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Cross Country Skiing

There are two types of cross country skiing: classic and skate.  Skate skiing requires a groomed track that is wide enough for one or more persons.  Classic skiing can be done in pre-made tracks or you can make your own; making your own can be arduous.  Both types of skiing require snow.

Snow is cold and melts at a specific temperature, it won't be here forever.  Unlike rain, snow is structural.  It can be made into snowballs and thrown.  It doesn't sink into the ground as rain does, it makes it's presence known.  It drastically alters the landscape creating a blanket over the land.  It comes and goes with the seasons, so, cross country skiing is a winter sport.  

Poles are brought and are used to propel you forward.   Sometimes a riffle can also be brought, but instead of propelling you forward its aim is to shoot things.  This is called Biathlon.  Skis don't sink in the snow as boots do, so they are good for winter transportation.   Tights should be worn, otherwise you'll look like a freak and everyone will laugh and point at you.  Classic skiing requires the right wax, if it's cold out, put your cold wax on, if it's warm out, put your warmer wax on.  It also requires you to know how to snow plow.  This takes considerable practice.  Expect falling.

Cross country skiing is done for recreation as well as transportation and shooting things.  Great amounts of speed can be built up if the hills are steep enough.  If the hills are very steep, there will be tracks in which to put your skis.  Hopefully the tracks don't lead off the edge of a cliff.  If they do you are done for, unless you are good at bouncing and/or rolling, and good at healing your own wounds.

Classic skiing gives you the option of staying in the track or of making your own.  This choice is not possible for skate skiing.  Skate skiing, however, is easier and faster, however, since it requires a groomed track, and therefore a groomer, and therefore money and more people, it is not as natural.

Classic skiing can be done anywhere as long as there is snow.  Since making your own track is difficult, the activity would be better following someone else (if there isn't a track already).  Classic skiing is more conducive toward exploration and solitude.  The activity can be preformed anywhere snow falls, but since sidewalks are sanded and salted, and roads too, the activity is best performed in parks, or in the wilderness.  That being the case, classic skiing is often done in the forest.    

The forest in winter is less threatening than in summer.  All the critters are sleeping, or dead, and the snow makes everything brighter.  The vagrants have all gone to the city, and no one will be trying to kill you.  Cougars of course, will still be trying to kill you, but that's a risk you have to take.  The forest is your bitch in winter, unless you live in the forest, then you might as well kiss your ass goodbye.

Great heights can be reached in classic skis.  The trip going up is a good work out.  You may forget how steep it is going back down only to find out during the dying light of the day.  Luckily there is plenty of soft, white snow to protect your bones from rocks, stumps and trees.  If you do happen to find yourself on the edge of a cliff, just jump, I'm sure you'll be fine.

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