the closest trail.

Here, it is three and a half *minutes* to a ski trail. There is a lot of snow here. It is heaven. I have skied every afternoon since I got here. It gives The Commander a little break from me and a chance to nap or work on her own projects without any of my smart-alecky commentary. I can do any number of different distances at the Algonquin ski trail. Usually I just do the five mile loop. Today I did the eight mile loop, the longest loop. It was fabulously perfect today. Not a cloud in the sky, cold but not bitter, just a little bit of breeze, plenty of snow, fast but not slippery or icy. After six days of skiing in a row, my skiing endurance has built up to the point that I felt like I could go on forever. And now I am feeling that nice, fuzzy kind of tired like I got some good exercise today. And my face feels just a leeeeetle bit sunburned.

Of course, I am here for a serious reason. Grandroobly is doing okay at Tendercare but it certainly isn’t all wine and roses. We have settled into a routine of visiting him twice a day, after breakfast and before dinner. We are never quite sure where he’ll be or what he’ll be doing when we get there. They do keep him pretty busy and physical therapy can be very hard. There are encouraging moments, especially watching him interact with the staff and the other residents. A bamboozler from way back for sure. But he is also nice and friendly to everyone, including those who, well, are just not all there any more. He’s particularly empathetic with those who are having difficulty, especially with physical therapy. But then there are the times when we know he is tired and thinking about how much he hates being in a place where he has no control over his life. I am heading back south tomorrow. Onward and hopefully upward but there are some definite bumps in the road ahead…

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