Five nights and six days of XC bliss

Sunrise from the Mirkwood overlook. Some superlative text goes here... Something about how spectacular the view is from the top of Mirkwood overlook. Or maybe that mine were the first tracks up this god awful hill that bone chilling morning. Or that I'm crazy to get up at 6:10am while on vacation.
On Tuesday, Alan (a guide on the Royal Gorge staff) led us to Devil's Peak. We encountered this snow drift on the Kidd Lake trail. Royal Gorge's groomers are tireless, but some nights, the wind wins.

The diagonal striders in our party had no problem crossing it. Mary and I (on skate skis) took a bit longer. Hope is above the drift and Mary is to the right (below the drift) in this picture.

Alan crests "the wall" on the way to Devil's peak warming hut. Alan is from Yukon Canada. He had many stories about dirty racing tricks and clueless skiers. We like Alan. (On Wednesday Alan gave Mary, Bob, and 3 other guests intermediate downhill lessons: parallel turns, choosing a good line through a turn, and hockey stops.)
Hope and Mary crest "the wall" on the way to Devil's peak warming hut. "The wall" is a gruesome hill at the foot of Devil's Peak. There's a more excruciating hill on the way out to devil's peak on the Wagon Train trail. It seems to go on forever, yet has no name. Go figure.
Wednesday saw intense blue sky from dawn to dusk. Hope, Renate, and I skied out to the Snow Mountain warming hut in the afternoon. Here, Hope poses with Devil's peak in the background.
Renate poses with Devil's peak, too.
Some prosaic wrap-up text goes here... The text should probably include something about the friendly staff at the Wilderness lodge and the great food. It should also mention the many and varied friends we saw and met this week. It's probably impossible to adequately convey the boundless fun we had this week, but this paragraph should make the attempt, regardless. Bob poses as a pro wrestler. Why? I don't know. This picture was taken at the Snow Mountain warming hut.