I ran out of spray fixative, that nasty crap that you coat a charcoal drawing with so that it doesn’t smear. And it was Sunday and Rochester Art Supply is closed so I started calling around. Staples put me on hold for about ten minutes and Home Depot had never heard of the stuff. The bay bridge at the end of Culver is open in the winter so Webster was an option. Peggi wanted to look at some fabric so we headed out to Jo-Ann Fabrics.
We drove along the lake and turned up Baker Road toward the village. Most of Webster has been swallowed up with housing tracks and they are sprinkled between old farm houses so it makes them all the more depressing. There are still some open spaces and we spotted one on our left. There was someone out in a field struggling with a huge kite. I pulled over and we watched while this guy get the big red kite off the ground. And then he took off but never left the ground. He was wearing cross country skis and a helmet just in case. He traveled the length of this field in less than a minute.
Turns out we were looking at the Gosnell Big Woods Preserve, a 163 acre woods with oak, hickory and hemlock trees that are 350 years old. If we get some more snow we plan to head out here to ski the trails. I think we can manage without the wind propullsion.
Mike Allen stopped by with a 1966 recording of his band, The Realm, from a Fine Recording Studios 45 rpm. Mike’s vocal was as soulful back then as he is today. He was wearing his A.K.O.S. (A King Of Soul) hat as we spoke. He threw a couple of live songs on the cd from a later band, Lake Road, playing live at the Dictionary in Webster in 1968. Mike sounds incredibly soulful at 16.
He noticed Peggi’s mom’s walker in our office and we explained that we were planning to take it back beacuse one of the handles broke. He took a look at it and directed us through the repair. We lost an Allen wrench on our camoflauged carpet during the operation but Mike eventually found it.
The cross country ski conditions are still in the excellent category so we headed out for our third day in a row. We headed through the woods and then crossed one of the holes on Durand Eastman’s Golf Course where we saw another skier. She darted up the hill in front of us and disappeared.
There are two types of skiers. Both types are old (say 30 and up). You won’t find any kids or teenagers on cross country skis, at least not in this neck of the woods. You can see the first type coming a mile away. They look like they are skating on skis, lifting one leg up and gliding on the other. And they have skinny legs because they are wearing black tights with gators around their ankles. Their jackets and accessories are brightly colored and they often have only ear muffs on because they have worked up such a sweat.
We belong to the second type. We basically ski in layers of street clothes. We trudge through the snow and wallow in the brush. We take goofy trails, sometimes following only deer prints. Today we saw about twenty deer. We usually stop and watch before continuing. You could probably see us coming a mile away too. Our pants would be baggy (as in LL Bean flannel-lined) and there might be some long underwear under there. And we would probably be covered in snow.
It’s Spring in San Francisco and the daffodils are out. The temperature in Rochester is 11 degrees and it is supposed to go down to 2 degrees tonight. The cross country skiing conditions are perfect. We skied from our front door to Lake Ontario and back through the woods.