This month we decided to revisit the lost art of cross-country skiing. I can’t believe this was our first family outing of this kind- it was fabulous! In fact, I’d rate it as my favorite activity all winter.
South Salem Cycleworks rents cross country skis for the low rate of $18 a day. On the weekend, pick ‘em up on Saturday and return on Monday and you are set to go with skis, boots, and poles. They have a variety of sizes – all the way down to a perfect fit for your kindergartener.
Although we’ve looked for other places closer to home - our recent trip to Maxwell Butte SnoPark proved to be the ideal winter spot for families. An hour and a half from Salem, this snow park has a variety of perks.
Trail loops: There are several different trails of several different sizes starting from the parking lot. The shortest (just over a mile) starts at the main trail head/road gate on the far side of the parking lot. (Turn left at each blue marker on the trail. You’ll return to find yourself near the bathrooms closest to the parking lot entrance.)
Bathrooms: The best on the butte – I’m told. These composting toilets were surprising clean. I neither held by breath, lost my breath, nor swore under my breath while using them.
Parking: An Oregon Sno-park parking pass is need to park at Maxwell Butte. Valid for one day only, the passes cost just $3.50.
Free play: On the east side of the parking lot, a small meadow is ideal for free play. When we were there, my seven year old continued to fine tune his skiing while my five year old and I took a few runs on the sledding hill. Later Daddy Obery and son built a snow fort while I just sat and enjoyed the view.
They say the Boy Scouts are always prepared – but I think Mothers of preschoolers have got them beat every time.
Here’s my snow trip must haves:
Packed lunch (big ones)
Snacks for car ride (twice as much as you think you’ll need)
Bottled water (three times as much as you think you’ll need)
Large Thermos of hot chocolate
Kleenex Box/Stack of Napkins
3 layers of clothes for everyone
3 more layers of clothing for everyone (Trust me – cold is bad, but wet and cold is downright miserable!)
Comfy cozy clothes for everyone to wear when riding home (including underwear).
First Aid Kit with Tylenol/Advil
Plastic Bag (Garbage bag, barf bag, dirty clothes hamper, the catch-all item)
Lawn Chair to relax as the kiddos run wild.Camera!!!!
After a day in the snow – a hot meal hits the spot. Preferably that meal comes before the kids fall asleep in the car. This month we discovered the Idanha Grill on the drive back to Salem: Cute little place for sure. We give the home made potato chips two thumbs up and (although the Chicken Alfredo dish wasn’t anywhere near remarkable) the cheeseburger was great!