Cross-country skiing at Stony Creek Metropark

When I was growing up, my mom always encouraged my siblings and me to go outside and enjoy the great outdoors.

CCSFor mom, all four seasons were opportunities to explore nature with her children.

So, when winter came, she didn’t dread it; instead, she encouraged us to get outdoors and play.

One of the places that she took us to was Stony Creek Metropark.

When I was a kid, every winter we went sledding, hiking or cross-country skiing at Stony.

I remember one time (I guess that I was around 12 years old) especially well.

My mom said, “I’m going on an adventure. Who is going?”

Of course, I was the first to leap up and get dressed for outdoors.

“What are we going to do, Mom?”

“We’ll find out when we get there!”

“OK!”

She packed up the vehicle with an assortment of winter fun options and we drove off, headed for the park.

When we arrived at Stony Creek, she looked at the brilliant snow and asked me, “How about skiing?”

I hadn’t done much skiing up until that point, so I agreed that cross-country skiing was a good option for me to gain some experience.

We started out in an area that was relatively flat and not too difficult to traverse.

Mom gave me some lessons: how to stay up (“Don’t cross your skis…”—which I learned the hard way), how to go uphill, how to go downhill and, most importantly, how to stop.

As young boys do, I grew impatient for a new challenge.  “Mom, let’s try the hills!”

She was concerned that I might need some more training, but she agreed to let me try some of the lesser hills near the golf course area.

Up and down some of the lower slopes we went. My confidence (maybe overconfidence) grew, and I decided that I needed a new challenge.

“Mom, I want to try the BIGGER hills!”

“Not yet!”

As you know, it can be difficult to hear in the winter—snow muffles sounds. I didn’t hear Mom, and I dashed off as fast as I could to the top of one of the biggest hills at Stony Creek.

Going uphill can be a real challenge. I fell a few times, but I knew that I could make it to the top.

I reached the peak and looked back. Mom was on her way up, so I might as well go down the other side.

At first, I maintained a nice, controlled speed. Then…

…um…what was that lesson on slowing down?!?

What was the lesson on HOW TO STOP?!?

Fortunately for me, a large, relatively soft pile of snow cushioned the blow at the bottom of the hill. I stopped!

I did not use the method of deceleration that my mother taught me, but I did escape serious injury.

After inspecting me and making sure that her baby boy was OK, Mom chuckled and decided that we should continue on with more lessons on flatter ground. I agreed.

When our final lesson of the day was over, we shared some hot cocoa from her thermos and headed home.

Another adventure completed, another memory made.

******************************************************************************

That was a long time ago, but I still remember it well. Mom is a little too old for cross-country skiing now, but I have passed her love of nature on to my children.

My children know that great fun and great memories are just around the corner when their dad says, “I’m going on an adventure. Who is going?”!

Charlie Shelton still loves the great outdoors and works as a historian/naturalist for the Huron-Clinton Metroparks. He can be reached at charlie.shelton@metroparks.com.

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One Response to Cross-country skiing at Stony Creek Metropark

  1. Pingback: Macomb County keeps residents/visitors flush with winter fun | The Make Macomb Your Home Blog

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